Daniel Krawczyk

Daniel Krawczyk

Debbie and Jim Francis Chair in Behavioral Brain Sciences

Research Interests: Understanding reasoning and decision-making via behavioral studies, pupillometry, and brain stimulation

GR 4.202A
Reasoning Lab
Curriculum Vitae
Tags: Cognition and Neuroscience Psychology-Faculty BrainHealth-Faculty

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Psychology, Cognitive Science
University of California, Los Angeles - 2003
M.A. - Cognitive Neuroscience
University of California, Los Angeles - 2000
B.A. - Psychology
State University of New York, College at Fredonia - 1998

Research Areas

Research Interests
My research broadly focuses on the way that people attend to and remember information in order to solve problems, reason, and make decisions. I am particularly interested in how attention and memory interact with our environment to influence our decisions. Specifically I am interested in cognitive biases related to these interactions (e.g. framing effects, confirmation bias). 

I am also interested in brain functions supporting attention, memory, and human performance. I am exploring the potential for brain stimulation via transcrainial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) and transcrainial Photobiomodulation (tPBM) for improving performance. These technologies may be helpful in areas such a recovery from the cognitive or motor effects of brain injuries.


Kandalaft, M. R., Didehbani, N., Cullum, C. M., Krawczyk D. C., Allen, T., Tamminga, C. A., & Chapman, S. B. (in press). The Wechsler Social Perception Test: A preliminary comparison with other measures of social cognition. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment. [link]  In Press - Publication
Kandalaft, M. R., Didehbani, N., Krawczyk D. C., Allen, T.T., & Chapman, S. B. (2013). Virtual reality social skills training for young adults with Asperger Syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43, 34-44. 2013 - Publication
Krawczyk, D. C. & D’Esposito, M. (2013). Modulation of working memory function by  motivation through loss-aversion. Human Brain Mapping, 34, 762-774. 2013 - Publication
Krawczyk, D. C. (2012). The cognition and neuroscience of human reasoning. Brain Research, 1428, 13-23. [link]  2012 - Publication
Boggan, A. L., Bartlett, J. C., & Krawczyk, D. C. (2012). Chess Masters show a hallmark of face processing for chess. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141, 37-42. [link]   2012 - Publication
Maguire, M. J., McClelland, M. M., Donovan, C. E., Tillman, G. D., & Krawczyk, D. C. (2012). Tracking cognitive phases in analogical reasoning with event-related potentials. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 38, 273-281. [link]  2012 - Publication
Didehbani, N., Shad, M. U., Kandalaft, M. R., Allen, T.T., Tamminga, C. A., Krawczyk D. C. & Chapman, S. B. (2012). Insight into Illness and social attributional style in Asperger's syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 2754- 2760. 2012 - Publication
Shokri Kojori, E., Motes, M. A., Rypma, B., & Krawczyk, D. C. (2012). The network architecture of cortical processing in visuo-spatial reasoning. Scientific Reports, 2, 411. [link]    2012 - Publication


Assistant Professor
The University of Texas at Dallas [2006–Present]
Assistant Professor
University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center [2006–Present]
Ruth L. Kirschstein Post-Doctoral Fellow
University of California, Berkeley [2003–2006]
Laboratory of Mark D'Esposito


Robustness of decision-related attitudes under central executive disruption.
2006–2006 Krawczyk, D. C. (2006). Annual Meeting of The Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Houston, Texas, November.
Influences of reward motivation on encoding and delay in human working memory.
2005–2005 Krawczyk, D. C. & D'Esposito, M. (2005). Bay Area Memory Meeting, University of California, Davis, August.
Decision making by constraint satisfaction.
2004–2004 Simon, D., Krawczyk, D. C., & Holyoak, K. J. (2004). Annual Meeting of The Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November.
Inter-temporal preference changes: The transitory nature of construction of preferences by constraint-satisfaction.
2004–2004 Simon, D., Krawczyk, D. C., & Holyoak, K. J. (2004). Poster presented at the 16th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Society. Chicago, Illinois, May.
Cognitive coherence in preference-based choice.
2001–2001 Simon, D., Krawczyk, D. C., & Holyoak, K. J. (2001). UCLA mini-conference on Happiness, Pleasure, & Judgment. Los Angeles, California, November.


Reasoning and Intuition
A talk about some of our research in relational reasoning, lie detection, and the differences between our intuition and reason

Additional Information

Personal Statement
Daniel Krawczyk is professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and holds the Debbie and Jim Francis Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas. He is currently the Deputy Director at the UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth®. He authored the book Reasoning: The Neuroscience of How We Think in 2017, a comprehensive guide to research on human reasoning. His research focuses on understanding reasoning and decision making via methods including behavioral studies and brain stimulation. He has led multiple Department of Defense-funded research studies evaluating thinking and cognitive performance. He currently teaches courses in reasoning at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has presented at over one-hundred scientific meetings, the TEDx stage, the Dallas Museum of Art, and is a regular speaker at the Perot Museum’s Social Science evening programs. His work has received media coverage on the NBC’s Today Show, NPR, and various science and technology podcasts. Dr. Krawczyk holds a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles and was previously a Ruth L. Kirschstein Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Other Experience
  • 2003-present Member of Neural Circuits and Brain Imaging Program Group at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center, UCSF
  • 1999-2003 Member of Frontotemporal Dementia Research Group at the UCLA Department of Neurology (1999-2000) and USC Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center (2000-2003)
  • 1998-2003 Member of the CogFog memory research group at UCLA.
Manuscripts Review
Biological Psychiatry, Neuroimage, Neuropsychologia, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews

News Articles

Brain Study: Amygdala May Play Bigger Role in Facial Recognition
New research from the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas reveals that the amygdala may play a larger role in the brain’s ability to recognize faces than previously thought.
In a study published in Neuropsychologia, scientists found that the amygdala responded more specifically to faces than the fusiform face area (FFA), part of the brain traditionally known for facial recognition.
Scientist Gets Grant for Study of Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries
A researcher from the Center for BrainHealth at UT Dallas has been awarded a $2.7 million grant from the Department of Defense (DoD) under the Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program.

