The Fareri Lab

for Social Neuroscience and Decision-Making

Welcome to the Fareri Lab at Adelphi University, directed by Dr. Dominic Fareri. We are located in the Derner School of Psychology. Our lab investigates how social factors such as who we know and what we know about them change the way in which we learn, place value on others and social experiences and make decisions.


Research in the lab broadly focuses on understanding the way in which the social environment influences neural mechanisms that underlie our choices and ability to learn about others. We employ behavioral, computational (reinforcement learning), psychophysiological (skin conductance) and functional neuroimaging (fMRI) techniques to address these issues. Current and future work in the lab is centered around a few related areas of interest.

Social Relationships

Social psychological theories posit humans are intrinsically motivated to form close social connections with others. These close connections can occur within caregiving contexts (i.e., parents) or with peers (i.e., best friends) that we have come to know well over time (Fareri & Delgado, 2014, The Neuroscientist.). Evidence indicates that positive experiences both shared with others (Fareri*, Niznikiewicz* et al., 2012, Journal of Neuroscience) and earned in competition against others (Fareri & Delgado, 2014, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience) may be more highly valued and informative when interacting with close friends compared with strangers, as represented by differential encoding in the brain's reward circuit. Successful social interactions (i.e., collaborations) with close others are indeed associated with a computational social reward value signal that scales with the value of a social relationship (Fareri*, Chang* & Delgado, 2015, Journal of Neuroscience). Current work in the lab is exploring how constructs such as perceived social support influences the value assigned to social experiences and how the value of close relationships changes in aging samples.

Decisions in Social Contexts

Many of the decisions we make occur within social contexts (e.g., deciding whether someone is trustworthy, choosing whether to make a risky or a safe choice). We often bring to such decisions important prior knowledge about interaction partners that is based on assumptions about social groups (Stanley, Sokol-Hessner, Fareri et al., 2012, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences), or previous experience from other situations that can impact the way in which we learn about their reputations (Fareri et al., 2012, Frontiers in Decision Neuroscience). Current studies in the lab are investigating how one's propensity to engage in risky choice may change depending on social context, and how positive and negative social experiences can change preferences for immediate gratification.

Atypical Experiences

Early & atypical life experiences can have a significant impact on brain development and future social and emotional behavior (Fareri & Tottenham, 2016, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience). Indeed, a lack of stable caregiving and social support early in life can profoundly alter connectivity in neural networks important for processing reward and social value, which in turn is associated with increased levels of social difficulties (Fareri et al., 2017, Development and Psychopathology). Current work in the lab is beginning to investigate how interpersonal trauma (e.g., posttraumatic stress) influences the ability to derive reward value from social interactions and from social support figures.



Dominic Fareri

Dominic has been an Assistant Professor in the Derner School of Psychology since the Fall of 2015 and is the chair of the undergraduate Neuroscience program at Adelphi. His research broadly focuses on understanding how the social world influences brain function and connectivity to shape the way in which we interact with others and develop relationships. Dominic received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Rutgers University, where he trained with Mauricio Delgado. He then completed postdoctoral training with Nim Tottenham at UCLA and Columbia University. In his spare time, Dominic enjoys spending time with his family and rooting for the Yankees.

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Graduate Students

Tanya Saraiya

Tanya Saraiya, M.A. is a fourth year clinical psychology Ph.D. student and Dr. Fareri's doctoral advisee at Adelphi University. She is also the project coordinator at the TREAT Lab at the City College of New York and a pre-doctoral research fellow at the Translational Research in Addictions at City College and Columbia University Medical Center (TRACC) program. Tanya is interested in refining existing trauma and addiction treatments based on neural and behavioral laboratory research studies. In addition, she is invested in understanding health disparities among minority groups in trauma and addiction treatments. Her next project will focus on how shame and guilt impact alcohol use among traumatized individuals.

Michael Poon

Michael Poon is a second year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. He received his B.A. in Psychology from Binghamton University, and his M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University with a concentration in Clinical Psychology. Michael's research interests center around investigating the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic treatment modalities and techniques. His current work in Dr. Fareri's Neuroscience Lab focuses on the neural/cognitive processes involved in addiction with a goal of identifying neural/cognitive changes associated with addiction treatment.

Undergraduate Students

Amalia Saleh

I am a student-athlete going into my senior year at Adelphi University. This spring I will be graduating with a B.S in Neuroscience and a minor in Chemistry. I have been an active member of both the Global Medical Brigades club and the Biological Honors Society at Adelphi. While I plan on pursuing a career in medicine after I graduate, I am highly interested in understanding how our behaviors and choices are shaped by our current and past experiences, and will be conducting a research project in the lab this year based around this idea.

Joanne Stasiak

I am a senior psychology major at Adelphi University and broadly interested in Social Cognition and Sports Psychology. I began working with Dr. Fareri through the Emerging Scholars program, in which I conducted a study examining the perceived value of social and non-social experiences. We are currently following up on this project, and I aim to continue research in this field during my pursuit of a doctorate in graduate school.

Lab Alumni

Kelly Hiersche

Kelly is currently working for Teach for America as a high school math and physics teacher in Tennessee.

