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.

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 Dr. Ellen Langer’s Lab, then as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the A.A. Martinos Center at MGH in Dr. Changning Wang’s Lab. I am interested in using neuroimaging and social cognitive affective methods to study the interaction between behavior and neural representations of social interaction and connection, attachment, decision-making, and theory of mind. I am a big fan of coffee and lifting weights.

Josh Rodriguez – Research Assistant

I graduated with a B.S. in Data Science and Psychology from here at Northeastern University. I am generally interested in causal and computational models of affective and decision-making processes. I also enjoy local music, comics, and cycling.

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.

Seher Abbasi – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kristina Abyad – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Weslyn Cai -Undergraduate Research Assistant

Mariana Fonesca – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Max Garris – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nicole Groussis – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Allie Guo – High School Summer Research Assistant

Natalie Hackman – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Khanhdu Sara Ho – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jack Keith – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ella Lanzaro – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Zhaolin (Helen) Li – Undergraduate Research Assistant, Thesis Student

Lauren Maldonado – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Katie Malloy- Undergraduate Research Assistant

Rasvitha (Rosie) Nandru – Undergraduate Research Assistant, Thesis Student

Erin O’Neill – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Remie Paguio – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Danielle Russo – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Catherine  Schuessler – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Béatrice Schueller – Research Assistant

Krystal Qiao – Co-op

Samantha Wong – Undergraduate Research Assistant