Laura Ligouri


Lecturer in Neuroscience


  • Masters of Anthropology, Brandeis University (2008)
  • Masters of Psychology, Brandeis University (2013)
  • Certification in MRI Scanning, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2013)

Courses Taught

  • NRSC 130 Neuroscience of Morality
  • NRSC 208 Neuroscience, Ethics, & Society
  • NS/PY 361 Topics in Affective Neuroscience
  • NS/PY 382 Cultural Neuroscience

Research Interests

My research focuses upon the intersection of neuroscience, human rights, and public engagement. My passion for interdisciplinary and applied neurobiological research emerged as a coordinator and researcher at the Saxelab Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at MIT, where our research sought to understand the biological underpinnings of implicit bias, inter-ethnic social conflict, and violence. My work in this area aims to elucidate the bidirectional, mutual constitution of culture and neuro-biological processes that give rise to bias and discrimination. Focus areas have included the examination of psychosocial mechanisms underlying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, implicit anti-Roma bias within European Union member states, and psychological drivers of empowerment in self-help groups established by NGOs in India seeking to eliminate rural poverty. Currently I am the Executive Director and Founder of Mindbridge, a not-for-profit organization connecting psychological and neurobiological insight to non-profit and government sponsored humanitarian efforts ( To date I have written numerous scientific publications, received grants from the Open Society Foundation, and conducted research in conjunction with the DRAPER Institute, the McGovern Institute, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the OSCE Office of Democratic Initiatives and Human Rights, and the Alliance of Civilizations Media Fund.

The Ambassadorship Program joins scientific collaboration with public engagement. Through the Ambassadorship Program, Bates neuroscience students are matched to local organizations to partner and co-design original empirical research capable of affecting the lives of community members.

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Bruneau, E., Szekeres, H., Kende, A., Ligouri, L., Kteily, N., Tropp, L. (2017) Measuring and mitigating multiple dimensions of anti-Roma bias. (in preparation)

Gutchess, A., Garner, L., Ligouri, L., Boduroglu, A. (2017) Culture impacts the magnitude of the emotion-induced memory trade-off effect (under review)

Bruneau, E., Ligouri, L., Jacoby, N., Kteily, N., Saxe, R. (2015) Denying humanity: The distinct neural correlates of blatant dehumanization. (under review)

Huff, S., Ligouri, L., & Gutchess, A. (2015). Cultural influences on social and self-relevant memory. In Neuroscience in Intercultural Contexts (pp. 215-241). Springer New York.