Ming Hsu, Professor

Closed (1) Neuroeconomics: Decision-Making and the Brain

Applications for Spring 2019 are now closed for this project.

Our lab is interested in how the brain computes and represents values that allow us to make decisions. These decisions range from the mundane and everyday, such as what to have for lunch, to truly momentous ones such as deciding on where to attend college.

This project, and others in our lab, will confront participants with incentivized (i.e., paid!) choice dilemma. Simultaneously, we will conduct functional MRI scans on participants to identify the brain regions involved in different types of decisions. Subsequently, we will conduct followup studies to test how behavior is affects when the particular neural circuits are disrupted.

Student researchers will be exposed to cutting-edge research integrating mathematical models and biological measures of behavior. The specific role of the student will be tailored to the strengths and interests of the student, including designing experiments, engage in data collection and data analysis, and to help writing research manuscripts.

Qualifications: Desirable but not essential: strong research interests, sophomores or juniors, computer and programming skills

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Closed (2) Big data approaches to social sciences

Applications for Spring 2019 are now closed for this project.

Recent advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning have made it possible to uncover subtle patterns and hidden trends in large-scale real-world data. They offer researchers and practitioners powerful tools to efficiently derive novel insights and predictions that are otherwise expensive or even impossible to obtain. At the same time, there is also increasing concern that the proliferation of AI-driven automation may perpetuate and even amplify preexisting biases and social inequities facing certain groups of individuals.

This research project aims to develop and apply cutting-edge big data techniques for challenging problems about human mind and behavior. Student researchers will be exposed to cutting-edge research at the intersection of natural language processing and computational neuroscience. Students will explore new applications and extensions of these models, with applications spanning diverse fields and disciplines, including psychology, economics, neuroscience, and marketing.

Specifically, student researchers will be trained to (1) mine online content ranging from news media, social media, and social networks, (2) develop computational models that utilize semantic relationship embodied by real-world text corpora to capture cognitive processes, and (3) combine these models with computational neuroscience models to predict real-world and laboratory behavior and outcomes.


Qualifications: Strong computational skills, interest in computational social science. Desirable, but not essential: Interest in computational neuroscience

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Related website: http://neuroecon.berkeley.edu