Gregory Russell Samanez-Larkin

Gregory Russell Samanez-Larkin

Jack H. Neely Associate Professor

External Address: 
LSRC, Box 90999, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
LSRC, Box 90999, Durham, NC 27708
Office Hours:


Research in our lab examines how motivation, emotion, and cognition influence decision making and health behavior across the life span. Our research is at the intersection of a number of subfields within psychology, neuroscience, and economics including human development, affective science, cognitive neuroscience, behavioral economics, and consumer finance. We use a combination of behavioral and neuroimaging techniques ranging from detailed measurement of functional brain activity (fMRI) and neuroreceptors (PET) in the laboratory to experience sampling measures of experience and behavior in everyday life, wearable measures physical activity and sleep, and real-world measures of financial management. The goal of our translational research is to make discoveries using the tools of basic science that could inform the development of interventions, products, or services that would enhance health and well being across the life span.

In the classroom, I teach quantitative research methods and statistics, applications of neuroscience research for everyday life, and evidence-based course design in higher education.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Stanford University 2010

  • M.A., Stanford University 2008

Selected Grants

Behavior and Physiology in Aging awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2015 to 2025

Network For Emotional Wellbeing And Brain Aging (NEW Brain Aging) awarded by University of Rochester Medical Center (Principal Investigator). 2021 to 2025

Duke Summer Training in Academic Research (Duke's STAR) BIOGEN awarded by Biogen Foundation (Investigator). 2021 to 2023

Effects of Aging on Episodic Memory-Dependent Decision Making awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2023

REU Site: Lifespan Approaches to Diverse Psychological Science awarded by National Science Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2020 to 2023

Research Network on Decision Neuroscience and Aging awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2022

Short Courses in Neuroeconomics and Social Neuroscience awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2022

Forming Science-Industry Partnerships to Link Everyday Behaviors to Well-Being awarded by Stanford University (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2020

Dopaminergic Neuromodulation of Decision Making in Young and Middle-Aged Adults awarded by Vanderbilt University (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2019

NEUROMODULATION OF MOTIVATED COGNITION AND DECISION MAKING ACROSS ADULTHOOD awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2012 to 2018

Samanez-Larkin, G. R. “Chapter 3 - Decision Neuroscience and Aging.” Aging and Decision Making: Empirical and Applied Perspectives, 2015, pp. 41–60. Scopus, doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-417148-0.00003-0. Full Text

Sofia Beas, B., et al. “Chapter 2 - Modeling Cost-Benefit Decision Making in Aged Rodents.” Aging and Decision Making: Empirical and Applied Perspectives, 2015, pp. 17–40. Scopus, doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-417148-0.00002-9. Full Text

Samanez-Larkin, G. R., et al. “Financial decision making across adulthood.” The Psychological Science of Money, 2014, pp. 121–35. Scopus, doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-0959-9_6. Full Text

Knutson, B., and G. R. Samanez-Larkin. “Brain, Decision, and Debt.” A Debtor World: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Debt, 2013. Scopus, doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199873722.003.0007. Full Text

Seaman, Kendra L., et al. “Temporal discounting across adulthood: A systematic review and meta-analysis.Psychology and Aging, vol. 37, no. 1, Feb. 2022, pp. 111–24. Epmc, doi:10.1037/pag0000634. Full Text

Bazley, William, et al. Can the Past Hinder Investor Learning? Nov. 2021.

Castrellon, Jaime, et al. Dopamine biases sensitivity to personal goals and social influence in self-control over everyday desires. Sept. 2021. Epmc, doi:10.1101/2021.09.10.459829. Full Text

Sinclair, Alyssa H., et al. “Pairing facts with imagined consequences improves pandemic-related risk perception.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 118, no. 32, Aug. 2021. Pubmed, doi:10.1073/pnas.2100970118. Full Text

Seaman, Kendra L., et al. “Decision Making across Adulthood during Physical Distancing.Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn, Aug. 2021, pp. 1–13. Pubmed, doi:10.1080/13825585.2021.1962793. Full Text

Sinclair, Alyssa H., et al. “Imagining a personalized scenario selectively increases perceived risk of viral transmission for older adults.” Nature Aging, vol. 1, no. 8, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, Aug. 2021, pp. 677–83. Crossref, doi:10.1038/s43587-021-00095-7. Full Text

Burr, Daisy A., et al. “Emotion dynamics across adulthood in everyday life: Older adults are more emotionally stable and better at regulating desires.Emotion (Washington, D.C.), vol. 21, no. 3, Apr. 2021, pp. 453–64. Epmc, doi:10.1037/emo0000734. Full Text Open Access Copy

Sinclair, Alyssa Hannah, et al. Imagining a Personalized Scenario Selectively Increases Perceived Risk of Viral Transmission for Older Adults. Mar. 2021. Epmc, doi:10.31234/ Full Text

Castrellon, Jaime J., et al. “Dopaminergic modulation of reward discounting in healthy rats: a systematic review and meta-analysis.Psychopharmacology, vol. 238, no. 3, Mar. 2021, pp. 711–23. Epmc, doi:10.1007/s00213-020-05723-5. Full Text