People

Akram Bakkour

Akram Bakkour

Assistant Professor & Lab Director

Akram founded the Bakkour Memory and Decision lab in 2020. He received a BS in Neuroscience from Brown University and a PhD in Neuroscience from The University of Texas at Austin. Akram then completed his postdoctoral training at Columbia University before moving to Chicago. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at The University of Chicago.

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Hayoung Ahn

Hayoung Ahn

Lab Manager

Hayoung received her B.A. in Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology from Harvard University, where she studied how language can be used as a tool for emotion regulation. She is broadly interested in how emotions such as stress influence our imagination of the future, as well as the choices we make on a daily basis. Outside of research, Hayoung enjoys practicing creative skills such as photography and writing. She is also passionate about education, mentorship, and mental health. 

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Euan Prentis

Euan Prentis

Ph.D. Student

Euan is a doctoral student in the Cognitive Psychology Program. He received his B.A. in Psychology from New York University, before working as a Research Specialist at the University of Pennsylvania for two years. He is broadly interested in how structured information about the world is encoded in memory, and how this knowledge is used to facilitate flexible decision-making. Outside the lab, Euan spends his time playing the guitar, watching live music, and exploring Chicago with his camera.

Xinyue Li

Xinyue Li

Research Assistant (former Master's Student)

Xinyue is a former student in the MA Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS) at the University of Chicago. As an undergraduate, she went to University of California, San Diego with a double major in Psychology and Communication. She is broadly interested in the cognitive mechanisms of episodic memory and decision-making, and the interactions between them. During her free time, Xinyue enjoys anime, video games, films and traveling.

Abby Shivers

Abby Shivers

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Abby is a fourth year in the College double majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology. She is very interested in the numerous facets of the world that alter how the mind functions as well as the neural circuitry underlying them. Specifically, she is growingly interested in what factors affect every day processes, like decision making, and how this knowledge could be implemented in many areas of society, such as clinical work and neuroeconomics. In her free time, she enjoys baking, walking to the lake, traveling, and trying new coffee places!

 Daniella Conner

Daniella Conner

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Daniella is a fourth year undergraduate at UChicago double-majoring in Biology and Comparative Human Development. She is interested in the way our brain is shaped by past experiences and how this impacts our interactions with the world. She wishes to understand how different factors can influence the way experiences are stored as memories as well as how these memories are utilized in various decision-making scenarios. When not in lab, Daniella enjoys doing arts and crafts, playing soccer, learning to tap dance, and caring for her houseplants.

Lucas Mantovani

Lucas Mantovani

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Lucas is a third-year Brazilian student in the College double-majoring in Computer Science and Media, Arts, and Design. He is passionate about using software engineering to create applications that explore human decision-making processes through game development and Machine Learning. Outside the lab, he is interested in reading, travelling, and working out.

Omar Fernandez

Omar Fernandez

Undergraduate Research Assistant — NESSTP Summer Program

Omar is a third year UChicago undergraduate student double-majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology. He is broadly interested in the complex processes of memory, learning, and sensation as well as the role they play in processes such as decision making and how we form our perceptual understanding of the world. He is also interested in mental health, neurological disorders, and education. In his free time, Omar enjoys cycling, dancing, and watching new TV shows.

Lab Alumni

MAPSS Students: Yuye (Flory) Huang (currently Postgraduate Associate at Yale University)

Undergraduate Honors Students: Defne Buyukyazgan (currently Lab Manager at Brown University)

Undergraduate Research Assistants: Emanuele Guidi, Aidan Grogan, Margarita Hovsepyan (summer)