Dr. Zhu received her bachelor’s degree in Physics from Shandong University, master's degree in Economics from Peking University, and Ph.D. degree in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2010 she joined Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley as an Associate Consultant, and in 2011 Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow.


My lab focuses on Neuroeconomics a.k.a. Decision Neuroscience, a nascent area that is at the interaction between neuroscience and social science disciplines. The broad goal of our research is to understand the neurobiological foundation of social decision-making at the mechanistic level. Our work uses neuroscience techniques (e.g. fMRI, lesion, and drug manipulation) and models of economic choice to identify neural substrates of complex social behavior, both in healthy populations and individuals with psychiatric illness. We have applied this approach to examine neurocomputational underpinnings of competition and corporation, as well as how such processes go awry in patients with PTSD, major depression, and brain lesions.

List of Publications

# co-first author,  * co-corresponding author

L Zhu*, Y Jiang, D Scabini, RT. Knight & M Hsu* (2019). Patients with basal ganglia damage show preserved learning in an economic game. Nature Communications 10: 802 

LM Wang, L Zhu, VM Brown, RN De La Garza II, B King-Casas, & PH Chiu. (2019). In cocaine dependence, neural prediction errors during loss avoidance are increased with cocaine deprivation and predict drug use. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.

S Ai#, Y Yin#, Y Chen, C Wang, Y Sun, X Tang, L Lu, L Zhu*, J Shi* (2018). Promoting subjective preferences in simple economic choices during nap. eLife, e40583

AC. Jenkins, P Karashchuk, L Zhu, and M Hsu (2018). Predicting human behavior toward members of different social groups. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

X Gao, H Yu, I Sáez, RP Blue, L Zhu, M Hsu, & X Zhou (2018). Distinguishing neural correlates of context-dependent advantageous-and disadvantageous-inequity aversion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201802523.

VM Brown, L Zhu, JM Wang, BC Frueh, B King-Casas, & PH Chiu (2018). Associability-modulated loss learning is increased in posttraumatic stress disorder. eLife, 7.

X Gao, J Liu, P Gong, J Wang, W Fang, H Yan, L Zhu, X Zhou (2017). Identifying new susceptibility genes on dopaminergic and serotonergic pathways for the framing effect in decision-making. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 12.9 (2017): 1534-1544

Jenkins CA, Zhu L*, & Hsu M* (2016). Cognitive neuroscience of honesty and deception: a signaling framework. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 11, 130-137

Saez I, Zhu L, Set E, Kayser A, & Hsu M (2015). Prefrontal dopamine promotes human egalitarian behavior. Current Biology, 25(7): 912-919

Zhu L, Jenkins CA, Set E, Scabini D, Knight RT, Chiu PH, King-Casas B, & Hsu M (2014). Damage to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex affects tradeoffs between honesty and self-interest. Nature Neuroscience, 17(10), 1319-1321 (Highlighted by Nature Reviews Neuroscience, doi: 10.1038/nrn3833)

Set E, Saez I, Zhu L, Houser D, Myung N, Zhong S, Ebstein RP, Chew SH, & Hsu M (2014). Dissociable contribution of prefrontal and striatal dopaminergic genes to learning in economic games. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(26), 9615-9620

Zhu L, Mathewson K, & Hsu M (2012). Dissociable neural representations of reinforcement and belief prediction errors underlie strategic learning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(5), 1419-1424

Hsu M & Zhu L (2012). Learning in games: neural computations underlying strategic learning. Louvain Economic Review, 78(3): 47-72

Zhu L, Walsh D, & Hsu M (2012). Neuroeconomic measures of social decision-making across the lifespan. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 6(128)