Zhihao Zhang

Assistant Professor of Business Administration


FOB 191D

Academic Area

Education: B.S., Tsinghua University; M.Phil., Yale University; Ph.D., Yale University

Zhihao Zhang is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Marketing area at the Darden School of Business, where he teaches the marketing core course for the full-time MBA program. Drawing from academic training and research experience from both consumer behavior and cognitive neuroscience, he pursues a diverse and interdisciplinary research agenda revolving around consumer decision-making. In particular, he focuses on understanding the cognitive, computational, and neuroscientific mechanisms by which memory and knowledge (e.g., of brands, products, services, or social interactions) shape decisions. He also has a keen interest in using neuroscience to inform real world problems at the intersection of marketing and law, for example trademark and copyright infringement.

His work has appeared in leading academic journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Science Advances, Nature Communications, and Current Biology. Some of his past research has been covered by major media outlets such as BBC News, Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Fast Company, The Hill, The Times of India, The Conversation, and China National Radio, as well as practitioner-oriented outlets such as Ipsos Views, Law360, and World Trademark Review. His research has been supported by the National Institute on Aging.

Before joining Darden, Zhihao was a postdoctoral scholar at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. He received his undergraduate degree from Tsinghua University (with honors) and his Ph.D. from Yale University’s Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program. He is also an assistant professor by courtesy at the Department of Psychology at UVA.

Selected Publications

Zhang, Z., Good, M., Kulikov, V., Van Horen, F., Bartholomew, M., Kayser, A. S., & Hsu, M. (2023). From scanner to court: A neuroscientifically informed “reasonable person” test of trademark infringement. Science advances, 9(6), eabo1095.

Zhang, Z., Wang, S., Good, M., Hristova, S., Kayser A. S., & Hsu, M. (2021). Retrieval-constrained valuation: Toward prediction of open-ended decisions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(20).

Zhang, Z., Chandra, S., Kayser, A. S., Hsu, M., & Warren, J. (2020). A hierarchical Bayesian implementation of the experience-weighted attraction model. Computational Psychiatry, 4, 40-60.

Zhang, Z., Coppin, G. (2018). To what extent memory could contribute to impaired food valuation and choices in obesity? Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 2523.

Zhang, Z., Fanning, J., Ehrlich, D. B., Chen, W., Lee, D., & Levy, I. (2017). Distributed neural representation of saliency controlled value and category during anticipation of rewards and punishments. Nature Communications, 8, 1907.

Zhang, Z., Mendelsohn, A., Manson, K. F., Schiller, D., & Levy, I. (2015). Dissociating value representation and inhibition of inappropriate affective response during reversal learning in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. eNeuro, 2(6), ENEURO-0072.

Zhang, Z., Manson, K. F., Schiller, D., & Levy, I. (2014). Impaired associative learning with food rewards in obese women. Current Biology, 24(15), 1731-1736.