Wouter Kool

principal investigator

Wouter is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. He was born in the Netherlands, where he earned a B.Sc. in Psychology from Leiden University. After moving to the United States, he earned his Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Princeton University, and then was a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University.

In his free time, Wouter enjoys distance running, cooking good food, mixing cocktails, playing games, and making music. He is a fan of AFC Ajax and the Netherlands national football team, and he believes that punk rock is the best music genre.
Davide Gheza

postdoc

Davide joined the CDM lab to extend his research on cognitive effort within the domain of reinforcement learning. He completed his undergraduate studies in Psychology at the University of Padova, Italy. He then moved to Gent University (Belgium), where he earned his Ph.D. in 2019. His doctoral research focused on motivational and reward processes during performance monitoring. He then moved to the University of Göttingen (Germany) for his first postdoctoral appointment, following up on his research on the motivating role of effort and reward information, and on neurophysiological signatures of effort allocation.

In his free time, Davide enjoys running and cycling and (not) thinking about fatigue, working on his pizza dough recipe, and giving broken stuff a second life.
Jackson Colvett

collaborating graduate student

Jackson is a collaborating graduate student in the Control and Decision Making Lab. He is primarily appointed in another lab in WashU's psychology department, the Cognitive Control and Aging Lab. Before moving to Saint Louis, Jackson graduated from Wake Forest University.

Jackson's primary research interests are how cognitive control states are learned, and whether learned control states are applied in new and similar situations. Outside of the lab, you can find Jackson hiking, running around Forest Park, or drinking at the local coffeeshops and breweries (favorites: Rise and Heavy Riff). When he can, Jackson also likes to make and compete in trivia contests.
Chris Ahn

graduate student

Chris joined the Control and Decision Making Lab in the Fall of 2022 after having worked in the industry for several years. While tackling business issues as a consultant, he developed an interest in the psychological issues underlying many organizational problems and decided to study psychology full-time. His research interests are in how both rational and irrational cognitive factors affect an individuals' decision to engage in to either model-based or model-free decision-making strategies.

In his free time, he likes to engage in simple arts and crafts projects, exercise, and travel around St.Louis with his family.
Merve Ileri-Tayar

collaborating graduate student

Merve is a 3rd year graduate student in the Behavior, Brain, & Cognition PhD program. She joined the CDM lab as a collaborating graduate student in her second year in the program. Her research mainly focuses on learning and transfer of attentional control settings. She is investigating how people learn the associations between experienced conflict and implemented control settings, and how they transfer these control settings to novel situations. At the CDM Lab, her work focuses on demand avoidance effect and how the environmental changes influence it. Additionally, she investigates the effect of global and local expectations on the adjustment of attentional control settings over and above the influence of experience.

Wouter Kool

email
cv

Thea Zalabak

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Davide Gheza

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Abhishek Dey

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Lauren Treiman

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Cathy Zhang

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Chris Ahn

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Duygu Yücel

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Ata Karagoz

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Merve Ileri-Tayar

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Ke Ning

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Ananya Nath

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Trey Hepp

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Leyla Vilic

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Xintian Wang

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Lab alumni

Bettina BustosLab manager 2019-2021Grad student, University of Iowa
Jackson ColvettCollaborating graduate student, 2019-2023Assistant professor, Berry College