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.

My lab is currently based at University College London. We are moving to the Department of Psychology at Yale University in 2020.

Lab website:

My lab is located on Russell Square at the Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research and is funded by a 5-year MRC Career Development Award. I am also a principal investigator at the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging. In 2018, I became a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and received the Spence Award For Transformative Early Career Contributions.

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!

Contact: robb.rutledge (at)