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.

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
MD, Dartmouth College
I am interested in modeling transference, insight, self-concept, metacognition, and motivation on a computational level as a way of appreciating therapeutic alliance and conflict in clinical encounters.

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.

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.

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 phenomena such as social decision-making and impulsivity. I use human imaging and computational modeling to examine how and why maladaptive behaviors are performed sparingly by healthy individuals but excessively and compulsively in those with psychiatric disorders.

Elise Ball, B.S.
M.S. student in Biomedical Science
B.S. in Psychology, Mary Baldwin University
Coming from a background in psychology, I am especially curious about abnormal psychology, memory, and personality disorders. I am interested in examining decision making and perceived power in social situations – especially among psychiatric populations – in order to inform clinical approaches to diagnoses and treatments.


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

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