How do we pursue long-term goals? What are the cognitive, motivational, and neural factors that contribute to our success or failure? A central aim of the research in Dr. Berkman’s Social and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory is to understand how these systems work together to help us strive for our goals. To do this, his work combines the distinct strengths of several research methods including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), cross-sectional and longitudinal survey methods, and laboratory experiments. Examples of his research include fMRI studies of basic goal-relevant processes such as self-regulation and inhibitory control, experimental studies on how approach and avoidance motivation relate to emotions and performance, and longitudinal studies on real-world goals such as smoking cessation and dieting.