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RADLab People


RADLab Director: Dr. Gaurav Suri 


Dr. Gaurav Suri,
Associate Professor &
Director RADLab


Dr. Gaurav Suri is a computational neuroscientist and an experimental psychologist. He is interested in studying the brain mechanisms that shape human cognitions, emotions, and actions. 

Dr. Suri is an Associate Professor at San Francisco State University. 

Dr. Suri obtained his Ph.D. from Stanford University. He also has an M.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Stanford University.

Dr. Suri is the recipient of numerous awards, honors, fellowships and research grants. His research has been published in leading journals including Psychological Review, NatureTrends in Cognitive Science, Psychological Science, and Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Dr. Suri is the director of the Readiness, Activation and Decision-making Laboratory (RADLab) at SFSU. In addition to his research, Dr. Suri teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in machine learning, data-science, neuro-economics, regression theory and cognitive psychology. 


Dr. Suri came to academics as the 'second innings' of his career. Prior to academics​, Dr. Suri was a Managing Director at Deloitte Consulting. He is also the founding member of two successful entrepreneurial ventures. Finally, Dr. Suri is a co-author of the prize-winning novel, A Certain Ambiguity (Suri & Bal, Princeton, 2007). 

RAD Lab Manager

Catalina Phe 

Catalina graduated with a degree in Psychology from SFSU. Her current research involves the phenomenon of emotion regulation choice, with an emphasis on overcoming choice preferences. In addition to her current research she also finds interest in the allurement of cognitive neuroscience, specifically looking at neural networks from a connectionist point of view when analyzing psychological wonders. When she isn't dedicating her time to academia you can find her walking around the city, capturing moments through film photography, or at a live music venue.

RADLab Graduate Students


Ali Ziaee

Ali is a second-year master's student of the Mind, Brain, and Behavior program at SFSU. His current field of research revolves around identifying the barriers to evidence-based psychotherapy, with a special emphasis on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).


Maggie Vashel

Maggie is a second-year graduate student in the Mind, Brain and Behavior (MBB) program. Her research is focused on the mechanism for concepts and categories that are learned on-the-fly. She is also interested in attention, self-control, implicit learning and using computational modeling. Prior to starting at SFSU, Maggie worked in data analytics in health care, with her most recent role as the senior director of a large analytic consulting team. She has a husband, a daughter in middle school, and a pit bull mix, and enjoys playing pickleball and banjo.


Richard Tian

Richard is a second-year graduate student in the Mind Brain and Behavior program. He is interested in decision-making, memories, and emotions. His current research project focus on the impairment of emotions, specifically in a subclinical personality trait known as Alexithymia. He enjoys watching movies and TV shows


Rashmi Bhuyan

Rashmi is a second-year graduate student in Mind, Brain, and Behavior Concentration. Her research interest includes examining emotional inertia and the change in affective trajectories. In her free time, Rashmi enjoys reading books and exploring the city.

Caitlin Claunch

Caitlin is a first-year graduate student in the Mind, Brain and Behavior program. She is interested in studying cognitive affective processing and neural networks. She is currently researching emotion regulation choice tendencies within humans and a large language model, ChatGPT, using linguistic vignettes. Caitlin enjoys dancing ballet, pole dancing, spending time with loved ones and exploring around San Francisco!

Kae Lee

Kae is a first-year in the Mind, Brain, & Behavior (MBB) program. They are interested in abnormal psychology, with an emphasis on cognition, and its resulting effect on a person's behavior/decision making. They are currently working on a project that puts a spotlight on ADHD and mind wandering, with the hope of furthering research into the relationship between ADHD and mind wandering, while continuing to hone their skills in preparation for future doctoral interests in clinical psychology and aspiring professorship. When not sitting in front of a computer, Kae can be usually found wearing an apron in the kitchen as a passionate home cook & baker, or writing music while sitting at the piano as a hobbyist composer.

Undergraduate Researchers

Bella Benzaken

Bella Benzaken is a senior psychology student and research assistant in the RAD Lab. She enjoys learning about decision making, neural networks and consciousness. Apart from academics she is passionate about playing instruments including the viola, guitar, ukulele and electric bass. She hopes to one day focus on researching the connections between music and cognition. 

