Michael L. Platt

James S. Riepe University Professor

BA, Biomedical Anthropology, Yale University

Ph.D., Biological Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania

Our lab studies the biological mechanisms that underlie decision-making and social interaction, the grasp of which has broad-scale implications for improving health, welfare, and business in societies worldwide. Current interests focus on applying insights and technology from brain science to business, particularly questions in branding, marketing, management, finance, innovation, and elite performance. Sports provides a crucible for validating many of these applications. 

Our work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Klingenstein Foundation, the McDonnell Foundation, the EJLB Foundation, the Simons Foundation, the Kaufman Foundation, and the Department of Defense, as well as by funding from companies like Vanguard, Mars, Slalom, Glassview, Fox Media, and the Philadelphia Flyers. Michael was awarded, and subsequently renewed, a MERIT award from the National Institute of Mental Health and was an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow. Michael is the author of “The Leader’s Brain” (Wharton Press) and has written over 170 peer-reviewed papers and over 60 review and opinion papers. Michael was awarded the Master Teacher/Clinician Award from the Duke University School of Medicine and the Teaching Commitment and Curricular Innovation Award from the Wharton School. He is the former Director of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke, and the founding Co-Director of the Duke Center for Neuroeconomic Studies. Michael created and directs the executive education course “Neuroscience of Business” and the online course “Neuroscience in Business” for Wharton Executive Education. Michael works closely advising companies, professional sports teams, and other organizations. Our work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, the Guardian, and National Geographic, as well as on ABC’s Good Morning America, NPR, CBC, BBC, MTV, and HBO Vice. He currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of multiple companies, as well as the Yang-Tan Autism Centers at MIT and Harvard and the National Primate Research Centers at Emory and UC Davis, served on the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Brain Science, served as President of the Society for Neuroeconomics, consulted on The Fountain by Darren Aronofsky, and co-founded the neurotechnology company Cogwear Technologies Inc.


Research Interests: 

Animal Learning and Behavior
Control of Action
Decision Processes
Individual Differences and Behavior Genetics

Specific Research Areas:
Brain and Society
Circuits and Behavior
Neurological and Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Department of Neuroscience (Perelman School of Medicine)
Department of Marketing (The Wharton School)
Department of Psychology (School of Arts & Sciences)

Selected Publications: 

Testard C, Tremblay S, Parodi F, DiTullio RW, Acevedo-Ithier A, Gardiner KL, Kording K, Platt ML. 2024. Neural signatures of natural behavior in socializing macaques. Nature, in press.

Testard C, Shergold C, Acevedo-Ithier A, Hart J, Bernau A, Negron-Del Valle JE, Phillips D, Watowich MM, Sanguinetti-Scheck JI, Montague MJ, Snyder-Mackler N, Higham JP, Platt ML, Brent LJN. 2024. Ecological disturbance alters the adaptive benefits of social ties. Science, in press.

Sterling P and Platt ML. 2024. Declining human fertility and the epidemic of despair. Nature Mental Health, in press.

Sharika1 KM, Thaikkandi S, Nivedita, and Platt ML. 2024. Interpersonal heart rate synchrony predicts effective information processing in a naturalistic group decision-making task. PNAS, in press.

Watowich MM, Costa CE, Chiou KL, Goldman EA, Petersen RM, Patterson S, Montague MJ, Cayo Biobank Research Unit, Horvath JE, Sterner KN, Martinez MI, Platt ML, Brent LJN, Higham JP, Lea AJ, and Snyder-Mackler N. 2024. Immune gene regulation is associated with age and environmental adversity in a nonhuman primate. Molecular Ecology, in press.

Siracusa ER, Pavez-Fox MA, Negron-Del Valle JE, PhillipsD, Platt ML, Snyder-Mackler N, Higham JP, Brent LJN and Silk MJ. 2024. Social ageing can protect against infectious disease in a group-living primate. Philosophical Transactions B, in press.

Pavez Fox MA, Escabi-Ruiz CM, Hart JD, Negron-Del Valle JE, Phillips D, Ruiz-Lambides A, Bauman SE, Cayo Biobank Research Unit, Martinez MI, Montague MJ, Platt ML, Higham JP, Snyder-Mackler N, Brent LJN. 2024. Tradeoffs between sociality and faecal parasite infection in the context of a natural disaster. Anim. Behav., in press.

Rugani R, Platt ML, Zhang Y, and Brannon EM. 2024. Magnitude shifts spatial attention from left to right in rhesus monkeys as in the human mental number line. iScience, in press.

Barack DL, Ludwig VU, Parodi F, Ahmed N, Brannon EM, Ramakrishnan A, Platt ML. 2024. Attention Deficits Linked with Proclivity to Explore while Foraging. Proc. Roy. Acad. B, in press.

