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Laboratory of Brain and Cognition Laboratory of Brain and Cognition (LBC)


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Current Lab Members

Chris Baker, Ph.D. | Investigator and Chief

Headshot photo of Dr. Chris Baker

Dr. Baker received his B.A. from the University of Cambridge in 1995 and his Ph.D. from the University of St. Andrews in 1999, where he studied neural mechanisms of object recognition. After completing postdoctoral fellowships at CMU and MIT, Dr. Baker joined NIMH as an Investigator in the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition in 2006. His laboratory currently investigates vision, learning and plasticity using a combination of functional neuroimaging (fMRI, MEG), brain stimulation (TMS, tES), and behavioral methods.

Kurt Braunlich | Post-doctoral Fellow

Portrait photo of Dr. Kurt Braunlich

Dr. Braunlich received his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Colorado State University. He is interested in the computational principles and biological mechanisms underlying our ability to organize and selectively process perceptual information. He is particularly interested in questions related to category learning, decision making and cognitive neuroscience.

Maleah (MJ) Carter | Post-baccalaureate Fellow

Photo of MJ Carter

MJ graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BS in Neuroscience and Psychology and a minor in Statistics and Operations Research. Her interests involve the development, neural representation, and implementation of concept knowledge.

Grace Edwards, Ph.D. | Staff Scientist

Photo of Grace Edwards

Dr. Edwards received her BSc. in Psychology from the University of Glasgow and went on to complete a Masters in Brain Imaging Research and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience & Biomedical Systems. Her research focuses on the interaction between homotopic visual and attention areas, and the impact of that interaction in behavior. She investigates large- and fine-scale dependency within networks and excitatory-inhibitory interactions which result in stable visual perception, using eye-tracking, brain stimulation with TMS and tES, and brain imaging using fMRI and EEG.

Shruti Japee, Ph.D. | Senior Associate Scientist

Photo of Dr. Shruti Japee

Dr. Japee received her BS in Instrumentation Engineering from BITS Pilani, India and her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Medical College of Virginia where she developed an automated system to measure microcirculatory oxygen transport. She joined the Lab of Brain and Cognition at NIMH in 2002. Her research focuses on how the brain processes emotions, especially those conveyed via facial and body expressions. She uses a combination of computer tasks and neuroimaging methods such as task-based and resting-state fMRI and MEG to characterize behavior and examine the neural correlates of expression processing.

Sophia Kaidi | Post-baccalaureate Fellow

Photo of Sophia Kaidi

Sophia completed a BS in Psychology at University of Maryland where she focused on social psychology. She joined the LBC just after graduation, and is currently working on a project using functional MRI to observe language comprehension in the primary visual cortex.

Lilly Kelemen | Post-baccalaureate Fellow

Photo of Lilly Kelemen

Lilly graduated from Duke University with a BS in Neuroscience and minors in Education and German. Her work studies perception of facial identity and emotional expression. Lilly’s research interests include developmental disabilities, mood disorders, childhood development, and the intersection of neuroscience and law.

Alexis Kidder | Pre-doctoral Fellow

Photo of Alexis Kidder

Alexis graduated from the State University of New York at Geneseo with a B.A. in Psychology, and then spent three years in Chris Baker's lab as a post-baccalaureate IRTA. Her research interests focus on using neuroimaging techniques to explore the interaction of vision and memory processing underlying facial recognition, and understanding the neural correlates of abnormal visual processing.

Sebastian Montesinos | Post-baccalaureate Fellow

Photo of Sebastian Montesinos

Sebastian graduated from Amherst College with a BA in Psychology, where he focused on cognitive psychology, neuroscience, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion. He joined the LBC just after graduation, and is working on the nature of color perception using MEG. His research interests include the nature of mental representation, eliminativism, consciousness and perception, introspection, evolutionary psychology, and the cognitive science of religion.

Natalia Pallis-Hassani | Post-baccalaureate Fellow

Photo of Natalia Pallis-Hassani

Natalia graduated from University of California, San Diego with a BS in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience in 2022. She is currently working on a study examining the interaction between vision and action using real-world objects, functional MRI and body movement tracking. Her research interests include vision for action, visual learning, face perception, ensemble perception, and memory.

John Brendan Ritchie, Ph.D. | Post-doctoral Fellow

Photo of Dr. Brendan Ritchie

Brendan received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Maryland, College Park, followed by a post-doc in cognitive neuroscience at KU Leuven, Belgium. His current research is on the neural basis of visual object recognition and mental categorization, which he investigates using human fMRI and EEG.

