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

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

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

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

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

Research Network on Decision Neuroscience and Aging awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2021

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

Castrellon, Jaime J., et al. “Dopaminergic modulation of reward discounting in healthy rats: a systematic review and meta-analysis.Psychopharmacology, Nov. 2020. Epmc, doi:10.1007/s00213-020-05723-5. Full Text

Botvinik-Nezer, Rotem, et al. “Variability in the analysis of a single neuroimaging dataset by many teams.Nature, vol. 582, no. 7810, June 2020, pp. 84–88. Pubmed, doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2314-9. Full Text

Burr, Daisy A., and Gregory R. Samanez-Larkin. “Advances in Emotion-Regulation Choice from Experience Sampling.Trends in Cognitive Sciences, vol. 24, no. 5, May 2020, pp. 344–46. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.tics.2020.02.008. Full Text Open Access Copy

Löckenhoff, Corinna E., et al. “Age Effects in Sequence-Construction for a Continuous Cognitive Task: Similar Sequence-Trends but Fewer Switch-Points.The Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, vol. 75, no. 4, Mar. 2020, pp. 762–71. Epmc, doi:10.1093/geronb/gby090. Full Text

Löckenhoff, Corinna E., and Gregory R. Samanez-Larkin. “Age Differences in Intertemporal Choice: The Role of Task Type, Outcome Characteristics, and Covariates.The Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, vol. 75, no. 1, Jan. 2020, pp. 85–95. Epmc, doi:10.1093/geronb/gbz097. Full Text

Castrellon, Jaime J., et al. “Mesolimbic dopamine D2 receptors and neural representations of subjective value.Scientific Reports, vol. 9, no. 1, Dec. 2019, p. 20229. Epmc, doi:10.1038/s41598-019-56858-1. Full Text

Juarez, Eric J., and Gregory R. Samanez-Larkin. “Exercise, Dopamine, and Cognition in Older Age.Trends in Cognitive Sciences, vol. 23, no. 12, Dec. 2019, pp. 986–88. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.tics.2019.10.006. Full Text

Juarez, Eric J., et al. “Reproducibility of the correlative triad among aging, dopamine receptor availability, and cognition.Psychology and Aging, vol. 34, no. 7, Nov. 2019, pp. 921–32. Epmc, doi:10.1037/pag0000403. Full Text

Karrer, Teresa M., et al. “Reduced serotonin receptors and transporters in normal aging adults: a meta-analysis of PET and SPECT imaging studies.Neurobiology of Aging, vol. 80, Aug. 2019, pp. 1–10. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2019.03.021. Full Text