Nicole Rust received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from New York University, advised by Tony Movshon and Eero Simoncelli. She then trained as a postdoctoral researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Jim DiCarlo. In 2009, she became an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Rust’s research program focuses on understanding the neural computations responsible for integrating the perceptual and cognitive components of objects and scenes, including flexibly searching for different sought objects as well as remembering whether an object or scene has been encountered before. To approach these problems, her lab combines behavioral and neural data collected as subjects perform visual tasks with computational data analysis and modeling. The ultimate goal of her research is to determine accurate yet intuitive descriptions of what different areas of the brain do and how they do it. To achieve this, her lab often extends the types of rigorous, quantitative approaches that have long been the mainstay of research in low-level sensory processing to describe neural computation at higher stages.
Past Project: Single-trial visual familiarity memory acquisition