Newman LE, Testard C, DeCasien AR, Chiou KL, Watowich MM, Janiak MC, Pavez-Fox MA, = Sanchez Rosado MR, Cooper EB, Costa CE, Petersen RM, Cayo Biobank Research Unit, Montague MJ, Platt ML, Brent LJN, Snyder-Mackler N, Higham JP. 2023. The biology of aging in a social world: Insights from free-ranging rhesus macaques. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, in press.

Sanchez Rosado MR, Marzan-Rivera N, Watowich MM, Negron-Del Valle AD, Pantoja P, Pavez-Fox MA, \ Siracusa ER, Cooper EB, Negron-Del Valle JE, Phillips E, Ruiz-Lambides A, Cayo Biobank Research Unit, Martinez MI, Montague MJ, Platt ML, Higham JP, Brent LJN, Sariol CA, Snyder-Mackler N. 2023. Immune cell composition varies by age, sex and exposure to social adversity in free-ranging Rhesus Macaques. Gerosciences, in press.

Chiou KL, Huang X, Bohlen MO, Tremblay S, DeCasien AR, O’Day DR, Spurrell CH, Gogate AA, Zintel TM, Cayo Biobank Research Unit, Andrews MG, Martínez MI, Starita LM,  Montague MJ, Platt ML*, Shendure J*, Noah Snyder-Mackler*. 2023. A single-cell multi-omic atlas spanning the adult rhesus macaque brain. Science Advances, in press. *co-senior authors.

Roche C, Montague M, Wang J, Dickey A, Ruiz-Lambides A, Brent L, Platt ML, and Horvath J. 2023. Yearly variation coupled with social interactions shape the skin microbiome in free-ranging rhesus macaques. Microbiology Spectrum, in press.

Watowich MM, Chiou KL, Graves B, Montague MJ, Brent LJN, Higham JP, Horvath JE, Lu A, Martinez MI, Platt ML, Schneider-Crease IA, Lea AJ, Snyder-Mackler N. 2023. Best practices for genotype imputation from low-coverage sequencing data in natural populations. In press, Molecular Ecology Resources.

Sheng F, Wang R, Liang Z, Wang X, Platt ML. 2023. The Art of the Deal: Deciphering the Endowment Effect from Traders’ Eyes. Science Advances, in press.

Salimando GJ, Tremblay S, Li J, Kimmey BA, Rogers S, McCall NM, Wooldridge LM, Wojick JA, Rodrigues A, Borner T, Gardiner KL, Jayaker S, Singeç I, Woolf CJ, Hayes MR, De Jonghe BC, Bennett FC, Bennett ML, Blendy JA, Platt ML, Creasy KT, Renthal WR, Ramakrishnan C, Deisseroth K, Corder G. 2023. Human OPRM1 and murine Oprm1 promoter driven viral constructs for genetic access to μ-opioidergic cell-types. Nature Comms, in press.

McCormack SE, Wang Z, Wade KL, Dedio A, Cilenti N, Crowley J, Plessow F, Bamba V, Roizen JD, Jiang Y, Stylli J, Ramakrishnan A, Platt ML, Shekdar K, Fisher MJ, Vetter VL, Hocking M, Xiao REA. 2023. Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial of Intranasal Oxytocin to Promote Weight Loss in Individuals with Hypothalamic Obesity. J. Endocrine Society, Volume 7, Issue 5, May 2023, bvad037.

Rennie SM, Prieur L, & Platt ML. 2023. Communication style drives emergent leadership attribution in virtual teams. Frontiers in Organizational Psychology. In press.

D’Ambrogio, S., Werksman, N., Platt, M.L. & Johnson, E.N. 2022. How Celebrity Status and Gaze Direction in Ads Drive Visual Attention to Shape Consumer Decisions. Psychology and Marketing, in press.

Ludwig VU, Berry B, Cai J, Chen N, Crone DL, Platt ML. 2022. The impact of disclosing emotions on ratings of interpersonal closeness, warmth, competence, and leadership ability. Frontiers in Psychology, in press.

Siracusa ER, Negron-Del Valle JE, Phillips D, Platt ML, Higham JP, Snyder-Mackler N, Brent LJN. 2022. Within-individual changes reveal increasing social selectivity with age in rhesus macaques. PNAS, in press.

Ludwig VU, Crone D, Clifton JDW, Rebele RW, Schor J, and Platt ML. 2022. Resilience of primal world beliefs to the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Personality, in press.

