||PROFILE — Marlene Behrmann
Ph.D, University of Toronto
Area: Cognitive, Neuroscience
Psychology office: 331 Baker Hall
Psychology phone: 412-268-2790
Director, Cognitive Neuroscience Lab
Lab link: http://www.cnbc.cmu.edu/~behrmann
Despite the fact that visual scenes may contain multiple objects and people, humans can recognize and interact with the objects and individuals with ease and accuracy. Research in my lab focuses on studying how this is achieved - what are the necessary psychological processes and representations that underlie abilities such as object, face and word recognition, scene recognition and visuospatial representations. In addition to understanding the psychological and computational mechanisms that support these processes, my research is designed to uncover the neural systems that are engaged in visual cognition.
The combination of psychological and neural approaches involves several key methodologies:
- Neuropsychological which refers to the study the behavior of human adults who have sustained brain damage (usually through stroke or head injury) which selectively affects their ability to carry out these processes. For example, some patients are impaired at recognizing faces (prosopagnosia), some are impaired at recognizing objects (visual object agnosia) and some are unable to represent visuospatial information (hemispatial neglect). By examining patterns of associations and dissociations among abilities after brain damage, one can make inferences about the functional and structural organization of the brain.
- Psychophysical studies, which refers to the detailed measurement and characterization of the processes under investigation using response latencies and accuracies, as well as other analytic and computational approaches
- Computational simulations of artificial neural networks, which may be used to model these visual processes, their development and their breakdown following brain-damage.
- Detailed structural and functional neuroimaging including magnetic resonance imaging, evokes response potential and magnetoencehalography.
Scherf, K. S., Thomas, C., Avidan, G. and Behrmann, M. (2013). Structural connectivity and functional consequences in face recognition: A developmental account, Cerebral Cortex, doi: 10.1093/cercor/bht152.
Behrmann, M. and Plaut, D. C. (2013). Distributed circuits, not circumscribed centers, mediate visual recognition. Trends in Cognitive Science, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2013.03.007.
Zachariou, V., Klatzky, R. and Behrmann, M. (2013). Ventral and Dorsal Visual Stream Contributions to the Perception of Object Shape and Object Location, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, in press.
Avidan, G., Hadj-Bouziane, F., Liu, N., Ungerleider, L. and Behrmann, M. (2013). Selective dissociation between core and extended regions in the face processing network in congenital prosopagnosia. Cerebral Cortex, doi:10.1093/cercor/bht007, ePub ahead of press.
Nestor, A., Plaut, D. and Behrmann, M. (2013). Orthographic form processing - A multivariate investigation of its neural basis, Cerebral Cortex, 23: 1673-1684.
Dundas, E., Plaut, D. and Behrmann, M. (2013). The joint development of hemispheric lateralization for words and face, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. doi: 10.1037/a0029503.
Nestor, A., Plaut, D.C. and Behrmann, M. (2013). Face space architecture: independent component analysis accounts for the structure of human face representations, Psychological Science, DOI: 10.1177/0956797612464889.
Behrmann, M. and Plaut, D. C. (2012). Bilateral hemispheric representation of words and faces: Evidence from word impairments in prosopagnosia and face impairments in pure alexia, In press Cerebral Cortex.
Avidan, G., Hadj-Bouziane, F., Liu, N., Ungerleider, L. and Behrmann, M. (2012). Selective dissociation between core and extended regions in the face processing network in congenital prosopagnosia. In press Cerebral Cortex.
Nestor, A., Plaut, D.C. and Behrmann, M. (2012). Face space architecture: independent component analysis accounts for the structure of human face representations, in press, Psychological Science.
Dinstein, I., Heeger, D. J., Lorenzi, L., Minshew, N. J., Malach, R. and Behrmann, M. (2012). Unreliable evoked responses in autism, Neuron, 75, 981-991.
Dundas, E., Plaut, D. and Behrmann, M. (2012). The joint development of hemispheric lateralization for words and face, in press, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, in press.
Scherf, K. S., Behrmann, M. and Dahl, R. (2012). Facing changes & changing faces in adolescence: investigating the neural basis of key developmental shifts in social-information processing, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 2, 2, 199-219. PMID: 22483070
Associates and Assistants:
Akshat Gupta, Research Assistant
Shai Gabay, Postdoctoral Fellow
Sarah Haigh, Postdoctoral Fellow
Eva Dundas, Graduate Assistant
Tina Liu, Graduate Assistant
Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
Cognitive Neuroscience Lab
Ethical issues in human experimentation (PowerPoint)