Social and Affective Neuroscience Lab

Web Page:
Phone Number: 541-346-4909

Lab Email: 
berkmanatuoregon [dot] edu

Lab Description and Research Focus:

The objective of our research is to understand why people succeed or fail in their goals.  Success or failure is the outcome of “goal pursuit,” or the process of guiding one’s actions toward the attainment of a goal.  Because this requires coordination not only in a single moment but also across a lifetime, our studies focus on time spans ranging from a few seconds to a few months.  Furthermore, because goal pursuit requires integration of a number of psychological factors, we examine the interaction among neural processes, behavior, and subjective experience in each time frame.  A central aim of our work is to forge links between these systems.

      We believe that the best way to bridge levels of analysis is to combine the distinct strengths of several research methods.  This approach combines functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with cross-sectional and longitudinal survey methods and laboratory experiments.  As part of this research program, we develop and use using new statistical techniques to integrate data across a number of experimental methods, including structural equation modeling (SEM), idiographic analysis of fMRI data, and joint hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) of fMRI and behavioral data.


Berkman, Elliot