Abigail Marsh is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program at Georgetown University, where she has taught and conducted research on social and affective neuroscience since 2008.
She received her PhD in Social Psychology from Harvard University in 2004 and conducted post-doctoral research at the National Institute of Mental Health.
Abigail's research program is aimed at addressing questions that include: How do people understand what others think and feel? What drives us to help other people? What prevents us from harming them? She addresses these questions using multiple approaches that include functional and structural brain imaging in adolescents and adults from both typical and special populations, as well as behavioral, cognitive, genetic, and pharmacological techniques. Among her ongoing research projects are brain imaging, behavioral, and ecological studies of individuals who have engaged in acts of extraordinary altruism—such as donating a kidney to a stranger—that are aimed at understanding the factors that motivate people to care about the welfare of others and how care and compassion for others can be enhanced.
Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the John Templeton Foundation, and has been published in leading journals that span disciplines and include Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature Human Behaviour, American Journal of Psychiatry, JAMA Psychiatry, and Psychological Science. She has received multiple awards for her work, including the 2007 Richard J. Wyatt Memorial Award for translational research from the National Institute of Mental Health and the 2014 Cozzarelli Prize for outstanding scientific excellence and originality from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Abigail's work has also been covered by international media sources including The Economist, NPR, PBS, The Los Angeles Times, The Times of London, New York Magazine, Slate, Vox, and US News & World Report, as well as in her recent TED talk, which can be viewed online.
Abigail's website is www.abigailmarsh.com and her Twitter handle is @aa_marsh.