Principle Investigator


Iris Vilares, Ph.D

Iris Vilares, PhD Photo

Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Profile  |  Experts@Minnesota

Graduate Students

Tao Jin

Tao Jin

PhD Student


Tao graduated with a M.S. in cognitive neuroscience, after receiving a B.S. in Statistics with a minor in Psychology from Beijing Normal University. Her research interests focus on how people make decisions under uncertainty within both the perceptual and social domains. Outside the lab, she enjoys listening to music and hanging out in the park.

Mathi Manavalan

Headshot of Mathi Manavalan

PhD Student


Mathi graduated from the University of Washington-Seattle with a B.S. in Informatics and B.A. in Psychology. She is a 1st year doctoral student in Dr. Iris Vilares’ lab cognitive decision-making lab. She is interested in exploring how decision-making may vary between clinical population and neuro-typical populations. Outside of the lab, Mathi enjoys painting and rock climbing.

Nathan Torunsky

Headshot of Nathan Torunsky

PhD Student


Nathan received is B.S. in Psychology at the University of Minnesota, and worked for Professor Vilares as a research assisstant for two years before starting as a PhD student in Fall 2021. Nathan's work in the lab spans a variety of different topic areas, including information-seeking, individual differences in uncertainty judgements, and the role of individual differences in emotion recognition on decision-making. In his free time, Nathan plays flute and piccolo in the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra.

Xin Song

Headshot of Xin Song

PhD Candidate


Xin earned her B.S. degree in Psychobiology from UCLA in 2015 and became a full-time graduate student at UMN in 2016. Things she enjoys: video games, digital art & horror movies. 

Xin's research interests include decision making under uncertainty, and how different psychiatric disorders alter people's decision-making strategies. Do depression patients weigh prior/current information differently when making decisions? And if so, can such behavior patterns be explained by any of the existing human or animal depression models? Her current project focuses include depression and decision-making under uncertainty, the learned-helplessness model, and hedonic capacity in depression. 

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Changyoon Byun

Jack Glenn

Isha Mody

Kim Ngo

Summer Crow

Tianxin Zhang

Lab Alumni

Lab Managers & Full Time Research Assistants

Headshot Zuzanna Tajchman

Zuzanna Tajchman

Lab Manager

Undergraduate Research Assistants


Benjamin Bray

Morgan Cogley

James Elliot

Joseph Raymon

Odell Sackie

Grace Stelzner



Jaye Ahn

Shreya Avilala

Mansoo Cho

Christina Choung

David Kessebeh

Ailun Li

Kathy Mai

Grace Nketcha

Maykala Owens

Shiv Patel

Han Phung

Bailey Queensland

Fanshu Sun

Jiaxuan (Jocelyn) Teng

Natalie Wagner

Shulang Yue