Ajay Satpute – Ph.D., Lab Director

Ajay Satpute

Curriculum Vitae


I am an assistant professor at Northeastern University in the psychology and neuroscience departments and director of the ABSLAB.  The main focus of our lab is to understand how people classify their subjective experiences into socially meaningful categories, and particularly those relating to affect (e.g. ‘pleasantness’) and emotion (e.g. ‘anger’ or ‘sadness’). A long-term goal of my work is to enable predictions–using neuroscience–for the kinds of categories people use to describe their experience.  This may help us understand what another person’s subjective experience is like (i.e. bridging the subjectivity gap), and may also help inform questions of enduring theoretical interest, such as, when do people’s subjective experiences match their behavioral decisions, and whether and how our categories also shape perception experience. To address these questions, our lab uses behavioral techniques couple with neuroimaging techniques, ranging from high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at 7 Tesla to ambulatory imaging using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS).

Kent Lee – Post-doctorate


I am a postdoc in the lab. I am interested in studying how representations of bodily states (affect) and prior experiences (concept knowledge) combine to form emotions, attitudes, perceptions and other socially-relevant mental phenomena using social cognitive, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging methods.

Rose Cooper – Post-doctorate


I am a postdoctoral research fellow in the lab. I was previously a postdoc in the Memory Modulation Lab at Boston College and completed my PhD in Psychology at the University of Cambridge. My research is focused on understanding how we subjectively represent past events, how memories are transformed from perceptual experience, and how brain networks support these processes. My goal is to develop methods that allow us to predict the qualities of subjective representations, including memories and affective states, from behaviour and the brain. I have used multiple methods in my work, including behavioural assessments, fMRI, EEG, and eye tracking, and I am excited to incorporate machine learning tools into my future research.

Stephanie Fiedler – Lab Manager


I graduated with a B.A. in psychology from Boston University. After graduation, I worked as an RA at Harvard in Ellen Langer’s Lab, then as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the A.A. Martinos Center at MGH in Changning Wang’s Lab. I am interested in using neuroimaging and social cognitive methods to study the interaction between behavior and neural representations of social interaction and connection, attachment, and theory of mind. I am a big fan of coffee and lifting weights.

Yiyu Wang – Graduate Student


I graduated with a B.S in Psychology from the University of Washington. After graduation, I worked for one year as a research assistant at the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab. I am interested in combining computational modeling and neuroimaging to study the neural basis of affective and cognitive processes. I am particularly interested in the neural representations that give rise to subjective experiences.

Alessia Iancarelli – Graduate Student


I received my B.S. in psychology at the University of L’Aquila (in Italy) and my Master in Clinical and affective psychology at the University of Geneva (Switzerland). After my graduation, I moved to Boston where I worked as a research assistant at Harvard in Sidanius’Lab. Currently, I am interested in moral violence and its neuro-representation in the brain. I am interested in neuroimaging, machine learning analysis (predictive coding), and chocolate.

Kieran McVeigh – Graduate Student


I am from Middlesex, Vermont.  I am broadly interested in Psychological Constructivism, particularly the biological and psychological effects of different conceptualizations of the same sensation, how malleable existing conceptualizations are, and the ways one’s body’s state affects cognition.  I am also an avid surfer, skier, and rock climber.

Serena Benjamin – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nihal Chaudhary – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Rachel Feiner – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Mariana Fonesca – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Rosa Hamilton-Leak – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Maria Harsvik – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Zhaolin (Helen) Li – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Yueting (Alexandra) Lu – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Briana Murphy – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Rasvitha (Rosie) Nandru – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jvalanti Prasad – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Danielle Russo – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sacha Sergent – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nasim Sheikhi – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Cassandra Stent-Torriani – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Donnell Weldon – Undergraduate Research Assistant