Ilaria Amato

Graduate Student

Email: ude.sionilli@2aairali
Lab Phone: 217-300-1464

Ilaria Amato received her B.S. in Psychology from Endicott College and is currently pursuing an M.S. Degree in Psychological Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Broadly, her research interests revolve around the effects of fitness on cognition and brain structure. She is also interested in understanding how lifestyle factors may affect age-related changes and impart cognitive reserve.

Evan Anderson

Graduate Student

Email: moc.liamg@2nsrdnaE
Lab Phone: 217-300-1464

Evan Anderson completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Psychology. He is a member of the Neuroscience program and is a first year graduate student in the Decision Neuroscience lab. Evan’s background is in computer science and cognitive psychology. He is interested in the neural mechanics which underlie choice and decision, and he uses computational modeling and neuroimaging techniques to better understand how they are implemented within the brain.


Kyle Baacke

Graduate Students

Email: ude.sionilli@2ekcaabk

I received a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Knox College in 2016 with a focus on addiction. I am currently a first year student in the Masters of Science in Psychological Science program at University of Illinois and a member of the Decision Neuroscience Lab.

Can interventions such as fitness training or mindfulness meditation increase scores of executive control and decision making? If so, can behavioral factors and aspects of brain function related to psychiatric illness help predict the effectiveness of these interventions? I am interested in investigating possible means and mechanisms involved in optimizing human cognitive performance. Currently, I am investigating whether there is a behavioral relationship in a non-clinical population between decision making competence and anhedonia, a subcomponent of psychiatric illnesses defined as a lack of interest or enjoyment. In doing so, I hope to understand the mechanisms involved in decision making.

I am also interested in finding new ways to use cloud computing resources (e.g. Amazon Web Services) to enable greater speed, reliability, cost efficacy, and ease of use for processing and analysis pipelines in neuroimaging.

Mickeal Key

Graduate Student

Email: ude.sionilli@2yeknm
Lab Phone: 217-300-1464

Mickeal Key is a Ph.D. student in the Decision Neuroscience Lab at the Beckman Institute. Her background is in molecular genetics and experimental psychology. Her research interests revolve around how health status, lifestyle factors, and genetic contributions affect cognitive control and learning throughout the human lifespan.