Ryan Ruhde | Post-baccalaureate Fellow

Photo of Ryan Ruhde

Ryan graduated from Emory University with a BS in Psychology and a Minor in Music. He is currently working on transcranial electric stimulation (tES) and its impact on the brain and face processing. He is interested in how the brain can change and how cognition is altered by techniques such as stimulation and sensory deprivation.

Hector Sanchez Melendez | Post-baccalaureate Fellow

Photo of Hector Sanchez Melendez

Héctor graduated from the University of Iowa with a BS in Neuroscience. He is currently working in the psychophysics and processing of perception of textures and physical properties in objects. His research interests encompass language processing, perception, brain modulation, cognitive neuroscience, and techniques like MEG/EEG.

Alexandra Schmid, Ph.D. | Post-doctoral Fellow

Photo of Dr. Alex Schmid

Alexandra received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses on the visual perception of objects and surfaces, particularly the perception of materials and their intrinsic properties. She currently investigates how different aspects of our mental experience in response to visual stimuli could be shaped by - and reciprocally support - the flexible assessment of environmental affordances based on task demands, using a combination of neuroimaging methods (fMRI, MEG), and behavioral measures (task responses and gaze patterns).

Nellie Simmonds | Post-baccalaureate Fellow

Photo of Nellie Simmonds

Nellie graduated from Vassar College with a BA in Biology on the Pre-health track. She is still figuring out her specific research interests but she will begin her time in the LBC working on how the brain processes facial identity and facial expression in both healthy participants and individuals with developmental prosopagnosia. In her free time she enjoys hiking, biking, skiing and running.

Lina Teichmann, Ph.D. | Post-doctoral Fellow

Photo of Dr. Lina Teichmann

After receiving her Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia), Lina joined the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition in 2020. Her research focuses on how previous experience and knowledge interact with incoming visual information. She uses a combination of neuroimaging methods (e.g., MEG, fMRI), modeling, and behavioral approaches to answer her research questions.

Susan Wardle, Ph.D. | Research Fellow

Photo of Dr. Susan Wardle

Susan received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Sydney in Australia. Following a NHMRC Early Career Fellowship from the Australian government focused on developing multivariate methods for neuroimaging, she moved to the States and joined the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition in 2018. She is interested in the neural mechanisms underlying our visual behavior such as face and object recognition. Her research integrates multimodal neuroimaging (fMRI and MEG), computational techniques and behavioral paradigms to understand the neural basis of visual cognition.

Lab Alumni:

Post-docs & Staff Scientists

  • Wilma Bainbridge, Ph.D.
    Dr. Bainbridge is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at University of Chicago.
  • Annie Chan, Ph.D.
    Dr. Chan is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Brunel University, London.
  • Iris Groen, Ph.D.
    Dr. Groen is an Assistant Professor in the Informatics Institute at the University of Amsterdam.
  • Assaf Harel, Ph.D.
    Dr. Harel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Wright State University.
  • Martin Hebart, Ph.D.
    Dr. Hebart is Professor for Computational Cognitive Neuroscience and Quantitative Psychiatry at Justus Liebig University Giessen  and an Independent Max Planck research group leader  at the Max Planck Institute of Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences  in Leipzig, Germany.
  • Dwight Kravitz, Ph.D.
    Dr. Kravitz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at The George Washington University.
  • Sue-Hyun Lee, Ph.D.
    Dr. Lee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.
  • George Malcolm, Ph.D.
    Dr. Malcolm is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at The University of East Anglia.
  • Edward Silson, Ph.D.
    Dr. Silson is a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at The University of Edinburgh.
  • Cibu Thomas, Ph.D.
    Dr. Thomas is a Scientific Review Officer in the Center for Scientific Review at the National Institutes of Health.
  • Jess Taubert, Ph.D.
    Dr. Taubert is an ARC Future Fellow in the School of Psychology at The University of Queensland.
  • Maryam Vaziri-Pashkam, Ph.D.
    Maryam got her medical degree from Tehran University of Medical Sciences and her Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University. Her research focuses on understanding visual processing during natural interactions with objects and people. In her studies she uses behavioral, functional MRI, body movement tracking and computational techniques.  Maryam is now Assistant Professor at University of Delaware.  Google Scholar 
  • Matthias Nau, Ph.D.
    Matthias completed his Ph.D. in 2020 at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience (Norway) and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive & Brain Sciences  (Germany). He then joined the NIMH as Humboldt Research Fellow to investigate the links between visual perception, viewing behavior, and memory using human neuroimaging, eye tracking, and computational tools (e.g., DNNs). He also develops open-source community tools (e.g., DeepMReye ) to advance how brain-behavior relationships can be studied in neuroimaging with machine learning. Matthias is now an Assistant Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam  in collaboration with the Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging.    Google Scholar  | GitHub  | ResearchGate 

