Luis Sebastian Contreras-Huerta

DPhil student

My research focuses on understanding the neural and psychological mechanisms that underlie moral concern, altruism, and empathy. In particular, I am interested in what environmental and internal factors affect the decisions of an agent towards the well-being of others in moral contexts. In order to address these goals, I use methods from cognitive neuroscience, such as functional magnetic resonance (fMRI), together with computational modelling approaches, and behavioural paradigms. My work is carried out under the supervision of Dr. Matthew Apps, Dr. Molly Crockett and Dr. Geoff Bird.

My current projects tie in with previous research on social neuroscience I conducted at the University of Queensland, Australia, during my MSc studies. There, I focused on understanding how social factors, such as race, can modulate neural empathic responses to others’ pain. Following my MSc studies I worked as an associate researcher at Universidad Diego Portales, Chile, on the impact of socially vulnerable contexts on empathy and social cognition. During my DPhil studies I hope to further expand my previous research, by investigating modulating factors not only in regard to social cognition but also social actions.

 
 

                                       PUBLICATIONS

RACIAL BIAS IN NEURAL RESPONSE TO OTHERS' PAIN IS REDUCED WITH OTHER-RACE CONTACT

Cao, Y., Contreras-Huerta, LS., McFadyen, J., & Cunnington, R., 

2015, Cortex

INTERGROUP RELATIONSHIPS DO NOT REDUCE RACIAL BIAS IN EMPATHIC NEURAL RESPONSES TO PAIN 

Contreras-Huerta LS., Hielscher E., Sherwell C., Rens, N., Cunnington R., 

 

2014, Neuropsychologia

STOCHASTIC MODEL PREDICTS EVOLVING PREFERENCES IN THE IOWA GAMBLING TASK 

Fuentes MA, Lavín C, Contreras-Huerta LS, Miguel H and Rosales Jubal E.,

2014, Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience

RACIAL BIAS IN NEURAL EMPATHIC RESPONSES TO PAIN

Contreras-Huerta LS, Baker KS, Reynolds KJ, Batalha L, Cunnington R.,

2013, PLoS ONE

BRAIN POTENTIALS RELATED TO FEEDBACK ON THE STUDY OF LEARNING AND ECONOMIC DECISION MAKING [Spanish]. 

Lavín, C., San Martín, R., Bravo, D., Contreras, L. & Isla, P.

2011, Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología

CORRELATIONS OF RECOGNITION MEMORY PERFORMANCE WITH EXPRESSION AND METHYLATION OF BRAIN-DERIVED NEUROTROPHIC FACTOR IN RATS  

Muñoz, P., Aspé M., Contreras L. and Palacios A.,

2010, Biological Research