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Laboratory of Brain and Cognition (LBC)


Leslie G. Ungerleider, Ph.D. | NIH Distinguished Investigator, Chief Laboratory of Brain and Cognition and the Section on Neurocircuitry
Dr. Ungerleider received her B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton and her Ph.D. from New York University. The research of her Section aims to understand the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive processes, including perception, attention, learning and memory, and emotion, especially in the visual domain. To that end, she uses a variety of methodologies in both human and non-human primates, such as behavioral assessment of brain lesions, neuroimaging with fMRI, physiological recordings, and transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Hana Eaton, B.S. | Post Bac Fellow
is a graduate of Stonehill College with a B.S. in Neuroscience. Using functional MRI, Hana investigates the role and functional organization of brain areas such as the striatum, orbitofrontal cortex, inferior temporal cortex, and amygdala in visual reward-learning tasks in macaque monkeys.

Amisha Gandhi, B.S. | Post Bac Fellow
Amisha is a graduate of The University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and Specializations in Neuroscience and Endocrinology. Through the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Ms. Gandhi is investigating visual and higher-level processing of curvature in mammalian brains.

Geena Ianni, B.A. | Post Bac Fellow
Geena received her B.A. in Neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania. Her current work investigates the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on the BOLD signal in the healthy adult brain.

Alumit Ishai, Ph.D. | Special Volunteer
Dr. Ishai received her B.Sc and M.Sc from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and her Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science. She conducted postdoctoral research at the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition at the NIMH. She was a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Neuroradiology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, where she studied the neural mechanisms of visual perception and memory. She is currently the Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Program at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia.

Shruti Japee, Ph.D | Staff Scientist
Dr. Japee received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Medical College of Virginia in 1999 where she designed and implemented a system for analyzing video images to study microcirculatory oxygen transport. Since March 2002, she has been working as a Staff Scientist in the LBC. She is currently using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the role of reward in perceptual decision-making. She is also studying patients with frontal or parietal lesions to investigate the mechanisms underlying top-down and bottom-up visual attention.

Peter M. Kaskan, PhD. | Contract Scientist, Laboratory of Neuropsychology, Section on Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, and LBC Section on Neurocircuitry
In an effort to understand the neurocircuitry that may contribute to symptoms of anhedonia, Dr. Kaskan is utilizing fMRI, behavioral methods and pharmacological inactivations to determine the role of the amygdala in learning from reward feedback and the representation of cues that predict reward. Dr. Kaskan received his Bachelor's degree from Clark University, and went on to study at Cornell University and RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Tokyo, Japan, before earning his Ph.D. in Psychology from Vanderbilt University.

Ning Liu, Ph.D. | Research Fellow
Dr. Liu received her doctoral degree in Zoology from the Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Science. Her work has combined neuroimaging (e.g., fMRI, resting-state fMRI, MR-visualizable tracing methods) with traditional research techniques (pharmacological manipulation, behavior tests, etc.) to study structure-function relationships in the primate brain.

Adam Messinger, Ph.D. | Staff Scientist
Dr. Messinger holds a doctorate in Physics from the University of California at San Diego.  Dr. Messinger uses functional brain imaging and electrophysiology to understand the neuronal circuits underlying visual form (e.g. face) recognition, cognition, and affective processing.

David Pitcher, Ph.D. | Research Fellow
Dr. Pitcher studies the neural correlates of face and object perception in humans using a combination of TMS and fMRI. He was awarded his PhD at University College London and was a postdoc at MIT before coming to the NIH.

Zaid Safiullah, B.S. | Post Bac Fellow
Zaid received his degree in molecular biology at the university of Pittsburgh. His current project uses TMS to investigate the role of the dorsal stream in face perception and assists in research concerning visual attention. Zaid is also interested in the functional connectivity between the ventral and dorsal streams with regard to the perception of faces.

Jakob Seidlitz, B.S. Post Bac Fellow
Jakob is a 2013 graduate of the University of Rochester with a Bachelor of Science in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Jakob works in the Section on Neurocircuitry and assists with both electrophysiology and fMRI data acquisition and analysis in non-human primates. He is studying the connectivity of the primate amygdala and its functional relation to brain regions responsible for face and object processing.

Andrea Stacy, B.A. | Post Bac Fellow
Andrea is a graduate of Wake Forest University, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with a degree in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Studio Art. Ms. Andrea works in Dr. Leslie Ungerleider's lab, assisting in both non-human primate and human work.

Olivia Tomeo, B.A. | Post Bac Fellow
Olivia is a graduate of Bucknell University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Animal Behavior and Spanish. Olivia is currently a research assistant in the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition working under Dr. Leslie Ungerleider, Dr. Roger Tootell and Dr. Ning Liu.

Roger Tootell, Ph.D. | Volunteer
Dr. Tootell is a faculty member at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Center for Biomedical Imaging (MGH/HST Athinoula A. Martinos Facility). Dr. Tootell’s research utilizes MRI and other techniques to study the functional organization of primate visual cortex.

Xiaomin Yue, Ph.D. | Post Doc Fellow
Dr. Yue received his doctorate in Psychology at the University of Southern California. By using multiple research methods, his objective is to understand the neural mechanisms underlying shape perception as well as the computational principles underlying visual perception.

Valentinos Zachariou, Ph.D. | Post Doc Fellow
Dr. Zachariou received his Doctoral degree from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Zachariou is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow interested in broadening the understanding of the neural mechanisms behind the two main visual pathways that guide vision for action and vision for perception. Current focus is on research that explores possible interactions between these two systems.

Hui Zhang, Ph.D. | Visiting Fellow
Dr. Zhang holds a PhD in psychology and cognitive neuroscience from Peking University. He is studying the neural mechanisms of attention, awareness, visual perception, adaptation and emotion using psychophysics, fMRI, electrocorticography and computational model.

Xilin Zhang, Ph.D. | Visiting Fellow
Dr. Zhang holds a doctorate in psychology and cognitive neuroscience from Peking University. He is studying the neural mechanisms of attention, awareness, visual perception, adaptation and emotion using psychophysics, fMRI, electrocorticography and computational models.