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Corinna Laube

Corinna Laube


External LIFE Fellow since 2015, MPI for Human Development

Adolescence is practically synonymous in our culture with risk taking, emotional drama and all forms of outlandish behavior. In our society, teenagers are often pictured as irrational, impulsive decision makers. However, literature on risky choice behavior shows that this typical adolescent tendency in making risky decisions only applies to emotionally charged (or hot) contexts, and not to low-affect (or cold) tasks. These findings raise new questions: Does the stereotypical “impulsive teenager” depend on the context?
I am currently a doctoral student at the Center for Adaptive Rationality (ARC) at the MPIB. I graduated from the University of Düsseldorf (2014) in Psychology and spent 8 months at Stanford University as a visiting researcher for my master’s thesis. I worked at Samuel McClure’s Decision Neuroscience Laboratory, where I investigated the neuronal correlates of gain and loss discounting in intertemporal decisions (defined as trade-offs among costs and benefits occurring at different times). This experience led to my current project, in which I am working with Wouter van den Bos on affective and intertemporal choice behavior from a developmental perspective. Specifically, I am interested in how the affective loading of a context (emotionally charged vs. low affect) moderates impulsive decision-making in adolescents. In my dissertation, I want to focus on possible mechanisms for age differences in intertemporal decision making in general and also investigate mechanisms that are exclusively relevant for differental choice behavior regarding the affective context. The methods I will employ consist of a combination of a cognitive modeling approach and neuroimaging methods, mainly functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Dissertation project:
Developmental changes in intertemporal choice

Max Planck Institute for Human Development
Center for Adaptive Rationality
Lentzeallee 94
14195 Berlin
laube [at] mpib-berlin [dot] mpg [dot] de (Contact)


Laube, C., Suleiman, A. B., Johnson, M., Dahl, R. E., & van den Bos, W. (2017). Dissociable effects of age and testosterone on adolescent impatience. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 80, 162–169. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.03.012

Laube, C., & van den Bos, W. (2016). Hormones and affect in adolescent decision making. In S. Kim, J. Reeve, & M. Bong (Eds.), Recent developments in neuroscience research on human motivation (Advances in Motivation and Achievement No. 19) (pp. 259–281). Bingley: Emerald Group. doi: 10.1108/S0749-742320160000019013