Gu Laboratory


What is Computational Psychiatry?


Computational psychiatry is a new interdisciplinary field which seeks to characterize mental disorders in terms of aberrant computations at multiple scales. In recent years the field of human neuroscience, particularly functional neuroimaging, has begun to address the underlying neurobiology of changes in brain function related to psychiatric disease. This effort has produced some exciting early discoveries, but it has also highlighted the need for computational models that can bridge the explanatory gap between pathophysiology and psychopathology. The expertise and quantitative tools required to address this gap exist only across disciplines, combining skills and knowledge from investigators and clinicians that are jointly interested in solving problems of mental health.

Contact Us

Gu Laboratory
Xiaosi Gu, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor | Psychiatry
Assistant Professor | Neuroscience

Recent Publications









Fan J, Gu X, Liu X, Guise KG, Park Y, Martin L, de Marchena A, Tang CY, Minzenberg MJ, Hof PR. Involvement of the anterior cingulate and frontoinsular cortices in rapid processing of salient facial emotional information. Neuroimage. 2011 Feb 1;54(3):2539-46. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.10.007. Epub 2010 Oct 16. PubMed PMID: 20937394; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3006498.


















Xiaosi Gu, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator
My research examines the neural and computational mechanisms underlying human beliefs, decision-making, and social interaction in both health and disease using fMRI, lesion, neuropharmacology, and computational modeling.
Follow me on Twitter. Download CV.

Vincenzo Fiore, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
PhD in Psychobiology and Psychopharmacology, Sapienza – Università di Roma
My main interest is in the field of dynamic neural networks, focussing on bio-constrained connectionist models of action/attention selection and decision making.
Twitter | Personal website

Anastasia Shuster, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
PhD in Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University
I am interested in social behavior and decision-making. I use a combination of computational, economic and neural approaches to study questions like why people make dishonest choices and what drives individual differences in prosocial tendencies.
Twitter | Personal website | CV

Ofer Perl, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
PhD in Neuroscience, Weizmann Institute of Science
Coming from a background in human olfaction research, I now shift gears to ask how bodily rhythms interact with perceptual and cognitive processes and how the olfactory system can be used to probe these links. Another field I’m interested in is memory, and specifically how our brains map, represent, and organize spaces of abstract information.

Jihan Ryu, M.D.
Resident Psychiatrist at the Mount Sinai St. Lukes-West Hospitals/ISMMS
M.D., Dartmouth College

His research interest involves modeling perception, attachment, theory of mind, and social cognition on a computational level in severe mood, trauma, and personality disorders and monitoring neurobiological changes in psychotherapy treatment.

Yuyang Luo, Ph.D
Postdoctoral Fellow (co-mentored by Dr. Alex Charney)
Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
I am interested in the application of machine learning techniques to exploit useful neurobiological information from high dimensional, complex temporo-spatial, and low sample size neuroimaging data. The implementation may help us predict individual mental traits and behavioral dispositions from brain imaging data, which would contribute to understanding the connection between the cognitive state and neurobiological features.
Research Gate | Google Scholar | Twitter

Matt Heflin, B.S.
Lab Manager
B.S. in Human Development, Cornell University
I’ve always had an interest in what happens below our conscious experience and how these subconscious processes exert influence over our waking lives. I enjoy research on the origins, both psychologically and neurologically, of our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. I plan on pursuing a PhD in either Neuropsychology or Clinical Psychology.

Qixiu Fu, B.A.
Research Assistant (co-mentored by Dr. Helen Mayberg)
B.A. in Experimental and Research Psychology (with Honors), New York University
I am interested in computational psychiatry and studying complex psychological experiences like pain and desperation. I am deeply amazed by statistical and computational methods, and I am excited to learn more about brain-imaging techniques and psychiatric disorders.
Personal website | Twitter

Soojung Na, M.A.
Ph.D. candidate
MA in Social Psychology, Seoul National University
I have always wondered what makes us possess different views and thoughts, not limited to individual differences but including variations across situations and cultures. The most fascinating approach I have found so far is to explore the neural and computational mechanism of the valuation system that leads one to behavioral decision making.
Google Scholar 

Kaustubh Kulkarni, B.A.
M.D./Ph.D. candidate (co-mentored by Dr. Daniela Schiller)
B.A. in Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rutgers University
Broadly, I am interested in understanding the dynamics of brain architecture in psychiatric disorders by studying the underlying cognitive, emotional and social processes. I aim to utilize computational and statistical modeling to uncover and characterize the hidden variables responsible for maladaptive states in these disorders.

