Visual Attention Lab

Lab Members | Lab Photos

Wolfe Lab 2018


(Left to right) Farah, Anna, Nurit, Makaela, Bea & Lucia, Hayden, Jeremy, Iris, and Maria! Missing: Chia-Chien.

Principal Investigator

  • Jeremy Wolfe

    Jeremy Wolfe is the head of the lab. He is Professor of Ophthalmology and Radiology at Harvard Medical School. In addition, he is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT and an Adjunct Associate Professor in Cognitive and Neural Systems at Boston University. He received his AB in 1977 from Princeton and his Ph.D. in Psychology from MIT in 1981. He is married to Julie Sandell (Assoc. Provost for Faculty Affairs, Boston U) and has three sons (Ben-29; postdoc at the MIT AgeLab, to see more of his work click here), Philip-27, and Simon -19. Click here to read his curriculum vitae.

Research Fellows

  • Matthew S. Cain

    Matt received his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied cognitive control, task switching, attention, and video game players. From there, he got his first taste of visual search, working as a postdoc with Steve Mitroff at Duke University, studying miss errors in multiple-target visual search as well as trying to understand the impact of media multitasking behavior in attentional control. After that, Matt delved into lower-level perceptual-learning processes and how they are affected by sleep in a postdoc with Takeo Watanabe and Yuka Sasaki at Brown University. First, as a postdoc in the Visual Attention Lab and now as a visiting researcher, Matt is once again happily enmeshed in multiple-target search, especially ecologically inspired foraging models and Soldier-relevant searches. Check out his website for publications and other information.

  • Chia-Chien Wu

    Chia-Chien received his Ph.D at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, where he worked with Eileen Kowler on the spatial and temporal control of saccadic eye movements. Before joining the Visual Attention Lab, he also worked as a postdoc with Marc Pomplun at University of Massachusetts at Boston and Arash Yazdanbakhsh at Boston University, studying scene perception, semantic guidance of visual attention and the control of eye movements in Parkinson’s disease. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Visual Attention Lab, he is studying change detection and multiple object tracking.

  • Farahnaz Ahmed Wick

    Farahnaz received her Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where she worked with Marc Pomplun. Her dissertation topic was top-down and bottom-up biases in visual attention. As a postdoctoral fellow in Visual Attention Lab, Farahnaz continues investigating attentional mechanisms involved in scene perception, multiple identity tracking and visual working memory.

  • Iris Wiegand

    Iris received her Ph.D from the Graduate School of Systemic Neuroscience at Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich (LMU), completing her dissertation on EEG markers of age-related changes in visual attention. She then joined the Center for Visual Cognition at the University of Copenhagen, where she continued her work on combining modeling based on Bundesen’s computational “Theory of Visual Attention” with EEG, to derive behavioral and brain measures of individual differences, age- and disease-related changes in attentional functions. Since July 2016, Iris is a research fellow of the Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research, working on interactions of arousal and attention, functional hemispheric asymmetries, and neural dynamics and plasticity of attention in aging. Iris was awarded a 3-year Marie Curie Fellowship by the European Research Council, which takes her to the Wolfe lab to measure how interactions of attention, memory, and decision-making explain age-related difficulties in visual tasks.

Visiting Professors

  • Nurit Gronau

    Nurit completed her PhD at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, investigating the factors that affect visual attentional selection, specifically examining the nature of distractor interference in focused-attention tasks. In her research, she asked whether personally significant stimuli (such as one's own name) affect one's responses to an attended stimulus in an involuntary manner. Using both behavioral and psychophysiological measures, she showed that in contrast to common belief, highly meaningful stimuli do not capture attention, unless they are relevant to task demands. Nurit than proceeded to her post-doctoral studies at the NMR center of Harvard Medical School, exploring the cortical correlates of object-to-object contextual binding processes, using behavioral and functional brain imaging techniques. In recent years, as a faculty PI at the Open University of Israel, she has been working on various questions associated with the necessity of attention to visual recognition and to visual object integration processes. In addition, she has been working on several projects associated with visual memory, visual object representation, and semantic/contextual influences on long-term memory. Nurit is currently spending a sabbatical year as a visiting professor at the Wolfe lab.

  • Beatriz Gil-Gómez de Liaño

    Bea completed her PhD in 2005 at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) in Experimental Psychology studying attention and working memory interactions. During her Postdoc training she worked with Dr. Carlo Umiltà at Università degli Studi di Padova (2008/2009) studying attention in Traumatic Brain Injury Patients. In 2011 se worked with Dr. Molly Potter at the MIT (José Castillejo Scholarship, Spanish Governement) studying Attention in RSVP tasks, and with Dr. Jeremy Wolfe in 2015 (Fulbright Scholarship), studying working memory effects in visual search. She is also Associate Professor at UAM, teaching Methods in Psychology. From December 2015 to January 2018 she was Vice-Dean of Research and Doctoral Studies at the School of Psychology of the UAM. Now, Bea has been awarded again with a Fulbright Scholarship as Senior Researcher (Salvador de Madariaga) for 6 months, from February to July 2018 in the Wolfe Lab to continue her studies in visual search. She has also been recently awarded with a 3-year Marie Curie Fellowship by the European Research Council, to work in the Adaptive Brain Lab with Dr. Zoe Kourtzi at the University of Cambridge. As a Global Fellowship she will continue joining Wolfe lab for 2 years from August 2018 within a project studying attention and working memory in children. Her main research interest nowadays is to understand how attentional mechanisms operate in a developmental brain, and how they change in typical and atypical development to design new treatments to improve them during childhood.

