Mauricio Delgado

Mauricio Delgado


delgado [at]



Office Location

Rutgers University, Psychology Department

101 Warren Street, Newark, NJ 07102

Smith Hall Room 324

Office Hours

M 10:00AM-11:00AM

Research Initiatives

Research in the lab bridges cognitive, affective and social neuroscience approaches to understand how positive and negative reinforcers affect neural and behavioral mechanisms that underlie our ability to learn, adapt and make good decisions under ever-changing social and environmental demands.     

We use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in conjunction with physiological and behavioral measures to obtain converging information aimed at addressing questions such as: 1) How does the human brain process stimuli that carry positive or negative value (e.g., rewards and punishments)? 2) How does it use this information to make decisions and guide behavior during basic processes (learning actions which lead to desired outcomes) and more complex social interactions which are integral to everyday behavior (e.g., learning to trust someone)? 3) How do we control or regulate our emotions to cope with social and environmental demands? 


Selected Publications (for full list click here)

Delgado MR. Reward-related responses in the human striatum. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 May;1104:70-88.

Porcelli AJ, Delgado MR. Acute stress modulates risk taking in financial decision making. Psychol Sci. 2009 Mar;20(3):278-83.  

Schiller, D., & Delgado, M.R. (2010) Overlapping neural systems mediating extinction, reversal and regulation of fear. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 14(6): 268-276.

Martin LN, Delgado MR. The influence of emotion regulation on decision-making under risk. J Cogn Neurosci. 2011 Sep;23(9):2569-81.

Dickerson, K.C., Li, J., Delgado, M.R. (2011) Parallel contributions of distinct human memory systems during probabilistic learning.  NeuroImage. 55(1):266-76.

Leotti LA, Delgado MR. The inherent reward of choice. Psychol Sci. 2011 Oct;22(10):1310-8.    

Fareri DS, Niznikiewicz MA, Lee VK, Delgado MR. Social network modulation of reward-related signals. J Neurosci. 2012 Jun 27;32(26):9045-52.

Bhanji JP, Delgado MR. Perceived control influences neural responses to setbacks and promotes persistence. Neuron. 2014 Sep 17;83(6):1369-75.  

Speer ME, Bhanji JP, Delgado MR. Savoring the past: positive memories evoke value representations in the striatum. Neuron. 2014 Nov 19;84(4):847-56.  

Fareri DS, Chang LJ, Delgado MR. Computational substrates of social value in interpersonal collaboration. J Neurosci. 2015 May 27;35(21):8170-80.  

Smith DV, Rigney AE, Delgado MR (2016). Distinct Reward Properties are Encoded via Corticostriatal Interactions. Scientific Reports, 6, 20093.

Speer ME & Delgado MR. Reminiscing about positive memories buffers acute stress responses. Nature Human Behaviour. 2017. 1, 0093.  

Porcelli AJ & Delgado MR. Stress and decision making: Effects on valuation, learning and risk-taking. Current Opinion in Behavioral Science. 2017 14:33-39. 

Watanabe, N, Bhanji, JP, Ohira, H, Delgado, MR. (2018).  Reward-Driven Arousal Impacts Preparation to Perform a Task via Amygdala–Caudate Mechanisms. Cerebral Cortex. 29(7):3010-3022.

Wang, KS & Delgado MR. Corticostriatal circuits encode the subjective value of perceived control. Cerebral Cortex, 2019.