Mel W. Khaw, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate | Center for Cognitive Neuroscience | Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

Duke University

B355, 308 Research Dr., Durham, NC, 27710 USA


Current Projects

  • Oversampling of minority categories drives misperceptions of group compositions.

    MW Khaw, RE Kranton, & SA Huettel.

  • Intergroup status, cooperation, & conflict: an experimental study.

    MW Khaw, RE Kranton, & SA Huettel.

  • Uncertainty-based overestimation of group actions

    MW Khaw, P Nichols, & D Freedberg.

  • Individual Differences in the Perception of Probability

    MW Khaw, L Stevens, & M Woodford.



  • Cognitive Imprecision and Small-Stakes Risk Aversion

    MW Khaw, Z Li, & M Woodford. The Review of Economic Studies.


  • Speed of person perception affects immediate and ongoing aesthetic evaluation

    MW Khaw, P Nichols, & D Freedberg. Acta Psychologica.

    Link [ScienceDirect]
  • Temporal discounting and search habits: evidence for a task-dependent relationship

    MW Khaw, Z Li, & M Woodford. Frontiers in Psychology: Decision Neuroscience.

    Link [Frontiers]
  • Continuous aesthetic judgment of image sequences

    MW Khaw & D Freedberg. Acta Psychologica.

    Link [ScienceDirect]
  • Normalized value coding explains dynamic adaptation in the valuation process

    MW Khaw, K Louie, & PW Glimcher. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    Link [PNAS]
  • Discrete Adjustment to a Changing Environment: Experimental Evidence

    MW Khaw, L Stevens, & M Woodford. Journal of Monetary Economics.

    Link [ScienceDirect]
  • Forecasting the outcome of a time-varying Bernoulli process: Data from a laboratory experiment

    MW Khaw, L Stevens, & M Woodford. Data in Brief.

    Link [ScienceDirect]
  • Risk Aversion as a Perceptual Bias/Cognitive Imprecision and Small-Stakes Risk Aversion

    MW Khaw, Z Li, & M Woodford. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) WPs no. 23294/24978.

    Journal article forthcoming at The Review of Economic Studies.

    Also circulated as CEPR Discussion Paper no. 11929, and CESifo WP no. 6416.

    Link [SSRN] || Link [NBER]
  • Reminders of past choices bias decisions for rewards in humans

    AM Bornstein, MW Khaw, D Shohamy, & ND Daw. Nature Communications.

    Link [Nature]
  • The measurement of subjective value and its relation to contingent valuation and environmental public goods

    MW Khaw, DA Grab, CA Vossler, & PW Glimcher. PLOS One.

    Link [PLOS]
  • A general neural mechanism for context-dependent decision-making

    K Louie, MW Khaw, & PW Glimcher. Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences.

    Link [PNAS]
  • Decoding the role of the insula in human cognition: functional parcellation and large-scale reverse inference

    T Yarkoni, LJ Chang, MW Khaw, & AG Sanfey. Cerebral Cortex.

    Link [Oxford University Press]


Media Coverage

  • When a 10% Gain Makes You Feel Like a Loser

    Wall Street Journal

  • How Value of Past Products Influences What Consumers Will Pay

    Insurance Journal

  • How much you would pay for something depends on what prices you have seen recently

    ZME Science

  • How much will we pay for something? Depends on the value of what we've just encountered

    Science Daily

  • Putting a Price Tag on Nature: Contingent Valuation and Other Approaches

    Chicago Policy Review

  • What is Nature Worth to You?

    The New York Times




  • Postdoctoral Research Associate
    Huettel Lab w/ Advisors: Profs. Rachel Kranton & Scott Huettel

    Center for Cognitive Neuroscience

    Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, Duke University

    Fall 2018 - Present

  • Postdoctoral Research Scientist [Art, Humanities, and Neuroscience Fellow]

    The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies, Columbia University

    Spring 2018 - Summer 2018

  • Postdoctoral Research Scholar
    Cognition & Decision Lab

    Cognitive & Behavioral Iniative

    Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, Columbia University

    Fall 2015 - Summer 2018

  • Ph.D. Candidate | Graduate Teaching Assistant | Graduate Research Assistant
    Glimcher Lab

    Neural Science, New York University

    Fall 2011 - Spring 2015

  • Graduate Research Associate
    Brannon Lab | Huettel Lab

    Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University

    Fall 2010 - Spring 2011



  • Neuroscience, Ph.D.

    New York University - New York, NY, USA

    Dissertation: Is The Price Right? Value Coding and Its Behavioral Manifestations

  • Psychology, B.S.

    University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ, USA

    Minors in Economics & Neuroscience; 4.0 GPA and Honors

    Senior Thesis with Prof. Jerel Slaughter, Eller College of Management


Awards and Honors

  • Charles Lafitte Foundation | Duke Psychology & Neuroscience -
    Psychological research related to identity, diversity, inclusion, equity, and thriving


  • The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies - Art, Humanities, & Neuroscience Fellowship


  • New York University - Henry M. MacCracken Fellowship

    2011 - 2015

  • Society for Neuroeconomics - Kavli Foundation Fellow Travel Grant


  • Computational and Systems Neuroscience (COSYNE) - Presenter Travel Grant


  • University of Arizona - Undergraduate Research Grant

    2010 - 2011


Professional Activities

  • Ad-hoc Reviewer

    Consciousness and Cognition, BMC Neuroscience, Nature Communications, PLOS One, National Geographic, Social Justice Research, Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation, Journal of Cleaner Production.

  • Professional Affiliations

    Psychonomic Society, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Neuroscience, Society for Neuroeconomics


Class Experiments


Teaching Evaluations

  • CNS 150 - Introduction to Neural Science

  • MAP.UA.306 - Brain and Behavior