Scholar In Residence of Psychology and Neuroscience

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Stanford University 2010

  • M.A., Stanford University 2008


Research in our lab examines how individual and age differences in motivation and cognition influence decision making across the life span. Our research is at the intersection of a number of subfields within psychology, neuroscience, and economics including human development, affective science, cognitive neuroscience, behavioral economics, and finance. We use a combination of behavioral and neuroimaging techniques ranging from detailed measurement of functional brain activity (fMRI) and neuroreceptors (PET) in the laboratory to experience sampling in everyday life.

Dang, LC, Castrellon, JJ, Perkins, SF, Le, NT, Cowan, RL, Zald, DH, and Samanez-Larkin, GR. "Reduced effects of age on dopamine D2 receptor levels in physically active adults." NeuroImage 148 (March 2017): 123-129. Full Text

Löckenhoff, CE, Rutt, JL, Samanez-Larkin, GR, O'Donoghue, T, Reyna, VF, and Ganzel, B. "Dread sensitivity in decisions about real and imagined electrical shocks does not vary by age." Psychology and aging 31.8 (December 2016): 890-901.

Seaman, KL, Gorlick, MA, Vekaria, KM, Hsu, M, Zald, DH, and Samanez-Larkin, GR. "Adult age differences in decision making across domains: Increased discounting of social and health-related rewards." Psychology and aging 31.7 (November 2016): 737-746.

Dang, LC, Samanez-Larkin, GR, Castrellon, JJ, Perkins, SF, Cowan, RL, and Zald, DH. "Associations between dopamine D2 receptor availability and BMI depend on age." NeuroImage 138 (September 2016): 176-183. Full Text

Josef, AK, Richter, D, Samanez-Larkin, GR, Wagner, GG, Hertwig, R, and Mata, R. "Stability and change in risk-taking propensity across the adult life span." Journal of personality and social psychology 111.3 (September 2016): 430-450. Full Text

Dang, LC, Samanez-Larkin, GR, Young, JS, Cowan, RL, Kessler, RM, and Zald, DH. "Caudate asymmetry is related to attentional impulsivity and an objective measure of ADHD-like attentional problems in healthy adults." Brain structure & function 221.1 (January 2016): 277-286. Full Text

Kline, RL, Zhang, S, Farr, OM, Hu, S, Zaborszky, L, Samanez-Larkin, GR, and Li, C-SR. "The Effects of Methylphenidate on Resting-State Functional Connectivity of the Basal Nucleus of Meynert, Locus Coeruleus, and Ventral Tegmental Area in Healthy Adults." Frontiers in human neuroscience 10 (January 2016): 149-. Full Text

Leong, JK, Pestilli, F, Wu, CC, Samanez-Larkin, GR, and Knutson, B. "White-Matter Tract Connecting Anterior Insula to Nucleus Accumbens Correlates with Reduced Preference for Positively Skewed Gambles." Neuron 89.1 (January 2016): 63-69. Full Text

Samanez-Larkin, GR, and Knutson, B. "Decision making in the ageing brain: changes in affective and motivational circuits." Nature reviews. Neuroscience 16.5 (May 2015): 278-289. Full Text

Braver, TS, Krug, MK, Chiew, KS, Kool, W, Westbrook, JA, Clement, NJ, Adcock, RA, Barch, DM, Botvinick, MM, Carver, CS, Cools, R, Custers, R, Dickinson, A, Dweck, CS, Fishbach, A, Gollwitzer, PM, Hess, TM, Isaacowitz, DM, Mather, M, Murayama, K, Pessoa, L, Samanez-Larkin, GR, and Somerville, LH. "Mechanisms of motivation-cognition interaction: challenges and opportunities." Cognitive, affective & behavioral neuroscience 14.2 (June 2014): 443-472. (Review) Full Text


Dopaminergic Neuromodulation of Decision Making in Young and Middle-Aged Adults awarded by Vanderbilt University (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2018