Ashley Bramer

Ashley Bramer is a 4th year undergraduate student majoring in psychology. They are interested in the formation of short-term and long-term memory processes throughout the development of the brain. Outside of academia they enjoy finding new food places in the city with friends. 

Daniela Ibarra

Daniela is currently in her senior year of her undergraduate journey. Her goal is to obtain her BA in psychology as well as a certification in data science. She is eager to continue her education and apply to PhD programs where she would be able to continue to learn about decision-making, emotion regulation, and perception. One of her particular interests is understanding the brain to better comprehend psychopathology and why mental illnesses exist/are developed. Daniela is also involved with Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology, in an attempt to get as involved in the psychology field as possible. 

Emily Wang

Em is a senior undergraduate in psychology and research assistant. With a focus on the psychology of decision making, biases, and data science; they also have experience in and actively practice in Python and R. They have aspirations to become a data scientist and researcher, as well as to get their Master's and PhD one day. Beyond the lab, they enjoy 3D modeling and digital art and fantasizes about more green energy bills being passed through the governments.

RADLab Alumni


Madeline Holcomb

Madeline graduated with a Masters of Arts in Psychological Science in 2022 and summa cum laude in 2019 with a B.A. in Psychology. Her research focuses on psychological inertia, specifically examining the driving factors behind the phenomenon. Her other research interests include temporal discounting, emotion regulation, and social facilitation. In Madeline's free time she enjoys photography, spending time in Golden Gate Park, and trying new restaurants in the city.

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Minjeong (MJ) Kim

MJ graduated with a Masters of Arts in Psychological Science in 2022.  She is interested in the mechanism of bias-free decision making algorithms. She is currently working on designing a course for the intersection of data science and psychology. She is also a cat-lover.

Anna Sarkisyan

Anna graduated with a Masters of Arts in Psychological Science in 2022. Her research interests include implicit learning and memory. She is specifically interested in how these processes work with associative tasks such as the weather prediction task. Anna enjoys staying active, spend time with loved ones, and spending time with her dog.


Fuzhe Xie

Fuzhe graduated with a Social Psychology M.A. in 2021. Fuzhe's research focused on emotion regulation and decision making. She is interested in why people choose specific emotion regulation strategy in different situations and how children learn to express and regulate emotion. Fuzhe's thesis project investigated eye-movement pattern during decision making process of two emotion regulation strategies. She likes cooking and climbing.


Martha Maldonado-Clark

Martha graduated with a Social Psychology M.A. in 2021. Martha's research interests surrounded emotion regulation and emotion regulation choice, decision making, and behavioral economics. She investigated how culture intersects with each of these concepts. In her time at SFSU, she worked on a project to investigate if the anchoring phenomenon could be eliminated. Martha likes to spend her free time with friends, exploring the outdoors, spending time at the beach, traveling and trying new cuisines.


Swati Ramnath

Swati graduated with a Social Psychology M.A. in 2021. Swati's research focused on understanding ways in which psychology can be combined with technology to provide innovative solutions for real-world problems. Her thesis project investigated depression apps in India. Her other interests include psychological inertia and framing effect.


Laura Kosbie

Laura graduated with a Social Psychology M.A. in 2020. Laura studied the phenomenon of decision paralysis that accompanies a decision between two desired alternatives. Her thesis project looked at potential drivers of decision paralysis, including dispositional differences such as levels of anxiety and regret aversion. Laura set out to create a model of decision making that could predict when decision paralysis would occur based on the nature of the unique decision environment and the unique variables the individual brings to the decision. 


Courtney Ko

Courtney graduated with a Social Psychology M.A. in 2020. Courtney was a graduate student in the Mind, Brain, and Behavior Program. Her main interests during her time at SFSU were computational psychology,  emotion, and decision-making. She worked on building a neural network based on how children gradually learn emotion categories. She also investigated how emotion regulation is heavily influenced by expectations. 

Ashish Mehta

Ashish graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from SFSU. He has a wide range of interests, among which include studying the contextual factors that give rise to different forms of emotion regulation, as well as the consequences that result from such decisions. Ashish is also enchanted by the magic of statistics and computational modeling. Starting Fall 2019, Ashish is pursuing his Ph.D. in psychology at Stanford University

Alyssa Christine Wicker

Alyssa graduated from the Psychology Master’s program in the Social, Personality and Affective Sciences concentration in 2018. Her Master’s thesis examined the contexts in which psychological inertia is most influential. Alyssa is pursuing her PhD in Marketing at U.C. Riverside.

Gerald Young

Gerald graduated with a Social Psychology M.A. in 2018. His research focuses on understanding why there are cross-cultural differences in emotion regulation outcomes and identifying the mechanisms driving these effects. His thesis is specifically investigating these questions with respect to depressive rumination. Gerald is pursuing his PhD in psychology at U.C. Berkeley.

Shanyu Kates

Shanyu graduated with a Social Psychology M.A in 2018. Her research investigates how emotion regulation can intervene the process between emotions and judgment and decision making. Her thesis project examined whether cognitive reappraisal promotes conflict resolution during anger experiences. Shanyu is pursuing her PhD  in psychology at Boston University.

Gretchen Andazola

Gretchen graduated with a Developmental Psychology M.A. in 2018 from San Francisco State University. She graduated cum laude from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Her research focuses on positive parenting, and on exploring the various ways in which parents positively influence their children’s development.

Lena Ryoo

Lena was a graduate student in Developmental Psychology Master's program. Her research interests include decision making in contexts of emotion and emotion regulation, effects of chronic interpersonal trauma, change in self-concept, and attachment. She is also interested in education equity, public education, and social justice. Most recently she has worked on a project involving emotion regulation in naturalistic, recurrent contexts.

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Lily Slater

Lily graduated from the Social, Personality and Affective Science program.  She is interested in the cognitive mechanisms involved in attention, judgement and decision making and how these processes play out in behavior. Her current research is examining mind wandering as well as investigating the cognitive parallels between Large Language Models and human behavior. In her spare time, Lily enjoys cooking up a feast with her family and friends. 
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Erin Courtney

Erin graduated from the Social, Personality, and Affective Science program. He is interested in decision-making, belief formation, and emotion regulation. His current research focuses on emotion regulation choice, specifically investigating the implicit preferences for particular emotion regulation strategies. In his free time, Erin enjoys body surfing, hiking, and reading.

Serena Rayan

Serena graduated with a Bachelor’s in Health Science with Summa cum laude honors and honors in the major. Her research interests are in anchoring and consumer behavior. Serena is currently researching the role of extreme anchors in anchoring bias. Outside of research, she enjoys spending time outdoors, reading and traveling.


Jesse Simnegar

Jesse received an M.A. in the Social, Personality and Affective Science program. He is interested in decision-making, and particularly in the biases that result in irrational decisions, as well as the mechanisms behind them. Jesse enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, hiking, camping, and playing chess.  


Kathy Wannaviroj

Kathy obtained her M.A. in the Mind, Brain and Behavior program. She is interested in neural networks and understanding the processes of the brain. Her current research investigates backpropagation and contrasting other learning rules that train neural networks. In her free time, she enjoys going on hikes with friends and exploring different bakeries in the bay area. 

RADLab Collaborators

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Heidi Wallace

Heidi is a currently leading a project investigating the contextual factors that influence cognitive control. She is interested in judgement, decision-making, and choices as they occur in the real world, especially the contextual factors that lead to suboptimal decisions and actions. She will be pursuing a Master of Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley in the Fall, where she plans to study the public policy applications of behavioral science, as well as social policy research and data science in public policy.

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Teagan Bullock

Teagan is a second-year graduate student in the Biochemistry M.S. program at SFSU, and a visiting graduate student researcher in UCSF's Department of Psychiatry. Her research interests include computational, systems, and molecular neuroscience. Her current research project is investigating mechanisms underlying the shift in neural circuit dynamics that facilitates learning and acquisition of active avoidance behavior. Outside of lab, Teagan can be found at the beach, gardening, or collecting records

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Fatemeh Jafary

Fatemeh is a second-year graduate student in the marriage and family therapy program at Pepperdine University. Her research interests focus on trauma, culture, emotion, and emotion regulation. She is interested in working with marginalized minority groups and the different emotion regulation strategies they utilize to cope with racial anxiety and stereotype threat. She is involved in a project investigating the middle eastern's experience and perceived discrimination and stereotyping in the USA.

RADLab People 2022-2023

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