Brian Knutson's laboratory uses multiple methods (psychometrics, psychophysiology, brain imaging, and pharmacology) to investigate neural mechanisms that underlie emotional experience, and explores implications of this work for clinical disorders of affect and addiction, as well as for economic decision-making. He has begun to focus this work on how the brain evaluates environmental goods and services. 

Knutson has received Young Investigator awards from the American Psychiatric Association, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Society and Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research. His research is funded by grants from several organizations including the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. He has been invited to speak about his research in psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, economics, finance, and marketing departments around the world. His laboratory's research is regularly featured in top journals and popular media outlets.