Omar D. Perez
I'm an Assistant Professor at the Department of Industrial Engineering in the University of Chile, where I landed after being a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in Neuroscience at the Reward and Decision Making Lab in Caltech, working in Neuroeconomics under the mentorship of John O'Doherty. During that time I was also a part-time Instructor Professor and Researcher at the Nuffield College Centre for Experimental and Social Sciences (CESS) in the University of Santiago Chile.
I did my Ph.D. studies in computational psychology in the Department of Psychology and the Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience Institute at the University of Cambridge, under the co-supervision of Mike Aitken, Amy Milton and Anthony Dickinson. Previously, I earned a B.Sc. in Economics and an M.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Santiago Chile.
Some of the questions I try to address in my research are the following: Are our decisions based only on the comparison of utility or value among different options? How can our decisions be most of the time driven by variables that we are not consciously aware of? Why do we make decisions automatically, even when we know the consequences are not optimal? How do such automatic processes control behavior to the extent that they seem irrational and detrimental to our well-being? How does emotion and motivation come to control our otherwise controlled and rational behavior? To study these questions, I borrow ideas from Psychology, Behavioral Economics and Cognitive Neuroscience.