Liane Lee Young majored in philosophy as an undergraduate in order to pursue her interest in bioethics. Working on herthesis (Harvard College ‘04) on the role of intention in moral judgment, she became intrigued by how people (philosophers, bioethicists, and the folk) make moral judgments in the first place. Is moral judgment accomplished by reason or intuition? To what extent does emotion play a role? How does theory of mind (the capacity to represent the mental states of others) fit into the picture?
In an attempt to address these kinds of questions, concerning the mechanisms underlying moral judgment, she conducted her graduate research in Cognitive Psychology Harvard University (Fall 2004-Spring 2008). Since Summer 2008, she has been a post-doctoral fellow at MIT in the Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences. She is also a visiting scholar in the Department of Philosophy at MIT.
In July 2011, she will join the Department of Psychology at Boston College to continue her research on the cognitive and neural basis of human moral judgment, using methods of social psychology and cognitive neuroscience, including functional neuroimaging (fMRI), studying patient populations with selective cognitive deficits, and modulating activity in specific brain areas using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).