Catherine Hartley

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Learning lays the foundation for motivated behavior, enabling us to anticipate and respond adaptively to salient events. Research in my lab focuses on characterizing the diverse learning and decision-making processes that support adaptive motivated behavior. Specifically, I focus on understanding: 1) what cognitive, computational, and neural processes are engaged to predict positive and negative environmental events and evaluate potential behavioral responses, 2) how these learning and decision-making processes change over development as our environments and our capabilities also change, and 3) what factors facilitate or constrain these processes for a given individual. I use an array of methodological techniques to pursue these questions including neuroimaging, psychophysiology, computational modeling, and genetics, in conjunction with experimental paradigms that draw upon both animal learning and economic decision theories.

I received my B.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University and my PhD in Psychology from New York University. I completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Weill Cornell Medical College, after which I joined their faculty as an Assistant Professor before returning to NYU.