Joseph Kable

Jean-Marie Kneeley President's Distinguished Professor of Psychology
BS, Chemistry, Emory University;
Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania
Office Location: 
D505, Richards Building, 3700 Hamilton Walk
Research Interests: 
Behavioral Neuroscience
Cognitive Neuroscience
Decision Processes
Individual Differences
Specific Research Areas: 

Psychological and neural mechanisms of choice behavior

Research Synopsis: 

I am interested in understanding how people make decisions, and in tracing out the underlying psychological and neural mechanisms of choice. Research in my lab employs an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on methods and ideas from social and cognitive neuroscience, experimental economics, and personality psychology. Recently we have used fMRI to show how the subjective value people place on immediate and delayed rewards is represented in a common neural currency. Some broad questions motivating our current research include: How seriously do people’s choices deviate from rational choice theory, and what do the neural value signals in such situations help explain about these deviations? How does decision making differ across individuals, and what are the sources—psychological, genetic, neural—of such individual differences?


Professor Joseph Kable will not be considering new graduate students for admission for Fall 2024.


Selected Publications: 

Glaze, C. M., Kable, J. W., Balasubramanian, V., and Gold, J. I. (in press) A bias-variance trade-off governs individual differences in on-line learning in an unpredictable environment. Nature Human Behaviour.

Jung, W. H., Lee, S., Lerman, C., and Kable, J. W. (2018) Amygdala functional and structural connectivity predicts individual risk tolerance. Neuron, 98: 394-404.

Pehlivanova, M., Wolf, D. H., Sotiras, A., Kaczkurkin, A., Moore, T. M., Ciric, R., Cook, P. A., Garcia de La Garza, A., Rosen, A., Ruparel, K., Sharma, A., Shinohara, R. T., Roalf, D. R., Gur, R. C., Davatzikos, C., Gur, R. E., Kable, J. W., and Satterthwaite, T. D. (JWK and TDS co-last authors). (2018) Diminished cortical thickness is associated with impulsive choice in adolescence. Journal of Neuroscience.

Kable, J. W., Caulfield, M. K.*, Falcone, M., McConnell, M.*, Bernardo, L., Parthasarathi, T.*, Cooper, N.*, Ashare, R., Audrain-McGovern, J., Hornik, R., Diefenback, P., Lee, F., and Lerman, C. (2017). No effect of commercial cognitive training on brain activity, choice behavior or cognitive performance. Journal of Neuroscience, 37: 7390-7402.

Kable, J. W., and Levy, I. (2015). Neural markers of individual differences in decision making. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 5: 100-107.

McGuire, J. T. and Kable, J. W. (2015). Medial prefrontal cortical activity reflects dynamic reassessment of subjective value during voluntary persistence. Nature Neuroscience, 18: 760-766.

Cox, K. and Kable, J. W. (2014). BOLD subjective value signals exhibit robust range adaptation. Journal of Neuroscience, 34: 16533-16543.

McGuire, J. T.*, Nassar, M. R.*,  Gold, J. I. and Kable, J. W. (2014). Functionally dissociable influences on learning rate in a dynamic environment. Neuron, 84: 870-881.

Mukherjee, D.* and Kable, J. W. (2014). Decision-making impairment in mental illness: a meta-analysis. Clinical Psychological Science, 2: 767-782.

Vo, K., Rutledge, R., Chatterjee, A., and Kable, J. W.  (2014). Striatum is necessary for stimulus-value but not action-value learning in humans. Brain, 137: 3129-3135.

Bartra, O., McGuire, J. T., and Kable, J.W. (2013). The valuation system: A coordinate-based meta-analysis of BOLD fMRI experiments examining neural correlates of subjective value. NeuroImage, 76: 412–427.

Cooper, N. S., Kable, J. W., Kim, K., and Zauberman, G. (2013). Brain activity in valuation regions while thinking about the future predicts individual discount rates. Journal of Neuroscience, 33: 13150-13156.

Kurzban, R., Duckworth, A., Kable, J. W., and Myers, J. (2013). An opportunity cost model of subjective effort and task performance. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36: 661-679.

McGuire, J. T., and Kable, J.W. (2013). Rational temporal predictions can underlie apparent failures to delay gratification. Psychological Review, 120: 395-410.

Camille, N., Griffiths, C. A., Vo, K., Fellows, L. K., Kable, J. W. (2011). Ventromedial frontal lobe damage disrupts value maximization in humans. Journal of Neuroscience, 31: 7527-7532.

Courses Taught: 
PSYC 160 Personality & Individual Differences
PSYC 473 Neuroeconomics


Christian Benitez [Psychology Graduate Student]
Camilla van Geen  [Psychology Graduate Student]
Kristin Brethel-Haurwitz [Post-doc]
Karolina Lempert [Post-doc]
Alex Filipowicz [Post-doc]