How do we make decisions?

How do we feel about the outcomes?

Feelings of happiness and sadness are central to conscious experience, but we still know little about what happens in the brain when we have these feelings or how these feelings relate to the events in our lives.

In summer 2016, I opened my lab at University College London funded by a 5-year MRC Career Development Award. My lab is located on Russell Square at the new Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research. I am also affiliated with the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging.

My research combines computational modeling with neuroimaging, pharmacology, and neurophysiology to study the relationship between decision making and emotion across the lifespan and in people with depression. I developed a computational and neural model of happiness that links rewards and expectations to subjective feelings and to dopamine:

I helped develop The Great Brain Experiment, a smartphone app for cognitive science research that now has over 100,000 users. You can download it free for iPhone or Android. Take a few minutes to contribute to our research by playing the games!

Key collaborators:  Ray Dolan (UCL) and Peter Dayan (UCL).

Clinical collaborators: Roland Zahn (Kings), Peter Fonagy (UCL), Chadi Abdallah (Yale), and John Krystal (Yale).

Contact: robb.rutledge (at) ucl.ac.uk