Chiou KL, DeCasien AR, Rees KP, Testard C, Spurrell CH, Gogate AA, Pliner HA, Tremblay S, Mercer A, Whalen CJ, Negrón-Del Valle JE, Janiak MC, Bauman Surratt SE, González O, Compo NR, Stock MK, Ruiz-Lambides AV, Martínez MI, Cayo Biobank Research Unit, Wilson MA, Melin AD, Antón SC, Walker CS, Sallet J, Newbern JM, Starita LM, Shendure J, Higham JP, Brent LJN, Montague MJ, Platt ML, Snyder-Mackler N. 2022. Signatures of disease and the social environment in the aging brain transcriptome. Nature Neurosci, in press.

Jiang Y and Platt ML. 2022. Oxytocin and testosterone administration amplify viewing preferences for sexual images in male rhesus macaques. Proc. Roy. Soc. B., in press.

Testard C, Brent LJN, Andersson J, Chiou KL, Negron-Del Valle JE, DeCasien AR, Acevedo-Ithier A, Stock MK, Antón SC, Gonzalez O, Walker CS, Foxley S, Compo NR, Bauman S, Ruiz-Lambides AV, Martinez MI, Skene JHP, Horvath JE, Cayo Biobank Research Unit, Higham JP, Miller K, Snyder-Mackler N, Montague MJ, Platt ML (co-senior author), Sallet J (co-senior author). 2022. Social connections predict brain structure in a multidimensional free-ranging primate society. Science Advances, vol. 8 issue 15.

O’Hearn WJ, Ruiz-Lambides A, Platt ML, and Brent LJN. 2022. Absence of evidence for contingent cooperation or long-term partner choice by direct or generalised reciprocity in a social primate. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, in press.

Rugani R, Chen Z, Platt ML, and Brannon EM. 2022. Relative numerical middle in rhesus monkeys. Biology Letters, in press.

Watowich MM, Chiou K, Montague MJ, Simons ND, Horvath JE, Ruiz-Lambides AV, Martinez MI, Higham JP, Brent LJN, Platt ML, and Snyder-Mackler N. 2022. Natural disaster and immunological aging in a nonhuman primate. PNAS, in press.

Sterling P and Platt ML. 2022. Why Deaths of Despair Are Increasing in the US and Not Other Industrial Nations: Insights from Neuroscience and Anthropology. JAMA Psychiatry, Epub ahead of print, doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.4209.

Yonce D, Ramakrishnan A, and Platt ML. 2021. A Novel Physiological Vital Sign for Anxiety. J. Precision Medicine, 7: 72-80.

Lynch W, Platt ML, and Pardes A. 2021 Development of a Severity Score and Comparison with Validated Measures for Depression and Anxiety: A Validation Study. JMIR Formative Research, 5(11):e30313. doi: 10.2196/30313.

Pavez-Fox M, Negron-Del Valle JE, Thompson IJ, Walker CS, Bauman SE, Gonzalez O, Compo N, Ruiz-Lambides A, Martinez MI, Platt ML, Montague MJ, Higham JP, Snyder-Mackler N, Brent LJN. 2021. Sociality predicts individual variation in the immunity of free-ranging rhesus macaques. Physiology and Behavior, 241:113560. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2021.113560.

Zhang X, Yan X, Stylli J, and Platt ML. 2021. Exploring the Effects of EEG Signals on Collision Cases Happening in the Process of Young Drivers’ Braking. Transportation Research Part F: Psychology and Behaviour, 80, 381-398. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trf.2021.05.010.

Testard C, Larson SM, Watowich M, Kaplinsky CH, Bernau A, Faulder M, Ruiz-Lambides A, Lehmann J, Marshall HH, Higham JP, Montague M, Snyder-Mackler N, Platt ML,* Brent LJ.* 2021. Rhesus macaques build new social connections after a natural disaster. Currrent Bio, 31(11):2299-2309.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.03.029.*co-senior authors

Janiak CM, Montague M, Villamil C, Stock M, Trujillo A, DePasquale A, Orkin J, Surratt SB, Gonzalez O, Platt ML, Martinez M, Antón S, Dominguez-Bello G, Melin A, and Higham J. 2021. Age and sex-associated variation in the multi-site microbiome of an entire social group of free-ranging rhesus macaques. Microbiome, 9(1):68.doi: 10.1186/s40168-021-01009-w.

Adams G, Ong WS, Pearson J, Watson KK, and Platt ML. 2021. Neurons in primate prefrontal cortex signal valuable social information during natural viewing. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. B: 3762019066620190666 http://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0666

Barack D and Platt ML. 2021. Neuronal activity in the posterior cingulate cortex signals environmental information and predicts behavioral variability during routine foraging Journal of Neuroscience 24 March 2021, 41 (12) 2703-2712; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0305-20.2020

Ong W and Platt ML. 2021. Neuronal correlates of strategic cooperation in monkeys. Nature Neurosci. 24: 116–128.

