Kanwisher Lab


Pramod RT (pramodrt at mit dot edu)
The brain is an extraordinary machine -- it processes a lot of information at astonishing speeds to enable us to go about our everyday lives. What kind of information is represented where (and when) in the brain? What are the underlying computations? As a postdoctoral researcher with Nancy Kanwisher, I am working towards answering these questions using ECoG, Neuroimaging and computational modeling. Prior to this, I obtained my PhD from the Indian Institute of Science where I worked with SP Arun towards understanding the compositional nature of object representation in brains and machines.
Kamila Jóźwik (kmjozwik at mit dot edu)
Broadly I'm interested in the following questions: How does the primate brain process visual information? More specifically - how does the primate brain recognise objects? What are the underlying computations of visual processing? I'm using fMRI, EEG, MEG, behavioural measures and single-cell recording data, together with computational modelling (including deep neural networks) to understand these processes better. I’m a Sir Henry Wellcome postdoctoral fellow working with Nancy Kanwisher and Jim DiCarlo at MIT, and Zoe Kourtzi at the University of Cambridge. I am interested in modelling the representations in the brain and behaviour, for human and monkey, using deep neural networks. For more information, please see my website.  
Jeff Mentch (jsmentch at mit dot edu)
I am a lab tech working with Caroline Robertson on projects related to visual perception in autism using techniques like fMRI, eye-tracking, and wearable VR. Before joining the lab, I received an MA in Digital Musics from Dartmouth College where I researched the reconstruction of music stimuli from fMRI data. Before that I worked in Alzheimer’s clinical trials and deep-sea marine biology. I am broadly interested in exploring computational approaches to the study of auditory perception.
Katharina Dobs (katharina dot dobs at gmail dot com)
How does the brain represent objects and faces in the real world? I completed my PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics under the supervision of Isabelle Bülthoff and Johannes Schultz, investigating behavioral and neural correlates of dynamic face perception. During my first Postdoc at CerCo-CNRS working with Leila Reddy, I used a combination of psychophysics and neuroimaging (fMRI) to characterize the integration of facial form and motion information during face perception. As a postdoctoral research fellow with Nancy Kanwisher, I hope to extend these findings to the real world. Using state-of-the-art eye tracking and head-mounted cameras, I plan to characterize statistical properties of real-world visual input and to investigate how these statistics guide object and face perception in the human visual system.
Dana Boebinger (dlboebinger at gmail dot com)
I am a PhD student in the Harvard-MIT program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology , working both with Nancy Kanwisher and Josh McDermott. I use fMRI to examine the neural mechanisms that underlie human perception of complex sounds, such as speech and music. I am also interested in how perception of these complex sounds varies across people, as well as the extent to which experience shapes both auditory perceptual abilities and how sound is represented in the brain. .
Anna Mynick (amynick at mit dot edu)
I'm involved in several projects as a lab tech, but I primarily split my time between projects investigating when functional regions arise in the developing brain and how functional regions, once developed, are connected to one another. In particular, my work centers around helping collect data from infant brains and analyzing fMRI and diffusion data. Before starting as a tech, I graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in neuroscience. I also had the good fortune of working with Caroline Robertson as an undergraduate researcher, using both fMRI and behavioral measures to pursue questions about memory and perception of scenes.
Apurva Ratan Murty (ratan at mit dot edu)
I am postdoctoral research fellow with Nancy Kanwisher and Jim Dicarlo. I received my PhD in Neuroscience from the Centre for Neuroscience, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore - India, where I studied viewpoint invariant object representations in the macaque inferotemporal cortex. Broadly, I am interested in computational mechanisms during early brain development and investigate this using a combination of brain imaging, macaque electrophysiology, behavioural psychophysics and computational modelling.
David Beeler (dsbeeler at mit dot edu)
As a lab tech I get to be involved in a lot of different projects, but I have focused on collecting and analyzing fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and DWI (diffusion weighted imaging) data. To understand brain development and the progression of brain disorders, it is important to understand how the brain is organized and what types of computations it performs. My goal is to use available technologies and techniques to uncover this functional organization, and ultimately learn something about how we think, feel, and behave.
Heather Kosakowski (hlk at mit dot edu)
At birth, the human infant brain weighs less than one pound. As infants become children and then adults, that tiny piece of tissue grows and expands to three times its birth size and is responsible for housing our entire experience as a human being. Every bit of knowledge, every cognitive capacity, and every thought humans have is a result of what is and isn’t stored by the billions of neurons in our brain. I think that is amazing! As a graduate student, I get to study the development of the functional specialization and organization of the human brain with Nancy Kanwisher and Rebecca Saxe as my advisors! .
Leyla Isik (lisik at mit dot edu)
The brain can effortlessly extract visual and social information (such as who you are looking at, what they are doing, and who they are interacting with) from complex visual scenes. As a postdoctoral researcher with Nancy Kanwisher and Gabriel Kreiman, I'm interested in studying how the brain solves this problem using neuroimaging, ECoG, and machine learning. I completed my PhD with Tomaso Poggio where I studied the dynamics of invariant object and action recognition in the human brain. To find out more about my research, you can visit my website .
Nancy Kanwisher (ngk at mit dot edu)
Lucky me! I get to work with all the brilliant and wonderful people on this page, and to think about cool questions like these: How are objects, faces, and scenes represented in the brain, and (how) do the representations of each of these classes of stimuli differ from each other? How are visual representations affected by attention, awareness, and experience? Which mental processes get their own special patch of cortex, why is it these processes and (apparenly) not others, and how do special-purpose bits of brain arise in the first place?
Charlie (Charlie at mit dot edu)

Rosa Lafer-Sousa (rlaferso at mit dot edu)
I am a first-year graduate student in BCS seeking to shed light on the overall architecture of the ventral visual pathway and establish direct links between neural activity and perception. As an amateur visual artist, my interest in Vision stems from an interest in the intersection of Vision and Art; asking, to what extent can the study (and practice) of art inform an understanding of the visual system and vice versa? Most recently, in my pre-doctoral work in the lab of Dr. Bevil Conway, we discovered that color-selective cortical regions lie systematically adjacent to face-selective cortical regions in the ventral visual pathway in monkeys. Using fMRI in humans, my present work in the Kanwisher lab aims to 1) test whether similar functional organization is found in humans and 2) discover homologous regions in human and monkey brains that might allow us to extend the impact of knowledge obtained through invasive techniques in monkeys.
Former Lab Members