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.

Email
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 influence decision-making and memories, and she hopes to explore this in both clinical and marketing contexts. Outside of the lab, Hayoung loves to be creative through photography and writing, and she is also passionate about education and mental health.

Email
Xinyue Li

Xinyue Li

Graduate Student

Xinyue is a 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 travelling.

Defne Buyukyazgan

Defne Buyukyazgan

Undergraduate RA

Defne is an international (Turkish) fourth year in the College majoring in Math & Psych. She is very interested in the process of decision making and how it interacts with memory, language, and motivation and the neuro-computational processes that govern these interactions. She also works at the Center for Decision Research @ Booth on campus. In her free time, she likes to go to Latin Dance practices, take landscape photos and edit them & learn programming.

Abby Shivers

Abby Shivers

Undergraduate RA

Abby is a third 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!

Emanuele Guidi

Emanuele Guidi

Undergraduate RA

Emanuele is a fourth year in the college, majoring in Statistics and Economics. He is very interested in analyzing cool and unique datasets, such as the ones that arise by studying decision making. He has also taken an interest in behavioral economics, and is interested in understanding how and why people make the decisions that they do, and how much past experiences factor into those decisions. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, reading articles, analyzing random datasets and working out.

Margarita Hovsepyan

Margarita Hovsepyan

Summer Undergraduate RA

Margarita is a fourth year psychology major at University of California, Los Angeles. She is interested in the factors that influence neural health – from nutrition to environment. Specifically, she hopes to study the relationship between stress and decision-making. Outside of the lab, Margarita spends her time sewing, painting and eating fruits.

 Daniella Conner

Daniella Conner

Summer Undergraduate RA

Daniella is a third year undergraduate at UChicago majoring in Comparative Human Development and minoring in HIPS and Biology. 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.

Alumni

Undergraduate Research Assistant: Aidan Grogan