Sarah Banker, B.A.
Ph.D. candidate (co-mentored by Dr. Jennifer Foss-Feig and Dr. Daniela Schiller)
B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior, Wesleyan University
I am interested in understanding the neural mechanisms of aberrant social behavior and decision-making in psychiatric disease. Specifically, my research aims to combine computational modeling, human neuroimaging, and clinical assessment to examine impairments in social interaction in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Misophonia.

Madeline O’Brien, B.A.
Ph.D. candidate
BA in Psychology and Theatre, Northwestern University
I am interested in exploring the functional neural markers of evolutionarily preserved antisocial behaviors. I use human imaging and computational modeling to elucidate the hidden neurocomputational mechanisms of anger and aggression in psychiatrically healthy individuals, so that they might be more readily understood in the context of psychiatric disorders that feature aggressive behavior as a prominent symptom.

Arianna Neal, B.S.
M.D./Ph.D. candidate
B.S. in Psychology and Neuroscience, Yale University
I’ve always been fascinated by how neurochemical and molecular interactions in the brain can give rise to the mind that creates such complex higher-order cognitive states — such as mood, emotion, and learning — as well as how computational models can be used to elucidate and interrogate the mechanisms underlying these cognitive processes. I am specifically curious about the neurocomputational and neurochemical signatures of happiness and how invasive voltammetric methods can be used to probe the neurochemistry of happiness as it varies along naturalistic variables.


In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that the science community needs to come together to reinforce the transparency of scientific conduct in order to enhance the rigor and reproducibility of research. This is a cultural shift, a crucial and necessary one (because we all have seen too many studies, even published ones, that end up having no impact on science and society or cannot be replicated). Here is a list of resources we rely on to conduct and promote open and reproducible science –

The Center for Open Science and its Open Science Framework (OSF)
Includes these functions: pre-registration, code sharing / depository, project wiki (where we pre-register our studies).

Stanford Center for Reproducible Neuroscience
Led by Ross Poldrack & one of the first platforms that promotes open neuroscience

A free and open platform for analyzing and sharing neuroimaging data

A public repository of unthresholded statistical maps, parcellations, and atlases of the brain

Lab News

Our research assistant, Sylvia Blackmore, will be pursuing an MSc at UCL this fall. While we are sad to see her go, we are so excited to see what she does next. Best of luck Sylvia! (September 2020)

We are excited to announce several new grants that will expand our research into exciting new areas. With our close collaborators at Virginia Tech Carilion, we have received a new grant to begin collecting human voltammetry data at Mount Sinai. (September 2020)

Alongside Drs. Foss-Feig and Schiller, we have received funding for a project to use fMRI and computational models to characterize social deficits in individuals diagnosed with ASD. (September 2020)

Welcome to the lab, Caroline McLaughlin! (September 2020)

Welcome to the lab, Sarah Banker! (September 2020)

Welcome to the lab, Arianna Neal! (September 2020)

Welcome to the lab, Qixiu Fu! (September 2020)

Welcome to the lab, Dr.Yuyang (Leo) Luo! (September 2020)

Check out Xiaosi’s recent feature in VICE discussing the future direction of Psychiatry as a field and the benefits of Computational Psychiatry. (August 2020)

Ju-chi Yu, a former graduate student, and Vincenzo Fiore, one of our senior scientists, recently published a new study examining uncertainty in cocaine users: An insula‐driven network computes decision uncertainty and promotes abstinence in chronic cocaine users. (July 2020)

Welcome to the lab, Dr. Ofer Perl! (September 2019)

Check out our new paper on interoceptive inference and computational psychiatry! (August 2019)

Two more NIH-funded projects just started in our lab – one on social cognition (thank you NIMH!) and one on impulsivity and addiction (thank you again NIDA!) (August 2019)

Congratulations to Dr. Vincenzo Fiore for his recent publication in Neural Networks! (May 2019)

​Welcome to the lab, Dr. Anastasia Shuster! (January 2019)

​We’ve been awarded a NIDA R01 to examine cue reactivity using computational modeling. Go team! (September 2018)

​Everyone with addiction is NOT the same. Here is why – read our latest paper that uses a computational model to simulate addiction heterogeneity.

​Xiaosi’s Ted talk is now available online.

​How does pain sensitivity relate to autism? Read our latest study.

​How does the brain encode self? Read our latest review article on “self as object”.

​Is the craving brain Bayesian? Read our latest opinion piece on addiction.

London-New York Computational Psychiatry Course

Dates: July 29-30, 2019 Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY Register:


Zurich Computational Psychiatry Course

Dates: September 2-6, 2019
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
See event website for detailed information.

SFN workshop: Next Generation Computational Psychaitry

Dates: October 17-18, 2019
Location: Chicago, IL

Annenberg 2584
Phone: 212-241-5067
Office: 212-241-5067
Lab: 212-241-4143