The lab

Find out more about our research program, approach and collaborations

The Decision Neuroscience Lab was founded in 2011 as the first interdisciplinary lab of its kind in Australia, aimed at investigating the cognitive and neural basis of decision-making from psychological, neuroscientific, economic, and population health perspectives.

The lab is headed by A/Prof Stefan Bode, and it hosts postdoctoral researchers, and several PhD, Masters and Honours students in psychology and related disciplines each year. The lab has established a research internship program that supports a limited number of international exchange students (Masters and PhD), who seek research experience in decision neuroscience as part of their degree. We also participate in the bi-national "Julich University of Melbourne Postgraduate Acadamy" (JUMPA).

Our research has received support by grants from the Australian Research Council, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, the Cancer Council Victoria, the University of Melbourne (seed funding from Melbourne Neuroscience Institute, the Faculty of Business and Economics, The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, the Melbourne School of Global and Population Health), and others.


We investigate the neural and cognitive basis of decision making in an interdisciplinary fashion. To this end, we integrate a variety of methods from:

  • Experimental Psychology, including cognitive modelling, laboratory reaction time experiments, measuring response force and other decision behaviour
  • Cognitive Neuroscience, including electroencephalography (EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), electrocardiography (ECG), and galvanic skin response (GSR) assessments
  • Public Health, including online surveys, and assessment of behavioural change

Given the wide spectrum of methods we use, our analysis approaches are diverse. One key approach, is the combination of cognitive modelling with multivariate pattern classification analysis (MVPA) for neural data. The goal of these approaches is to predict the outcome of decision-making processes (and other decision-related features and processes) directly from patterns of brain activity, as measured by fMRI or EEG. For this, we developed a novel multivariate toolbox for MATLAB, the Decision Decoding Toolbox (DDTBOX). The link to the toolbox can be found under the "resources" tab on our website.


We collaborate with a large number of researchers from the University of Melbourne and the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences in particular. Recently completed collaborations include: