Sandy Tanwisuth

PhD Candidate in Cognitive Neuroscience
UC Berkeley Psychology

About me!

Hello! I'm Sandy, a first year PhD candidate in Cognitive Neuroscience at UC-Berkeley, Psychology.
I look inside ours brain to inspire artificial general intelligences.

How our brains map observations in the world to drive actions in our behaviors is not yet fully understood. Since we are reward maximizers, I'm curious about how our brains manage our cognitive resources while interact with others to collaborate or to compete. Do we only care about external rewards but are forced to interact with each others due to constraints in the world? Or do we perhaps possess a separated goal as an intrinsic motivation to infer others' mental states?

I investigate how learned information in the brain about others’ actions translates into decisions in a continuous social decision-making problems. I utilize computational tools, methods in cognitive neurosciences, and frameworks in behavioral economics in my research. In short, I look inside our brains to understand how we encode social valuations; then, I read the brain information to inspire general intelligence machines.

FYI: I am an aspiring pet owner who enjoy yoga and meditations. Rick and Morty and Westworld are the best shows ever created! I LOVE MUSIC!! I like to go to the beach and go hiking, if I get a chance. The website background is a great view from Altadena Crest Trail, Los Angeles.
TLDR; I am a basic California girl :)


Graduate Research Assistant at UC Berkeley
August 2019 to present

Research Assistant at Caltech
August 2017 to July 2019

Honors Thesis Student at ASU
December 2015 to August 2017


University of California, Berkeley
PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychology
2019 - 2024

Barrett the Honors College, Arizona State University
BS in Mathematics with minors in Cognitive Science and Symbolic Systems
2013 - 2017


Kiyohito Iigaya, Sanghyun Yi, Iman Wahle, Sandy Tanwisuth and John P. O'Doherty, "Science meets art: Attribute-based computation as a general principle for building subjective value", Reinforcement Learning and Decision Making(RLDM) Conference , Montréal, Québec, Canada, 2019.

Eva R. Pool, Mladena Aleksic, Anna Cremer, Rani Gera, Dylan A. Manfredi, Omar D. Perez, Stephanie Quail, Sandy Tanwisuth, Ahmet Ceceli, Elizabeth Tricomi, Bernard Balleine, Gideon Nave, Tom Schonberg, Lars Schwabe, and JohnP. O’Doherty, “Does anxiety moderate training duration effects on habits in humans? Determining the effects of anxiety on the experimental induction of habits in an instrumental outcome devaluation task.”, Manuscript Under-review at Nature Human Behavior, 2019.