March 7, 2019

Dominic Fareri, Ph.D., Is Named a Rising Star in Psychological Science

Dr. Fareri

The research of Dominic Fareri, Ph.D., focuses on understanding how context created by our immediate social environment shapes the way the brain represents shared experiences and decision making. His studies have shown that when people interact with a close friend, the reward circuit of the brain is more active than when they share the same experience with someone they aren’t as close to. He’s also studied the interplay of risk, challenging early-life history and anxiety.

In recognition of his work, Dr. Fareri was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science (APS), an honor given to a handful of outstanding psychological scientists in the early stages of their postgraduate research careers around the world. The Adelphi assistant professor of psychology is one of only four psychologists so honored in the state of New York.

“Receiving this early career award from APS is incredibly meaningful to me because it signifies that other researchers have found my work to date to be influential and believe that it has made significant impacts on the fields of psychology and neuroscience,” he said. “In a field in which we are accustomed to negative feedback—papers being rejected from journals, difficulty securing external research funding—this type of recognition from well-respected researchers is both validating and humbling.”

Dr. Fareri is currently building off his past studies to understand how different social situations and interactions impact our ability to make decisions involving risk and uncertainty.

“Are we more or less likely to make a risky decision if the consequences may affect another person as opposed to just ourselves, and does it matter who that other person is?” he asked. “This current work has important implications for thinking about, for example, individuals suffering from substance use disorders, or for adolescents, who tend to exhibit a heightened sensitivity to peer influence.”

While some of Dr. Fareri’s work has focused on investigating how the brains of children and adolescents are influenced by early social experiences, respond to social information and positive experiences, he has recently begun collaborating with colleagues at Temple University to examine how these processes may change as people transition into old age. “This is particularly interesting considering that our social networks change in nature and size with age, as do the function and integrity of brain networks relevant for processing both rewarding and social information,” he said. He and his colleagues will be presenting some preliminary findings from this line of research at upcoming meetings of The Social & Affective Neuroscience Society and the Organization for Human Brain Mapping.


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