We are a cognitive neuroscience lab that uses behavioral and neuroscience methods as well as computational modeling to study learning and decision making.

One focus we have is on answering basic cognitive neuroscience questions about things related to reinforcement learning, categorization, and decision-making.  We like to use mathematical models in this endeavor.

A second focus is to take the experimental paradigms, mathematical models, and analysis approaches we have developed through basic cognitive neuroscience research and use the to ask applied questions.

We are funded by the National Institute on Aging to examine how aging influences decision-making. We are also examining how things like impulsivity, substance use, dopaminergic affinity, personality, and other individual differences affect things like reward processing and decision-making.


Dr. Darrell Worthy – Principal Investigator


Dr. Worthy is the director of the Worthy Motivation and Cognition Interface Lab and an associate professor at Texas A&M University. He received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology & Neuroscience from the University of Texas at Austin.  He joined the department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Texas A&M University in 2010, and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2015.

Faculty Page

David Yang – 5th year graduate student

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Dong Yu (David) Yang completed his M.S. in Psychology at National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan. In his thesis, he investigated what affects working memory capacity. Working as a research assistant, he began an early cognitive neuroscience career at different institutes. Now he is pursuing a Ph.D. in the WorthyLab. David’s research interests are human decision-making modeling and simulation. He is also interested in cognitive models and functional imaging studies.

Kaiti McOwen – 2nd year graduate student


Kaiti completed her degree at Indiana Wesleyan University in 2019, obtaining a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Statistics. She plans to pursue a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, with broad research interests in memory and stress. Her past research experience includes studies of PTSD, counterfactual thinking, and other-oriented perspective taking.

Former students

Astin Cornwall, Ph.D. – received Ph.D in 2021, employed as a data scientist at a government lab.

Hilary Don, Ph.D. – postdoc from 2018-2020

Kaileigh Byrne, Ph.D. – received Ph.D. in 2017, Assistant Professor at Clemson University

Bo Pang, Ph.D. – received Ph.D. in 2017, Graduate Student in Statistics, UCLA

Crina Silasi-Mansat, Ph.D. – received Ph.D in 2015, Assistant Professor at Stephens College

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