Graduate Students:

  • Caroline Robertson, Ph.D.
    Dr. Robertson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth College.
  • Joseph Arizpe, Ph.D.
    Dr. Arizpe is a vision and data scientist at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).
  • Adam Steel, Ph.D.
    Dr. Steel is a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth College.
  • Merage Ghane, Ph.D.
    Dr. Ghane is a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Hunter Schone, PhD
    Hunter received his BS in Neuroscience from Westminster College and his MSc in Clinical Neuroscience from University College London where he focused on prosthetic limb control in amputees and how prosthetic limbs are represented in the brain. He joined the Lab of Brain and Cognition in 2018 as a Ph.D. student co-supervised by Tamar Makin, University of Cambridge. His research focuses on experience-dependent neural plasticity, visuomotor hand representation, and motor learning with EMG controlled myoelectric robotic hands.  Google Scholar  | GitHub 


  • Latrice Vinson
  • Lalitha Chandrasekher
  • Stephanie Manchin
  • Beth Aguila
  • Emily Bilger
  • Joseph Arizpe
  • Marcie King
  • Aaron Trefler
  • Dan Janini
  • Brett Bankson
  • Jen Henry
  • Beth Hall
  • Alexis Kidder
  • Anna Corriveau
  • Brandon Levy
  • Wan Kwok
  • Adam Dickter
  • Viktoria Elkis
  • Sandra Truong
  • R'ay Fodor
  • Sanika Paranjape
  • Amanda Patterson
  • Hannah Wild
  • Shivani Goyal
  • Beth Rispoli
  • Leah Ettensohn
  • Spencer Andrews
  • Mae Moninghoff: Mae completed a BS in Cognitive Science at UC Davis, with an emphasis on Computer Science and Software Engineering. She joined the LBC just after graduation, and has worked on a variety of projects from prosthetic limb testing, to motion analysis, to VR. Her interests are in philosophy, internal representations and spatial mapping, and she loves to dance! GitHub 
  • Malcolm Udeozor: Malcolm graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BS in Cognitive Neuroscience. His research explores the relationships between motor movements and memory using EMG, behavioral assessments, and various computational analyses. Malcolm is now an MD PhD student at University of Cincinnati. 
  • Rohini Kumar:  Rohini completed a BA in Neuroscience at Rice University in 2021. She then joined the Lab of Brain and Cognition where she studies the timing of facial identity and expression processing using MEG. She is interested in how we process emotions and how emotional experiences are represented in the brain. Rohini is now a graduate student at Emory University.
  • Austin Greene:  Austin completed a BA in Psychology with a minor in Data Science at UC Berkeley. His current work focuses on the role of eye movements in episodic memory encoding and retrieval. He is interested in the process of memory consolidation over the course of the night and the effects of sleep deprivation as well as enhancement on cognitive function and plasticity. Austin is now a graduate student at University of Virginia.
  • Kyle Behel:  Kyle graduated from The George Washington University with a BS in Physical nad Biological Anthropology. He currently works on a behavioral and eyetracking study investigating the neural processing of occluded objects.
  • Kyla Brannigan:  Kyla graduated from Georgia State University with a BS in Neuroscience. She currently works on an fMRI project investigating the neural processing of facial expressions and head orientation. Her research interests going forward fall at the intersection of perception, memory, and emotion.
  • Mica Carroll:  Mica completed her BA through the College Scholar Program at Cornell University with an emphasis on Cognitive Science and Psycholinguistics. She currently works on a study which investigates the impact of transcranial electric stimulation (tES) on the brain. Her interests are in sequence learning, development, and pedagogical design.

Summer students:

  • Jiali Zhang
  • Caitlin Van Wicklin
  • Cady Lyon
  • Veronica Ramirez
  • Lorilei Alley
  • Carolyn Gigot
  • Sandra Truong
  • Cynthia Peng
  • Lindsay Wood
  • Vishal Bhaia
  • Rhea Rakheja
  • Shila Deljookorani
  • Naeyeric Cairo

Visiting students:

  • Annalies Baeck
  • Diana Mussgens
  • Stanley Govenlock

High school students:

  • Anna Cheng
  • Melody Khosravi
  • Iman Querishi
  • Rizwana Saleem
  • Tem Yousafi
  • Simran Baid
  • Leah Pulinat
  • Jessica Penry
  • Jazmine Dennis