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Ajay Satpute

Ajay Satpute

Assistant Professor

Mailing Address:

125 NI (Nightingale Hall), Boston, MA 02115


  • Affective Neuroscience, Emotion, Modeling of Behavioral and Neural Data, Neuroimaging, Social Neuroscience

Professor Ajay Satpute is director of the Affect and Brain Science (ABS) lab. Research in his lab focuses on two main areas. The first area examines the neural basis of affect including pleasure and pain, emotion (e.g. fear), and interactions between affect/emotion with cognition. Current research questions include: Does language shape emotional experience? Do fear of heights, spiders, and social situations share a core fear system or is fear distributed? Can we improve predictions of people’s emotional responses using a value-based decision making model? And how do brain stem nuclei play a role in affect and emotion? The second area examines large-scale computational architectures of the brain with the goal that it will advance theory and research in affective neuroscience. Current projects include using meta-analysis across multiple psychological domains (i.e. emotion, working memory, social cognition, etc.), examining changes in network architecture over time, and predictive coding models of neural computation. The lab addresses these questions by collecting behavioral and brain imaging (e.g. MRI) data, examining variation across participants (e.g. trait anxiety, cross-cultural variation), and implementing a variety of analytical techniques including computational modeling and machine learning. The ABS lab maintains strong collaborative ties with several other psychology, neuroscience, engineering, and computer science labs at Northeastern University.

Ajay Satpute in the news

What People Who Don’t like Music Might Tell Us about Social Interaction

Northeastern professors Ajay Satpute and Psyche Loui are studying the link between music and social interaction. They're asking whether the brain phenomenon that makes music undesirable to five percent of the population is also what impairs social bonding in people with autism spectrum disorders.