Ralph Adolphs, Ph.D.

Bren Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Biology, California Institute of Technology
Portrait photo of Ralph Adolphs

Ralph Adolphs is the Bren Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Biology at the California Institute of Technology. His lab investigates the psychological and neurobiological underpinnings of social cognition in humans. Much of his work has focused on human emotions, and in particular on the role played in emotion by the amygdala. His research approach includes lesion studies in rare patients with amygdala lesions, electrophysiological recordings and stimulation of the amygdala in neurosurgical patients, and magnetic resonance imaging. His laboratory also makes comparisons to clinical populations, notably people with autism spectrum disorder. Adolphs obtained his Ph.D. from Caltech in 1992, was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Iowa with Antonio Damasio, and has now been at Caltech as Bren Professor since 2004. He directs Caltech’s Brain Imaging Center, chairs the Caltech Institutional Review Board and directs the NIMH-funded Conte Center on the Neurobiology of Social Decision-Making.

Current Project: Outer brain and inner brain: computational principles and interactions

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