Our research

Decision making is a central concept across almost all sciences studying human behavior.


(Elliot Chan testing synchronised eye-tracking and EEG at a library at Norway)


(Our customisable, easy to use Virtual Reality software  for psychological testing)


We need to understand how humans make choices especially across different cultures or for different agents. This is essentially a multi-level phenomenon and thus we use a very wide variety of methods – from neurobiology and cognitive science to cultural science and environmental parameters measurements. We start by examining basic biological and physiological parameters associated with decision making. Our early work has identified biological parameters associated with (financial) risk and social exchanges (competition).


We are also interested in how the built environment influences human behavior. The proliferation of Mega-Cities means that the human psychology and physiology will be under pressure to adapt and change. But we hope that what we call “Human-Centered Engineering” could help alleviate most of the problems.

starbucksMega-cities are inherently multi-cultural. Therefore another stream of our research examines what happens in the human brain when foreign cultures are perceived as threatening and as contaminating the home culture (for instance when Starbucks opens a branch in the Forbidden City). We also examine how cultural symbols could have a protective role for people living far away from their country.

emotionsAnother question we try to answer is the mechanisms underlying expression of emotions -especially in Asia- and perceptions of Beauty.

Methods: Our research agenda combines the two research traditions of decision theory and cognitive neuroscience. Methodologically, we employ behavioural methods derived from psychology; computational methods stemming from game theory, learning theory and microeconomics; and biological measurements such as human neuroimaging using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), physiology (skin conductance), eye tracking, wearable technology and EEG.

Our aim is to uncover, explain, predict and improve human choice behavior.


*Some notes about our name:

deon: in Greek δέον, is the root for deontic:

deontic [diːˈɒntɪk]


(Philosophy / Logic) Logic

a.  of or relating to such ethical concepts as obligation and permissibility

b.  designating the branch of modal logic that deals with the formalization of these concepts

[from Greek deon duty, from impersonal dei it behoves, it is binding]

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

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