Henly Gate
Credit: Tony Mastres

About Us

In the Yu Emotion Science Lab (YES Lab), we combine behavioral experiments, neuroscience techniques and computational modeling to understand the relationship between emotion and morality, and how they are integrated in the brain. Specifically, we are interested in how neural systems represent and integrate morally relevant information (e.g., intentionality, agency, consequence) and in how this gives rise to emotions such as guilt and gratitude. A related question is how individuals' moral character modulates these processes, thereby regulating the magnitude and quality of the output emotions. To answer these questions, we develop life-like interactive tasks and combine them with cognitive neuroscience methods (e.g., fMRI, eye-tracking) and computational modeling. This allows us to elicit and measure emotions as they naturally occur in social interactions, and explain them in terms of generalizable and psychologically meaningful mathematical frameworks. The long-term goal is to understand how antecedents (or “thought”) embedded in social encounters are represented and transformed into morally significant emotions, and how emotions are integrated into moral evaluations.

Join the YES Lab

For undergraduate students, if you are interested in joining the YES Lab as a research assistant, please fill out this Form. If you have any question, please contact the Lab Coordinator, Mesude Okhan (mokhan@ucsb.edu).