Ajay B. Satpute
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Affiliate Member of Neuroscience
Department of Psychology
647 N. College Way
Pomona College
Claremont, CA 91101
ajay.satpute@pomona.edu

Ajay is a psychologist and neuroscientist studying emotion and social perception. His research draws on behavioral and neuroscience methods to develop a functional architecture for how people categorize their social experiences. A long-term goal is to understand this architecture to the degree that it enables predictions for the kinds of categories people use. Doing so may help triangulate upon what another person’s subjective experience is like, and may also help inform questions of enduring theoretical interest such as under what conditions do people’s subjective experiences match their nonverbal behaviors or choices, and whether and how language may shape social experience. To address these questions, I make use a of broad array of neuroimaging tools ranging from high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at 7 Tesla to ambulatory imaging using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), and analytical tools including univariate and multivariate/pattern recognition analyses, connectivity analyses, and meta-analysis.

Academic Background: I began studying these questions as an undergraduate at Trinity University (the one in San Antonio TX, not Dublin or Vermont), where I was fortunate to have Dr. Paula Hertel as my academic advisor in psychology. I also took an excellent course in social cognition at the University of Bristol, taught by Dr. Neil Macrae, which in part lead me to pursue social cognitive neuroscience in graduate school. After working in an imaging lab as a research assistant with Todd Braver’s at Washington University in St. Louis, I completed my graduate studies at UCLA in 2008 with Drs. Matt Lieberman and Russ Poldrack. I “post-doc”ed at Columbia University with Dr. Kevin Ochsner and with Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett at Northeastern. Currently, I work as an assistant professor of psychology and in neuroscience at Pomona College in Claremont, CA.