How do we make decisions and how do we feel about the outcomes?

Feelings of happiness and sadness are central to conscious human experience, but we still know little about what happens in the brain when we have these feelings or how these feelings relate to our past and future decisions. I recently developed a computational and neural model of happiness that links rewards and expectations to subjective feelings and to dopamine:

More information about this research can be found here.

I am a Senior Research Associate at University College London working with Ray Dolan and Peter Dayan at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging and the new Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research.

My colleagues and I developed the smartphone app The Great Brain Experiment. Download it for iPhone or Android to participate in our research. Play the game 'What makes me happy?' to contribute to my research on decision making and happiness.

My decision and affective neuroscience research combines computational modeling with neuroimaging, pharmacology, and neurophysiology to study healthy people of all ages and people suffering from major depressive disorder. I previously did research at New York University with Paul Glimcher and University of Washington with Paul Phillips.

Contact: robb.rutledge (at)