Tremblay S, Acker L, Afraz A, Albaugh DL, Amita H, Andrei AR, Angelucci A, Aschner A, Balan PF, Basso MA, Benvenuti G, Bohlen MO, Caiola MJ, Calcedo R, Cavanaugh J, Chen Y, Chen S, Chernov MM, Clark AM, Dai J, Debes SR, Deisseroth K, Desimone R, Dragoi V, Egger SW, Eldridge M, El-Nahal HG, Fabbrini F, Federer F, Fetsch CR, Fortuna MG, Friedman RM, Fujii N, Gail A, Galvan A, Ghosh S, Gieselmann MA, Gulli RA, Hikosaka O, Hosseini EA, Hu X, Hüer J, Inoue K, Janz R, Jazayeri M, Jiang R, Ju N, Kar K, Klein C, Kohn A, Komatsu M, Maeda K, Martinez-Trujillo JC, Matsumoto M, Maunsell JHR, Mendoza-Halliday D, Monosov IE, Muers RS, Nurminen L, Ortiz-Rios M, O’Shea DJ, Palfi S, Petkov CI, Pojoga S, Rajalingham R, Ramakrishnan C, Remington ED, Revsine C, Roe A, Sabes PN, Saunders R, Scherberger H, Schmid MC, Schultz W, Seidemann E, Sheinberg DL, Senova Y-S, Shadlen MN, Siu C, Smith Y, Solomon SS, Sommer MA, Spudich JL, Stauffer WR, Takada M, Tang S, Thiele A, Treue S, Vanduffel W, Vogels R, Whitmire MP, Wichmann T, Wurtz RH, Xu H, Yazdan-Shahmorad A, Shenoy K, DiCarlo J, Platt ML. 2020. An open resource for non-human primate optogenetics. Neuron 108: 1075–1090.

Rugani R, Platt ML, and Brannon EM. 2021. Middle identification for rhesus monkeys is influenced by number but not extent. Scientific Reports, 10, 17402 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-74533-8.

Chiou KL, Montague MJ, Goldman EA, Watowich MM, Sams SN, Song J, Horvath JE, Sterner KN, Ruiz-Lambides AV, Martínez MI, Higham JP, Brent LJN, Platt ML, Snyder-Mackler N. 2020. Rhesus macaques as a tractable physiological model of human ageing. Phil. Trans. B., in press.

Warren WC, Harris RA, Haukness M, Fiddes IT, Murali S, Dishuck P, Storer JM, Fernandes J, Raveendran M, Hillier LW, Gordon D, Vollger M, Murali, Lewis M, Mao Y, Munson KM, DeVogelaere E, Armstrong J, Diekhans M, Walker JA, Tomlinson C, Graves T, Kremitzki M, Salam S, Audano P, Escalona M, Maurer NW, Antonacci F, Mercuri L, Maggiolini F, Catacchio C, Underwood J, Oconner D14, Sanders A, Korbel J, Ferguson B, Kubisch HM, Picker L, Kalin N, Rosene D, Abbott D, Gray S, Sanchez M, Kemnitz J, Roberts J, Thomasy S, Capitanio J, Horvath J, Platt ML, Cole S, Green RE, Ventura M, Wiseman RW, Paten B, Batzer MA, Rogers J, Eichler EE. 2020. Diversity and evolutionary analyses of an improved rhesus macaque genome enhance its biomedical utility. Science, in press.

Sheng F, Ramakrishnan A, Darsol S, Zhao WJ, Thelaus S, Cen P, Platt ML. 2020. Decomposing loss aversion from gaze allocation and pupil dilation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 117 (21) 11356-11363 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1919670117.

Cullen M, Schmitt D, Granatosky MC, Wall CE, Platt ML, Larsen R. 2020. Gaze-Behaviors of Runners in a Natural, Urban Running Environment. PLOS One, in press.

McPartland James C., Bernier Raphael A., Jeste Shafali S., Dawson Geraldine, Nelson Charles A., Chawarska Katarzyna, Earl Rachel, Faja Susan, Johnson Scott P., Sikich Linmarie, Brandt Cynthia A., Dziura James D., Rozenblit Leon, Hellemann Gerhard, Levin April R., Murias Michael, Naples Adam J., Platt Michael L., Sabatos-DeVito Maura, Shic Frederick, Senturk Damla, Sugar Catherine A., Webb Sara J.,  the Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials (2020) The Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials (ABC-CT): Scientific Context, Study Design, and Progress Toward Biomarker Qualification. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, volume 14. DOI=10.3389/fnint.2020.00016  https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnint.2020.00016. 


Yufan Ye [Psychology Grad Student]