Lab Director

Carolyn Parkinson, Ph.D.

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Carolyn studies how the human brain tracks and encodes information about its social environment, and how this information shapes our thoughts and behavior. She received her B.Sc. from McGill University in Montreal. After completing her B.Sc., Carolyn spent a year in China overseeing cross-cultural research on depression at Beijing University. She then completed her Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience at Dartmouth College with Thalia Wheatley before becoming an Assistant Professor at UCLA in 2016.

Lab Manager

Ryan Hyon

Ryan graduated with a B.A. in Neuroscience from Dartmouth College in 2017. There, he wrote his honors thesis on how motivational content, visuospatial perspective, and individual differences in empathy modulate representations of appetitive actions. He is interested in using neuroimaging and social network analysis to study how the brain represents friendship and human connection.


Meng Du


Meng graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in psychology and computer science. She is broadly interested in many aspects of social neuroscience, especially applying computational models and machine learning methods to understand how our brains process social experience and infer other people's minds.

Graduate Students


Miriam Weaverdyck

Miriam is a first year graduate student in the lab.  She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and Mathematical Sciences from Bethel College, KS in 2013. After college, Miriam was the lab coordinator for the Laboratory for Developmental Language Studies at Rutgers University for a year and then spent two years as the lab manager of the Social Neuroscience Lab at Princeton University. Her most recent work has focused on neural representations of mental states in ourselves and others, while future work will investigate our understandings of social networks and their influences.

If you're interested in joining the lab as a Ph.D. student next fall, please apply to the UCLA Ph.D. program by Dec. 1.


Yuchen Li

Yuchen is a senior at UCLA working towards her B.A. in psychology. She has been involved in research on visual perception, home literacy environment, learning and memory, and depression support groups. She is interested in studying the social factors that may interact with memory to influence current and future behaviors. Currently, she is conducting her honors thesis research on social networks and behaviors. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology.



Catherine Trinh

Catherine is a second-year majoring in psychology with a concentration in criminology and a minor in cognitive science. She has been involved in research regarding interpersonal group therapy and the Dark Triad of Personality. Her main interest lies in studying how psychopathology affects everyday social interaction, and she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology.


Zeynep Gungor

Zeynep is a senior at UCLA working towards her B.A. in psychology. As a Turkish international student that attended a German high school, her diverse background has strongly influenced her interest in how the brain integrates social and cultural information. In particular, Zeynep is interested in studying how these neural mechanisms shape social cognition and behavior. She hopes to pursue a career in industrial and organizational psychology.


Grace Gillespie

Grace graduated with a B.A. in psychology from UCLA in 2016. She has been involved in research that examines affect labeling as a form of emotion regulation as well as research that examines stereotype threat and social stigmas. She is primarily interested in social neuroscience and perception and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in social psychology.

If you're interested in joining the lab as a research assistant, please complete this online application form.


Information for those interested in joining the lab as postdoctoral fellows can be found here.


Ruby Basyouni - Former CSNL Psychology Research Opportunity Programs (PROPS) undergraduate research assistant, now lab manager/research assistant in Dr. Maital Neta's Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Vanessa Castro - Former CSNL undergraduate honors student, now pursuing her Ph.D. in Psychology at UC Berkeley in Dr. Serena Chen's Self, Identity, and Relationships Lab.

Fini Chang - Former CSNL undergraduate research assistant, now a research associate at the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at UCLA.

Mary Decker - Former CSNL lab manager, now pursuing her M.D. at Harvard Medical School.

Taylor Pio - Former CSNL undergraduate research assistant, now a research assistant at the UCLA School of Medicine.