Current PhD Students



Michael Mannino 

My specific research is in computational cognitive neuroscience and involves the investigation of large-scale neurocognitive or brain networks by analysing simulated data from The Virtual Brain Project using computational causality testing. In general, I am also interested in questions in the philosophy of neuroscience and neurophilosophy --  particularly how a philosophical understanding of concepts such as causality, representation, etc., can help clarify those same concepts as used in neuroscience; and how philosophical concepts, such as morality, can be clarified and perhaps better understood with empirical results from modern neuroscience.



Mengsen Zhang

After joining the program, my first research project is to understand social emotion as a dynamic system, the process of which was sought to be described in terms of the dynamic landscape of coupled oscillators -  meaning both the coordinated rhythmic movement of a social dyad and the intrapersonal coordination of oscillatory neural activities. In future work, I plan to explore multi-agent coordination: how complex spatio-temporal patterns emerge, stabilize, and destablize with increased population, and how to connect well-established models on the coordination between a small number of components to systems of larger population.



Tatiana Viena

Main research interests include anatomy and physiology of the thalamus, Sleep Gene Polymorphisms (Per3, Dec2), Neurophysiology of Sleep, Stress (acute, chronic stress, cortisol) and Immunity (I-gA responses).  Currently my research focuses on behavioral and electrophysiological properties of midline thalamic cells essential in spatial navigation and higher order cognitive processes, involving animal models.



William Hahn

My research involves using DTI to detect differences in the white matter skeleton of elderly humans with Alzheimer's disease (AD). In essence, DTI is a noninvasive technique that images the brain in multiple directions to determine a diffusion tensor (a symmetric 3x3 matrix) at each volume element in space.  These tensors represent the probability of water diffusing in a given direction and allow for the differentiation between regions in the in the brain where the water diffusion is isotropic and the more interesting areas of high anisotropy that represent the long-range fibers. 



Avisa Asemi 

I am working on a project that investigates the role of the anterior cingulate cortex of the brain in top-down motor control in healthy adolescent subjects.I have applied Granger causality analysis to functional MRI data to quantify the pattern of top-down control between the anterior cingulate cortex and the motor cortex during a controlled finger movement task. 


ccs profile

Chad Carlson

I’m interested in investigating bistable percepts in human visual motion perception as a way of exploring larger complex patterns in embodied biological systems in general with psychophysical testing and mathematical modeling.  




James Sullivan

I study targeted gene therapy to stop neovascularization in the eye for diseases such as AMD and diabetic retinopathy.  I currently use animal models to study these therapies.




Tim Meehan 

I am using multivariate vector autoregressive time-series analysis of fMRI data to study how large-scale brain network interactions underlie voluntary, top-down control of attention, and how these interactions may break down in stroke patients with spatial neglect. Though I focus on specific networks of frontoparietal and visual cortical regions, I am interested in large-scale brain networks in general, with respect not only to their role in cognition, but also to how they reflect the brain's intrinsic organization, and further to how this organization may embody principles generic to all complex systems.



Craig Nordham 

I'm part of the Human Brain and Behavior Laboratory, where I study social  
coordination and its dynamics during encounter and departure. I'm looking  
at patterns in behavior and brain (EEG) that describe and perhaps even  
predict an interaction's outcomes. I'm also looking at the expression of  
affect of a professional ballet dancer's performances recorded with a  
motion capture system. 



Amy Ste. Croix 

I am interested in the dynamics and computations involved in movement coordination in brain and behavior using EEG and motion capture techniques.



Lee - Kuen Chua

Why do we move the way we do? The mechanistic understanding of the
intrinsic dynamics of human motor coordination control and learning, which
is complemented by pertinent psychosocial factors, forms the core of my
research interests and efforts. In my work, I aim for basic science
research to be translated into clinical applications in movement
rehabilitation intervention as well as into technical improvements in
athletic performance.



Sarah Cohen

I use immunohistochemistry and  various pharmacological techniques to investigate the roles of the rodent perirhinal cortex and hippocampus in object recognition memory.  



Jigar Modi