Instructor in Radiology at Harvard Medical School
Assistant in Neuroscience at MGH
Research Affiliate at MIT
Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging
149 Thirteenth Street, Room 2301
Charlestown, MA 02129
I am a cognitive and systems neuroscientist with research interests in visual perception, language, memory, attention and eye movement control. My research uses behavioral and neuroimaging approaches to examine the neural basis of these fundamental processes, focusing on how they interact and coordinate in natural reading and vision.
I received my B.S. and M.S. in Physics from University of Bucharest in Romania, and my Ph.D. in Neurobiology from University of Pittsburgh, PA with Dr. Daniel Simons. I completed my postdoctoral training in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with Drs. Emery Brown, Matti Hamalainen and Gina Kuperberg. I have been an Assistant in Neuroscience at Massachusetts General Hospital and Faculty Instructor in Radiology at Harvard Medical School since 2008.
My research focuses on understanding the impact of action on perceptual and cognitive function in the human brain. In natural vision and reading, we constantly move our eyes from one target to another for detailed image analysis onto the fovea, the retinal area with highest visual acuity. In doing so, we perceive the world as staying "still", while our brain ignores the abrupt retinal motion and compensates for the repositioning of gaze. Yet, the neuroscience of active vision and reading remains a mystery. What are the neural pathways and mechanisms underlying active perception and cognition? What are the related spatio-temporal patterns of brain activity and how are they modulated by eye-movements and attention in natural settings? What are the mechanisms of perceptual-motor integration? We currently explore these questions using magnetoencephalography (MEG), electroencephalography (EEG), magnetic resonance and diffusion tensor imaging (MRI/DTI), psychophysics and eye movement detection in real time, with the long-term objective of understanding the complex interactions between visual, language, attentional and motor systems during reading and active vision.
2012 MGH Executive Committee on Research (ECOR) Award, Massachusetts General Hospital