Epstein Lab Research Publications People Links Center for Cognitive Neuroscience University of Pennsylvania

Contact

Russell A. Epstein, PhD
Professor of Psychology
University of Pennsylvania
t:  215.573.3532
f:  215.898.1982
epstein[at]psych.upenn.edu

Laboratory Address:
Center for Cognitive Neuroscience
Goddard Labs (3rd and 5th floors)
3710 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6241

Lab Twitter

Principal Investigator

Russell Epstein

Russell A. Epstein, PhD
Professor of Psychology
Goddard Laboratories, Office 522
epstein[at]psych.upenn.edu | CV
I am a professor in the psychology department at Penn and I'm pleased to work with all the fine folks below. I got into this business somewhat by accident: after an undergraduate degree in physics at the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in computer vision with Alan Yuille at Harvard, I wandered into a postdoc with Nancy Kanwisher at MIT just around the time that fMRI was taking off. I then spent 2 years working with John Duncan at the MRC-CBU in the other Cambridge before coming to Penn in 2002. When I'm not thinking about scenes, places, and the brain, I like to talk about politics and ponder the meaning of the word "representation" over a glass or two of beer.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Michael Bonner

Michael Bonner, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Neurology
Goddard Laboratories, Office 315
michafra[at]mail.med.upenn.edu | Homepage
I'm a postdoc in the lab, and I study the interaction of memory and vision in spatial perception. In everyday situations, humans use their memory of environmental structures to plan their movements and to structure their spatial representations. For example, when navigating through a building, we process not only the local spatial layout in each room but also the global spatial layout of how the rooms are connected. In my work, I use multivariate neuroimaging techniques to understand how the brain connects global spatial information stored in memory with local spatial information that is available through perception. This work attempts to understand the neural mechanisms for a basic cognitive process through which humans make sense of the environment. My hope is that it will also illustrate general principles of how perceptual and mnemonic processes interact. Before joining the lab, I studied molecular biology and biochemistry as an undergrad, and then moved into the field of neuroscience for graduate school. My PhD work examined the interaction of perception and memory in semantic representation.

Graduate Students

Alon Hafri

Alon Hafri
Graduate Student, Psychology
Goddard Laboratories, 3rd Floor
ahafri[at]gmail.com
I started in September 2012 as a research assistant in the lab working on MVPA analysis. Before that, I worked for 3 years in John Trueswell and Lila Gleitman's language lab. My research projects have focused on event perception, including visual examination on interacting events and gist extraction from event scenes. I am an avid soup-maker and play music in a band called The Really Cooks.

Josh Julian

Josh Julian
Graduate Student, Psychology
Goddard Laboratories, 3rd Floor
joshua.b.julian[at]gmail.com
I am interested in tackling questions of scene perception, navigation, and spatial cognition. In particular, what cognitive and neural systems support our ability to perceive the environment, and use that information to navigate? What representations and computations are involved? How do such systems develop, and change as a result of abnormal development? To investigate such questions, I draw on theoretical perspectives from multiple fields, including psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, and computer vision, and use a variety of experimental techniques, such as psychophysics, neuroimaging, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Prior to joining the lab, I graduated from Binghamton University (SUNY) with bachelor's degrees in mathematical physics, philosophy, and mathematics, pursued graduate work in philosophy at Tufts University, and worked as a research assistant in Nancy Kanwisher's cognitive neuroscience lab at MIT.

Alexander Keinath

Alexander Keinath
Graduate Student, Psychology
Goddard Laboratories, 3rd Floor
akeinath[at]sas.upenn.edu
I am interested in understanding the neural basis of spatial representation, from input to circuit-level implementation. My research focuses on spatial representation in the hippocampus, asking questions such as: What about the environment contributes to hippocampal representations? How are these contributions represented and maintained? How is this representation related to behavior? To address these questions, I rely on in vivo electrophysiological recording in mice (in collaboration with Dr. Isabel Muzzio), coupled with behavior and computational modeling. Prior to Penn, I received my B.S. in Psychology and Philosophy, with a minor in neural computation, from Carnegie Mellon University in 2012, where I also conducted research as an undergraduate.

 

Research Specialists

Rachel Metzgar

Rachel Metzgar
Research Specialist and Lab Manager, Psychology
Goddard Laboratories, Office 320
rmetzgar[at]sas.upenn.edu
I recieved my B.A. in Neuroscience from the University of Delaware in May of 2017. As an undergraduate, I worked in the Visual Cognition Lab under the guidance of Jim Hoffman. My undergraduate thesis examined the effects of emotionally negative stimuli on visual attention using EEG data. I'm very excited to work with and learn from the people above.

Undergraduate Researchers

Lab Alumni

Postdoctoral Fellows

Steven Marchette Steven Marchette, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychology
stmar[at]sas.upenn.edu | Homepage

Maria Olkkonen Maria Olkkonen, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychology
mariaol[at]sas.upenn.edu | Homepage

Seth Bouvier Seth Bouvier, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychology
sethbouvier[at]gmail.com

Victor Schinazi Victor Schinazi, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychology
v.schinazi[at]gmail.com

Sean MacEvoy Sean MacEvoy, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychology
Currently: Assistant Professor at Boston College
sean.macevoy.1[at]bc.edu

Graduate Students

Matt McCabe Matt McCabe
Graduate Student, Psychology

Teresa Pegors Teresa Pegors
Graduate Student, Psychology

tpegors[at]sas.upenn.edu | homepage

Marieta Pehlivanova Marieta Pehlivanova
Rotating Graduate Student, Psychology
marieta[at]sas.upenn.edu

Marcelo Gomes Mattar Marcelo Gomes Mattar
Rotating Graduate Student, Psychology
Goddard Laboratories, 5th Floor
mattar[at]sas.upenn.edu

Vanessa Troiani Vanessa Troiani
Current Post-Doc at Temple University

troiani[at]gmail.com

Lindsay Vass (Morgan) Lindsay Vass (Morgan)
Graduate Student, Neuroscience

lmo[at]mail.med.upenn.edu | Homepage

Research Specialists

Stamati Liapis Stamati Liapis
Research Specialist Emeritus

John Ryan John Ryan
Research Specialist Emeritus

Anthony Stigliani Anthony Stigliani
Research Specialist Emeritus
Currently: PhD Candidate at Stanford
astiglia[at]stanford.edu

Mary Smith Mary Smith
Research Specialist Emeritus
Currently: PhD Candidate at UCSD
maryesmith[at]gmail.com

Emily Ward Emily Ward
Research Specialist Emeritus
Currently: PhD Candidate at Yale
emily.ward[at]yale.edu

Whitney Parker Whitney Parker
Research Specialist Emeritus

Steve Higgins Steve Higgins
Research Specialist Emeritus

Alana Feiler Alana Feiler
Research Specialist Emeritus

Undergraduate Researchers

Rachel Freilich Rachel Freilich
Independent Research Student

Nicole Paul Nicole Paul
Independent Research Student

Peter Bryan Peter Bryan
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Monica Osher Monica Osher
Independent Research Student

Ben van Buren Ben van Buren
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ross Avila Ross Avila
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Beth Lovisa Beth Lovisa
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Karen Jablonski Karen Jablonski
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Laboratory Mascot

Munchkin Munchkin
Lab Mascot Emeritus