Monroe Marshall

Monroe is currently pursuing a graduate degree in public health.

Eboney Nedd

Eboney is currently pursuing a graduate degree as a Physician's Assistant.

Esther Libby Frankl

Esther just completed her MA in Psychology at Adelphi and is planning to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Developmental Psychology.


*denotes equal author contribution

In press & under review

Fareri DS. Neurobehavioral mechanisms supporting trust and reciprocity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. (under review).

Callaghan BL, Gee DG, Gabard-Durnam LJ, Telzer E, Humphreys KL, Goff B, Shapiro M, Flannery JE, Lumian DS, Fareri DS, Caldera C, Tottenham N. Decreased amygdala reactivity to parent cues protects against anxiety following early adversity: an examination across 3-years. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. (accepted).

Fareri DS, Chang LJ, Delgado MR. Neural mechanisms of social learning. In Gazzaniga MS, Mangun GR, & Poeppel D. The Cognitive Neurosciences, 6th Edition. MIT Press. (in press).


Fareri DS, Delgado MR. The affective nature of social interactions. In Fox AS, Lapate RC, Shackman AJ and Davidson RJ. The Nature of Emotion: Fundamental Questions, 2nd Edition. (2018).


Fareri DS, Gabard-Durnam LJ, Goff B, Flannery J, Gee DG, Lumian DS, Caldera C, Tottenham N. (2017). Altered ventral striatal-medial prefrontal cortex resting-state connectivity mediates adolescent social problems after early institutional care. Development and Psychopathology, 29(5):1865-1876.

Silvers JA, Goff B, Gabard-Durnan L, Gee DG, Fareri DS, Caldera C, Tottenham N. (2017). Vigilance, the amygdala and anxiety in youth with a history of institutional care. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 2(6):493-501.


Silvers JA, Lumian DS, Gabard-Durnan LJ, Gee DG, Goff B, Fareri DS, Caldera C, Flannery J, Telzer E, Humphreys KL, Tottenham N. (2016). Early parental deprivation is followed by broader recruitment of neural circuitry for aversive learning during human development. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(24):6420-30.

Fareri DS, Tottenham N. (2016). Effects of early life stress on amygdala and striatal development. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 19: 233-247.

Gabard-Durnam L*, Gee DG*, Goff B, Flannery J, Telzer E, Humphreys K, Lumian D, Fareri DS, Caldera C, Tottenham N. (2016). Stimulus elicited connectivity influences resting-state connectivity years later in human development: A prospective study. The Journal of Neuroscience, 36(17): 4771-84.


Fareri DS, Gabard-Durnam LJ, Goff B, Flannery J, Gee DG, Lumian DS, Caldera C, Tottenham N. (2015). Normative development of ventral striatal resting-state connectivity in humans. NeuroImage, 118:422-437.

Fareri DS*, Chang LJ*, Delgado MR. (2015). Computational substrates of social value in interpersonal collaboration. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(21):8170-8180.


Gee DG*, Gabard-Durnam L*, Telzer EH, Humphreys KL, Goff B, Shapiro M, Flannery J, Lumian DS, Fareri DS, Caldera C, Tottenham N. (2014). Maternal buffering of human amygdala-prefrontal circuitry during childhood. Psychological Science, 25(11):2067-2078.

Fareri DS, Delgado MR. (2014). The importance of social rewards and social networks in the human brain. The Neuroscientist, 20(4):387-402.

Fareri DS, Delgado MR. (2014). Differential reward responses during competition against in- and out-of-network others. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9(4):412-420.


Fareri DS, Delgado MR. (2013). Reward Learning: Contributions of corticobasal ganglia circuits to reward value signals. In Armony, J., and Vuilleumier, P. (eds), The Cambridge Handbook of Human Affective Neuroscience. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

2012 and earlier

Fareri DS, Chang LJ, Delgado MR.(2012). Effects of direct social experience on trust decisions and neural reward circuitry. Frontiers in Decision Neuroscience, 6(148).

Fareri DS*, Niznikiewicz MA*, Lee VK, Delgado MR. (2012). Social network modulation of reward-related signals. The Journal of Neuroscience, 32(26):9045–9052.

Stanley DA, Sokol-Hessner P, Fareri DS, Perino MT, Delgado MR, Banaji MR, Phelps EA. (2012). Race and reputation: Perceived racial group trustworthiness influences the neural correlates of trust decisions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences, 367(1589):744-53.

Fareri DS, Martin LN, Delgado MR. (2008). Reward related processing in the human brain: Developmental considerations. Development and Psychopathology, 20, 1191-1211.

Contact Us

Interested in participating in a study? We are currently recruiting healthy individuals between the ages of 18-35 for a number of paid studies. Contact us at farerilab [at]

If you are an undergraduate student at Adelphi enrolled in General Psychology (PIA 101) or Psychological Research (PIA 245) and need to participate experiments for credit, please visit the Adelphi Sona Systems site to view studies in our lab currently being run for credit.

If you are interested in gaining research experience and learning more about our work, we are always looking for motivated volunteers! Please send an email to Dr. Fareri at dfareri [at]