Ifat Levy, PhD

Associate Professor of Comparative Medicine and of Neuroscience

Office 203-737-1374 Email ifat.levy@yale.edu

I am interested in the neural mechanisms underlying decision-making in humans, in individual differences in these mechanisms, and in the possible contribution of decision traits to pathological behavior. Our research focuses on decision-making under uncertainty, and on value learning and encoding. To study these topics we combine behavioral economics methods with functional MRI, as well as eye tracking and physiological measurements.

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Or Duek, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate

As a clinical psychologist, I have worked with children and their families that underwent traumatic event at a PTSD clinic in Soroka University Medical Center. Also worked as a research coordinator as part of a European study that examines the outcome of traumatic brain injury in children and adults.


Ruonan Jia

Graduate Student 

Email ruonan.jia@yale.edu

I am a Neuroscience PhD student and joined the lab in 2015. Prior to Yale, I studied General Biology for my B.S. degree at Nanjing University, China, and was strongly drawn to Neuroscience back then. I am interested in studying individual differences in decision-making through the scope of psychiatric disorder, as well as the neural mechanism of value-based decision making in different life domains. I am also broadly interested in developing computational skills in neuroscience.

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Ruby Larisch

Lab Manager

Email ruby.larisch@yale.edu

Ruby joined the Levy lab as a postgraduate associate in November 2018. Ruby earned a BA in Psychology from Reed College, and has previously worked in auditory research with the Barr-Gillespie lab at Oregon Health and Science University, and in behavioral economics with the Hackenberg lab at Reed College. Ruby is especially interested in improving ecological validity in decision-making tasks.


Megha Chawla

Postgraduate Associate

Email megha.chawla@yale.edu

Megha is a post-graduate researcher at the Levy Lab where she is using functional and structural neuroimaging data to examine the effects of development on the behavioral and neural correlates of decision making. She graduated with honors from the University of Southern California where she obtained a BA in Psychology. She then obtained an MRes in Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology from the joint program run between University College London and Yale University. Megha is passionate about using neuroimaging to elucidate the typical and atypical development of brain processes across the lifespan.


Oluwafikunmi (Kunmi) Sobowale, MD

Resident Research Associate

Email kunmi.sobowale@yale.edu

Dr. Sobowale is a psychiatry resident at the Yale School of Medicine. His interest is preventative and early interventions to alleviate the burden of disease of mental illness, particularly mood disorders, for vulnerable populations including women, children, and adolescents. Currently, he is exploring whether reward processing deficits can be used to improve mental illness diagnosis and identify those at high-risk. His education includes University of Chicago (MD), Stanford Inter-University Center for Japanese Studies, and Yale University (BA: Behavioral Neuroscience).

Yutong Li

Postgraduate Associate

Email yutong.li@yale.edu

Yutong has been a postgraduate researcher in the Levy Lab since July 2018. Prior to coming to Yale, she graduated from Bates College where she earned a BS in Neuroscience. At the Levy Lab, Yutong works with functional imaging, eyetracking and behavioral data to interpret clinical outcomes, as well as human cognitive functioning. She is interested in life-span cognitive development, especially in the context of decision making and learning. She is also highly motivated to learn computational methods in neuroimaging data analysis.


Undergraduate interns

Bryan Gu

Anna Thorndike

Sean Gao

High School Students

William Zhu

Lab Alumni

Associate Research Scientist

Helen Pushkarskaya, PhD


Jennifer Fanning

Ellen Furlong (Laurie Santos' lab)

Lior Rosenberg Belmaker

Lital Ruderman

Haley Yarosh (lecturer)

Graduate Students

Zhihao Zhang

Postgraduate Associates and Research Assistants

Austin Anderson

Daniel Ehrlich

Sarah Kim

Kirk Manson

Simon Podhajsky

Visiting Students and Researchers

Wenting Chen

Venkat Lakshminarayanan


Sarah Abdallah         

Esthena Brutten              

Emily Chen                       

Adrianne Conant             

Matson Conrad                 

Amrutha Dorai 

Jacquelyn Du                

Rebecca Garland             

Esteban Garza                 

Matthew Girardi               

Franziska Goer 

Sarah Healy                            

Daniel Henick                   

Aruba Hussein                  

Patrick Kenney                  

Ariel Kirshenbaum            

Katarina Krasulova            

Genny Ladiges

Patricia Lu

Ishtiaq Mawla

Ona McConnel

Katherina Mueck

Yumiko Nakamura

Jessica Perfetto

Alex Popkin

Naintara Rajan

Katherine Rich

Naima Ross

Pooja Salhotra

Sana Samnani

Dominic Schnabel

Danielle Shorenstein

Lucas Sin

Frazer Tessema

Jeannie Tran

Nancy Wang

Dan Weiner

Jonathan Yu

High-School Students

Sean Gao

Yogasai Gazula

Charlotte Wang