The grant, awarded to Dr. Daniel Krawczyk, deputy director of the Center for BrainHealth, will fund research, via a virtual technology platform, to improve cognitive and functional deficits for veterans who have experienced traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Grant to Help Brain Scientists Dig Deeper into Detecting Deception
Social interactions, such as navigating a conversation or determining whether someone is being truthful or not, are some of the most complex tasks the brain carries out, yet little is understood about the social brain on a neurobiological level.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Biotechnology Office awarded scientists at the Center for BrainHealth at UT Dallas a $401,000 grant to develop a method that would map and quantify aspects of the social brain. Researchers will investigate deception using imaging technology and advanced mathematical analysis to quantify its brain-basis. The study will incorporate the impact of cultural differences, an aspect increasingly relevant to military intelligence gathering operations.
Virtual Reality Helps Children on Autism Spectrum Improve Social Skills
Virtual Reality Helps Children on Autism Spectrum Improve Social Skills Although most children with high-functioning autism have above average intellectual capabilities, they often experience social difficulties. Deficits in social communication and difficulty inhibiting thoughts and regulating emotions can lead to social isolation and low self-esteem. However, new research from the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas shows that a new virtual reality training program is producing positive results.

“Individuals with autism may become overwhelmed and anxious in social situations,” research clinician Dr. Nyaz Didehbani said. “The virtual reality training platform creates a safe place for participants to practice social situations without the intense fear of consequence.”
Wisdom in cause and action
Seeking evidence for why an event occurred is part of human nature, and it involves some of the most critical thinking processes we have. This process can allow us to determine the result of our actions based on immediate and clear feedback. Gaining insight into the world around us has resulted in numerous scientific discoveries. Engineering, medicine, and law are all fields in which clear feedback can allow us to make remarkable progress by understanding cause and effect relationships.

A medical situation can be life-threatening if the direct cause is not identified. In a searching for causes, we may look to the internet – not always the most reliable source of information on the cause of a health problem. We might be led to assume that the cause of a severe headache is a brain aneurysm when in fact it’s a migraine. Or consider stock traders… they can make a lot of money when they understand causes and effects. But many value situations are complex and uncertain. Cognitive or emotional biases enter into our thinking when we don’t have all of the relevant information. Biased evaluation of the cause can lose traders a lot of money.


What are we currently working on?
We are actively studying the relationships between thinking style (Cognitive Reflection) and framing effects in decision making. We use eye-tracking to examine the pupillometry response when we process information in a deep or shallow way. This may provide insight into the link between fast/slow thinking mode and cognitive bias.

We are also studying a brain stimulation method called transcranial photobiomodulation (tPBM). There is evidence that tPBM can briefly enhance neuronal excitation which may translate to superior attention and memory. 


Mentored Students
Karen Fox (2002-2003): Indiana University, Ph.D. Program in Cognitive Science Yun Chu-Jones (2001-2002): University of Hawaii at Manoa, Ph.D. Program in Cognitive Psychology Stephan Dickert (2001): University of Oregon, Ph.D. Program in Cognitive Psychology
PhD Students
Committee Chair for Kevin Murch, Ph.D., completed Summer 2010 (Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, UT Southwestern) Committee Chair for Ehsan Shokri-Kojori, Ph.D., completed Spring 2014 (Ph.D. Cognition and Neuroscience, UT Dallas) Committee Chair for Donald Kretz, Ph.D., completed Spring 2015 (Ph.D. Cognition and Neuroscience, UT Dallas) Committee Chair for Leanne Young, Ph.D., completed Fall 2016 (Ph.D. Cognition and Neuroscience, UT Dallas) Committee Chair for Adam Teed, Ph.D. completed Summer 2017 (Ph.D. Cognition and Neuroscience, UT Dallas) Committee Chair for David Martinez, Ph.D. completed Spring 2019 (Ph.D. Psychological Science, UT Dallas) Committee Chair for Matthew Kmiecik, Ph.D. completed Fall 2019 (Ph.D. Cognition and Neuroscience, UT Dallas) Committee Chair for Mehmet Gunal, Ph.D. completed Fall 2020 (Ph.D. Cognition and Neuroscience, UT Dallas) Committee Chair for Linda Nguyen, Ph.D. completed Fall 2021 (Ph.D. Cognition and Neuroscience, UT Dallas)


fMRI Studies of Motivation and Executive Function.
- National Institute of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (postdoctoral) [2006–2018]
Functional MRI Studies of Working Memory and Reward Motivation.
- National Institute of Health RO3 Award [2006–2007]
Information Processing and the Emergence of Cognitive Coherence in Decision Making.
- American Psychological Association Science Directorate Dissertation Research Award [2003–2018]