Vikram S. Chib, Ph.D., M.S.

  • Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests

Decision making; Rewards; Incentivized performance; Motivated behavior; Neuro-economics; Incentive mechanisms more


Dr. Vikram S. Chib is an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He holds a joint appointment at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. A research scientist at the Johns Hopkins-affiliated Kennedy Krieger Institute, Dr. Chib works to understand how the human brain processes internal and external rewards, and how these signals motivate behavior.

Dr. Chib received his B.S. in bioengineering from University of Pittsburgh. He earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Northwestern University. Dr. Chib completed postdoctoral scholarship in biology and biological engineering at the California Institute of Technology as well as a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science postdoctoral fellowship at Advanced Telecommunications Research in Kyoto, Japan. more


  • Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Departments / Divisions



  • M.S.; Northwestern University (Illinois) (2003)
  • Ph.D.; Northwestern University (Illinois) (2007)
  • B.S.; University of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) (2001)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Chib’s research is aimed at understanding how the human brain processes internal and external rewards, and how these signals motivate behavior. His team integrates methods from computational neuroscience, behavioral economics, functional imaging and noninvasive brain stimulation to achieve this. He hopes to translate his findings about how the brain represents motivated behavior into the design of incentive mechanisms and noninvasive brain stimulation protocols that decrease neurological and psychological impairments.


Research in the Chib Lab focuses on understanding how the brain integrates information about rewards to motivate performance. Investigators believe this knowledge will help explain how neural and behavioral processing breaks down during neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders—and help shed light on how such conditions can be treated. They hope that by understanding motivated performance, they can determine how to best incentivize individuals in real-world settings. The team utilizes engineering, cognitive neuroscience and experimental economics methods to address this issue.

Lab Website: Vikram Chib Lab

Selected Publications

Chib VS, Shimojo S, O'Doherty JP. “The effects of incentive framing on performance decrements for large monetary outcomes: behavioral and neural mechanisms.” J Neurosci. 2014 Nov 5;34(45):14833-44. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1491-14.2014.

Chib VS, Yun K, Takahashi H, Shimojo S. “Noninvasive remote activation of the ventral midbrain by transcranial direct current stimulation of prefrontal cortex.” Transl Psychiatry. 2013 Jun 11;3:e268. doi: 10.1038/tp.2013.44.

Chib VS, De Martino B, Shimojo S, O'Doherty JP. “Neural mechanisms underlying paradoxical performance for monetary incentives are driven by loss aversion.” Neuron. 2012 May 10;74(3):582-94. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.02.038.

Sulzer JS, Chib VS, Hepp-Reymond MC, Kollias S, Gassert R. “BOLD correlations to force in precision grip: an event-related study.” Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2011;2011:2342-6. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2011.6090655.

Chib VS, Rangel A, Shimojo S, O'Doherty JP. “Evidence for a common representation of decision values for dissimilar goods in human ventromedial prefrontal cortex.” J Neurosci. 2009 Sep 30;29(39):12315-20. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2575-09.2009.

Chib VS, Krutky MA, Lynch KM, Mussa-Ivaldi FA. “The separate neural control of hand movements and contact forces.” J Neurosci. 2009 Mar 25;29(12):3939-47. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5856-08.2009.

Chib VS, Patton JL, Lynch KM, Mussa-Ivaldi FA. “Haptic identification of surfaces as fields of force.” J Neurophysiol. 2006 Feb;95(2):1068-77. Epub 2005 Oct 5.

Clanton ST, Wang DC, Chib VS, Matsuoka Y, Stetten GD. “Optical merger of direct vision with virtual images for scaled teleoperation.” IEEE Trans Vis Comput Graph. 2006 Mar-Apr;12(2):277-85.

Stetten GD, Chib VS. “Overlaying ultrasonographic images on direct vision.” J Ultrasound Med. 2001 Mar;20(3):235-40.

Videos & Media

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

Why we ‘choke’ under pressure, according to neuroscience,” Huffington Post, Nov. 7, 2014

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