Marlene Cohen is a professor in the Department of Neuroscience and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at the University of Pittsburgh. She received bachelors’ degrees in mathematics and in brain and cognitive science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University after working with Bill Newsome, studying how interactions between neurons depend on how animals plan to use the sensory information they encode. Her postdoctoral research with John Maunsell at Harvard Medical School used visual attention as a tool to understand which aspects of a cortical population code are important. She joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 2011. The Cohen lab will be joining the Department of Neurobiology and the Neuroscience Institute at the University of Chicago in the summer of 2022.
Her group at the University of Pittsburgh uses physiological, behavioral and computational methods to study how visual information is encoded in the visual cortex, what information the visual cortex transmits to downstream areas, and how variability in sensory neurons affects perception. She received the Eppendorf and Science Prize for Neurobiology, a Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Award in the Neurosciences, a Whitehall Foundation Grant, a National Institutes of Health Pathway to Independence Award and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship.