Primary Investigator and Lab Director

Iris Vilares, PhD Photo

Iris Vilares, Ph.D

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

idongavi@umn.edu

Profile  |  Experts@Minnesota

Research Staff

Tajchman

Zuzanna Tajchman

Lab Manager

After receiving a B.S. in Psychology with Criminology from Middlesex University, Zuzanna then graduated with MSc in Clinical Neuroscience from University College London, where she began work with Professor Vilares, focusing on gender differences in Borderline Personality Disorder.

Her work in the U of M lab involves helping with, and coordinating, various ongoing studies. Currently, she is working on a meta-analysis project on protocolary changes in a Trust Game task. Zuzanna is mostly interested in how trauma affects decision-making, as well as correlation between gender and symptomatology of mental health disorders to improve personalized medicine.

ztajchma@umn.edu

 

Nathan Torunsky

Nathan Torunsky

Research Assistant

Nathan is a full-time research assistant who has been working with Iris since before his graduation. He graduated in 2019 with a B.S. in Psychology and minor in Neuroscience. Nathan is interested in how people represent emotions, psychologically and neurologically, and how these representations affect decision-making. Currently, his projects focus on how personality (e.g. alexithymia) affects decision-making and how the brain represents metacognition. In his free time, Nathan plays flute in the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, experiments with new baking recipes, and co-manages an Instagram for his cat, Toast (@itsgettingtoasty). 

torun005@umn.edu

 

JocelynTeng

Jiaxuan (Jocelyn) Teng

Research Assistant

Jocelyn is a part-time research assistant working in Dr. Iris Vilares' lab. She graduated in spring 2020 with a B.S. in Psychology. Jocelyn's research interests are decision-making and impulsivity in emotional disorders and traits associated with individuals that predict treatment outcome of depression. She has been working on the project The Connection between Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder Traits and Impulsivity on GPA Among College Students with Ailun Li. She is working on lab website currently. She likes playing basketball and ukulele in her free time. 

tengx117@umn.edu

Graduate Students

Mathi Manavalan Photo

Mathi Manavalan

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.

manav003@umn.edu

Tao Jin

Tao Jin

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.

jin00059@umn.edu

Mathi Manavalan

Xin Song

Xin is a fourth-year Ph.D. student currently working under Iris's supervision. She 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. 

songx953@umn.edu

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Grace Nketcha

Grace Nketcha

My name is Grace Nketcha, I am an undergraduate senior here at the University of Minnesota, majoring in Psychology (Bachelors of Science), with a minor in French Students. I am a research assistant in this decision-lab! I will be graduating in Spring of 2021, on the Pre-pharmacy tract!  I am very interested in healthcare, and the accessibility to medical care for all. In my spare time, I really enjoy traveling and exploring new locations, and scenes, working out, fashion and style, culture, and much more!

nketc002@umn.edu

Maykala Owens

Maykala Owens

My name is Maykala Owens. I am a senior at the University of Minnesota pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Psychology with minors in Statistics and Neuroscience. I will be graduating in Spring 2021 and am looking to continue on to graduate school to earn my masters degree. I am interested in the fields of data science, cognitive science, and public health. For my research assistant position, I am working on a study examining the effects of fear-induction on COVID-19 information seeking. In my free time, I enjoy photography and cooking.

owens402@umn.edu

Natalie Wagner

Natalie Wagner

I am a junior majoring in psychology with minors in neuroscience and leadership. I am interested in mental health and healthcare with decision making. I enjoy hiking, hanging out with my friends and family, playing and watching sports, and going to my cabin. 

wagn0829@umn.edu

Shreya Avilala

Shreya Avilala

My name is Shreya Avilala. I am a current freshman at the University of Minnesota in the College of Biological Sciences majoring in Cellular and Organismal Physiology with minors in Psychology and Microbiology. I am on the premedicine track and hope to be a physician. In my free time, I like to bake, hike and watch new movies and tv shows!

avila082@umn.edu

Lab Alumni

Undergraduate students 

Name Email
Ailun Li li000805@umn.edu 
Bailey Queensland queen031@umn.edu
Christina Choung choun014@umn.edu
David Kessebeh kesse057@umn.edu
Fanshu Sun sunx0401@umn.edu
Han Phung phung045@umn.edu
Jaye Ahn ahnxx252@umn.edu
Kathy Mai maixx125@umn.edu
Mansoo Cho choxx483@umn.edu
Shiv Patel patel507@umn.edu
Shulang Yue yuexx142@umn.edu