Lab Alumni

Undergraduate Senior Honor Thesis Students

Ruthann Hewett

Victoria Drumm

Sara Pederson

Alex Blagrove

Marcella Wijaya

Master's Degree Student

Simian Cai, MS '14

Beth Webster, MA'15

Emily Daniels, MA'15

Lab Manager

Sara Pedersen, 2013

Emily Daniels, 2014

Yanyi Jiang, 2015

Frances Chang, 2016


Lab members, Spring 2017

Jennifer N. Gutsell, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

photo of Jennifer Gutsell by Michael Lovett

Jennifer is an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience and the director of the Social Interaction and Motivation (SIM) lab. She earned her Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Toronto 2012.

Her research can be broadly categorized into two distinct lines of study. Her main interest is in the area of intergroup person perception and interaction and her specific research topic examines how prejudice and social group membership affects the neural mechanisms underlying the perception and understanding of the other’s actions, intentions and emotions.

Her second interest is concerned with the role of emotions in self-control and its failure. Her interest in these topics has led her to explore a number of different research techniques using a multi-method approach that includes physiological and neural methods, as well as more traditional social psychological methods such as reaction time measures and self-report.

Download a copy of Jennifer Gutsell's CV (pdf).

Learn more about Jennifer Gutsell.

Contact Jennifer Gutsell at

Graduate Students

photo of Nadya provided by NadyaNadya Greenberg is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the Brain, Body, and Behavior program. She graduated from Colgate University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and philosophy. Her research focuses on face processing and how people make judgments about another person's character based on face traits. She is interested in how people process identity using visual information. 

In her free time, Nadya enjoys cooking, reading, running, and debating big topics like life, religion, politics, and of course, the mind.

Jeremy's picture provided by JeremyJeremy Simon is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Brain, Body, and Behavior program. He graduated from Amherst College in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in French and history. Jeremy's research focuses on intergroup bias, and the ways it is affected by salient social categorizations. He is ultimately interested in shifting top-down perceptions in order to change automatic prejudices. In his free time, Jeremy does other things.

Marissa's picture provided by Marissa Marissa DiGirolamo is a third-year Ph.D. student in the SIM lab. She graduated from Boston College in 2013 with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Neuroscience. She also received her Master's degree in Social Psychology from Boston College in 2015. Her research interests focus on how body awareness might affect the neural mechanisms underlying the understanding of another's actions, intentions, and emotions.
Marissa is also a marathon runner and enjoys being active in many ways (hiking, dancing, boxing).

Brandon Hager is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Brain, Body, and Behavior program. In 2010 he received a master's degree from Columbia University in developmental psychology. Brandon’s research has focused on studying how brain signals can help improve differential diagnoses in psychiatry, and as a result improve therapeutic treatments. Most recently, he used resting-state functional MRI to study the relationship between brain complexity in the prefrontal cortex and cognition in psychotic disorders. He is interested in using non-invasive methods to find brain targets that can improve therapeutic treatment for individuals with social, cognitive and emotional deficits. In his free time, Brandon enjoys playing with his newborn son, and when there’s time, playing the guitar.

DeniseDenise Abcede is a first year M.A. student in the SIM lab. She graduated from University of California Riverside with her B.A. in Psychology in 2016. Her research interests are in inter-group interactions, implicit behaviors that translate to psychological in-/ out-group forming, and resulting behaviors from this. She enjoys traveling and (almost) anything nature.

Lab Manager

Grace Gao is the lab manager of the SIM lab. She is a fourth-year at Brandeis University majoring in Psychology and Education Studies. In her free time, she enjoys reading, photography, cooking, and spending time with fluffy creatures.  

Research Coordinator

Siyu Liang is the research coordinator of the SIM lab, primarily in charge of the Interaction Study. She is a senior at Brandeis University majoring in Psychology and Biochemistry.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Alek Kopulsky
Amanda Zhou
Brenda Shen
Divya Ganesan
Emma Gao
Gloria Zheng
Ilana Zweig
Micah Breiger
Roxana Habibi


Alexa Tullett

Jessica Remedios

Michael Inzlicht