Omar D. Perez
I'm a Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate in Neuroscience at the Reward and Decision Making Lab in the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), working in Neuroeconomics and Behavior with Prof. John O'Doherty. I'm also a part-time Assistant Professor and Researcher at the Nuffield Centre for Experimental and Social Sciences in the University of Santiago, Chile.
Prior to my arrival in California, I received a B.Sc. in Economics and M.Sc. in Mathematical Sciences from the University of Santiago, Chile. I did my Ph.D. studies in computational learning and decision-making in the Department of Psychology and the Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience Institute at the University of Cambridge, under the co-supervision of Prof. Mike Aitken, Dr. Amy Milton and Prof. Anthony Dickinson.
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.