Brooks Casas

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Professor, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute
College of Science Faculty Fellow
Faculty, Cognitive Neuroscience & Biopsychology
Faculty, Clinical Science
Office Address
Fralin Biomedical Research Institute
2 Riverside Circle, R1111
Roanoke, VA 24016
Office Phone
Curriculum Vitae
Short Bio
The Casas lab uses a blend of decision neuroscience, behavioral economics, and social psychology – approaches which when jointly brought to bear on complex social phenomena, provide tractable and clear answers about how humans make decisions about, among, and for one another. The lab’s experiments have focused on inter-related questions including: How do two people trust each other? How do individuals balance their own interests with the interests of others? How do risk preferences change across the lifespan and under social influence?

Casas also pursues understanding of neural computations underlying decision-making abnormalities of psychopathology. Psychiatric illnesses, from substance abuse to borderline personality disorder, include primary features that can be studied as impaired decision-making in social and non-social contexts. In current and planned work, my lab leverages our normative work in these areas to investigate neural substrates that give rise to aberrant behavior.

2023-present Professor, Virginia Tech, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and Department of Psychology, Roanoke/Blacksburg, VA
2016-2023 Associate Professor, Virginia Tech, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and Department of Psychology, Roanoke/Blacksburg, VA
2016-present Affiliate Faculty, Virginia Tech, School of Neuroscience, Blacksburg, VA
2016-present Affiliate Faculty, Virginia Tech, Department of Economics, Blacksburg, VA
2013-present Virginia Tech, Faculty of Health Sciences, Blacksburg, VA
2011-present Core Faculty, Virginia Tech, School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, Blacksburg, VA
2011-present Faculty, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Roanoke, VA
2011-present Research Scientist, Salem VA Medical Center, Research Service Line, Salem, VA
2010-2016 Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and Department of Psychology, Roanoke/Blacksburg, VA
2008-2011 Research Scientist, Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center, Research Service Line, Houston, TX
2007-2010 Assistand Professor, Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience and Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Houston, TX
  • decision neuroscience
  • experimental psychopathology
  • interpersonal decision-making
  • functional magnetic resonance imaging
Recent Courses Taught
  • Advanced Topics in Decision Neuroscience, PSYC 6954
  • Fundamentals of Cognitive and Brain Science, TBMH 5074
  • Fundamentals in Neuroscience, TBMH 5014
Select Publications
  • Lauharatanahirun, N, Maciejewski, DF, Kim-Spoon, J, King-Casas, B. (2023). Risk-related brain activation is linked to longitudinal changes in adolescent health risk behaviors. Dev Cogn Neurosci.
  • Brown VM, Zhu L, Solway A, Wang JM, McCurry KL, King-Casas B, Chiu PH. (2021). Reinforcement learning disruptions in individuals with depression and sensitivity to symptom change following Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. JAMA Psychiatry 78:1113-1122.
  • Chung D, Orloff MA, Lauharatanahirun N, Chiu PH, King-Casas B. (2020). Valuation of peers' safe choices is associated with substance-naïveté in adolescents. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 117(50):31729-31737.
  • McCurry KL, Frueh BC, Chiu PH, King-Casas B. (2020). Opponent effects of hyperarousal and re-experiencing on affective habituation in posttraumatic stress disorder. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging 5(2):203-212.
  • Wang JM, Zhu L, Brown VM, De La Garza R, Newton T, King-Casas B, Chiu PH (2019). In cocaine dependence, neural prediction errors during loss avoidance are increased with cocaine deprivation and predict drug use. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging 4:291-299
  • Lauharatanahirun N, Maciejewski D, Holmes C, Deater-Deckard K, Kim-Spoon J, King-Casas B (2018). Neural correlates of risk processing among adolescents: Influences of parental monitoring and household chaos. Child Dev 89(3):784-796.
  • Kim-Spoon J, Maciejewski D, Lee J, Deater-Deckard K, King-Casas, B (2017). Longitudinal associations among family environment, neural cognitive control, and social competence among adolescents. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience 26:69-76.
  • Chung D, Christopoulus GI, King-Casas B, Ball SB, Chiu PH. (2015). Social signals of safety and risk confer utility and have asymmetric effects on observers’ choices. Nature Neuroscience 18(6), 912-916.
  • Zhu L, Jenkins AC, Set E, Scabini D, Knight RT, Chiu PH, King-Casas B, Hsu M. (2014). Damage to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex affects tradeoffs between honesty and self-interest. Nature Neuroscience 17:1319-21.
  • Christopoulos GI and King-Casas B. (2014). With you or against you: Social orientation dependent learning signals guide actions made for others. NeuroImage 104:326-35.
  • King-Casas B, Chiu PH. (2012). Understanding interpersonal function in psychiatric illness through multiplayer economic games. Biological Psychiatry 72(2), 119-25.
  • Kishida K, King-Casas B, Montague PR. (2010). Neuroeconomic approaches to mental disorders. Neuron 67, 543-57.
  • Rilling JK, King-Casas B, Sanfey A. (2008). The neurobiology of social decision-making. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 18, 159-65.
  • King-Casas B, Sharp C, Lomax-Bream L, Lohrenz T, Fonagy P, Montague PR. (2008). The rupture and repair of cooperation in borderline personality disorder. Science 321, 806-810.
  • King-Casas, B, Tomlin, D, Anen, C, Camerer, CF, Quartz, SR, Montague, PR (2005). Getting to know you: Reputation and trust in a two-person economic exchange. Science 308:78-83.
  • 2005-2007 Postdoc, Dept of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine
  • 1997-2005 Ph.D. Psychology, Harvard University
  • 1992-1996 A.B. Philosophy, Harvard University