Research Assistants

  • Makaela Nartker

    Makaela earned her B.A. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Ohio State University, where she worked with Dr. James Todd investigating the perception of 3D shape from shading. She also worked with Dr. Julie Golomb studying the interactions between visual working memory and feature encoding. Among other things, she is interested in visual attention, medical image perception, and cognitive disorders.

  • Hayden Schill

    Hayden graduated from Rhodes College with a B.S in Neuroscience. She previously worked in Dr. Jason Haberman’s vision lab exploring the capacity limitations of ensemble perception. Her research interests include visual and temporal perception, ensemble architecture, and guided attention.

Lab Alumni

Former Principal Investigators
Todd Horowitz
Former Post-Doctoral Research Fellows
Yung-Hao Yang
'17-'18
Krista Ehinger
'13-'16
Preeti Sareen
'13-'15
Maria Nordfang
'13-'14
Trafton Drew
'11-'14
Melissa Le-Hoa Võ
'10-'14
Michelle Greene
'09-'11
Karla Evans
'08-'13
Riccardo Pedersini
'08-'10
Yair Pinto
'08-'10
Ester Reijnen
'08-'09
Piers Howe
'07-'10
Anina Rich
'05-'07
David Fencsik
'03-'07
Evan Palmer
'03-'07
Melina Kunar
'03-'06
Aude Oliva
'00-'02
Nayantara Santhi
'00-'02
Former Graduate Students
María Quirós Godoy
'18
U Autó. Madrid
Caroline Seidel
'17
Goethe-Univ.
Erica Westenberg
'17
U Munich
Bochao Zou
'15-'17'
Zhe Huang
'16
U Munich
Jinxia Zhang
'12-'14
Nanjing Univ. of Sci. & Tech.
Kilian Semmelmann
'12, '13
U Munich
Dejan Draschkow
'12
U Munich
Lisa Pfannmüller
'12
U Munich
Serap Yigit-Elliott
'11-'12
U Washington
Kazuya Ishibashi
'10
Kobe Univ.
Maria Nordfang
'10
U Copenhagen
Patricia Graf
'08-'09
Ludwig-Maximilians Univ.
Greg Gancarz
'93-'96
Boston Univ.
Corinna Lathan
'89-'90
Former Visiting Post-Docs
Ellen Kok
'16
Igor Utochkin
'15
Beatriz Gil Gómez de Liaño
'15
Matthew B. Thompson
'14
Michael Zehetleitner
'09
Yair Pinto
'07
Former Visiting Professors
Longsheng Wei
'16-'17'
Ruggero Micheletto
'15-'16'
Former Research Assistants
Abla Alaoui-Soce
'15-'17
Avi Aizenman
'13-'16
Emilie Josephs
'13-'15
Sage Boettcher
'12-'14
Corbin Cunningham
'10-'12
Ashley Sherman
'10-'12
Lori Myers
'09-'10
Erica Kreindel
'09-'11
Yoana Kuzmova
'07-'10
Michael Cohen
'07-'09
Michael Van Wert
'05-'08
Steve Flusberg
'04-'06
Skyler Place
'04-'06
Kristin Michod
'03-'05
Sarah Klieger
'03-'04
Naomi Kenner
'02-'05
Randy Birnkrant
'02-'04
Jennifer DiMase
'01-'03
Helga Arsenio
'00-'02
Megan Hyle
'00-'02
Serena Butcher
'99-'01
George Alvarez
'98-'00
Asia Wong
'98-'99
Nikki Klempen
'96-'98
Kari Dahlen
'96-'98
Sara Bennett
'94-'96
Alexander Bilsky
'92-'94
Stacia Friedman-Hill
'89-'92
Marni Stewart
'88-'91
Sue Franzel
'86-'88
Former Visiting, Undergraduate, and High School Students
Ellie Eisenberg
Roslyn High School '17
Brian Szeto
Project Success '17
Matthew Radovan
RSI '17
Erin Smith
RSI '17
Gaeum Kim
RSI '17
Michael Yan
RSI '17
Annelise Blanchard
USPIN '16
Joey Feffer
RSI'16
River Grace
RSI '16
David Hong
RSI '16
Nnamdi Okwerekwu
Project Success '16
Olivia Castro
CELEST '15
Kala Allen
CELEST '15
Sahaj Garg
RSI'15
Jungyeon Park
RSI '15
Dante Connor
Project Success '15
Pascale Chataigne
CELEST '14
Trevor Stubbs-Stroud
CELEST '14
Michael Connor
RSI '14
Marwa Jardali
RSI '14
Mikal Hayden-Gates
Project Success '14
Bassil Bacare
Project Success '14
Andrew Brown
Project Success '14
Lily Xue
Visiting '13, '14
Bria Bugg
CELEST '13
Celeste Rousseau
CELEST '13
Ali Çakal
RSI '13
Stephanie Ding
RSI '13
Eric Chan
Project Success '13
Leila Heidari
CELEST '12
Diego Reyes
Project Success '12
Wajdy Awad
RSI '12
Amanda Choo
RSI '12
Raymond Farmer
Project Success '11-'13
Kimberly Lamare
Project Success '10
Ronny DeLeon
Project Success '10
Aina Martinez Zurita
RSI '10
Tommy Liu
RSI '10
Sheena-Gail Powell
Project Success '09
Ayman Jabarin
RSI '09
Ian Cinnamon
RSI '09
Mahilet Oluma
Project Success '08
Christina Chang
RSI '08
Julianna Pillemer
Visiting '07
Max Uhlenhuth
RSI '07
Nicole Nova
RSI '07
Randall Carter
Project Success '06, '07
Erick Desingco
Project Sucess '06
Genevieve Williams
RSI '06
Sophie Cai
RSI '06
Juliana Rotter
UROP '06
Julia Fong
UROP '06
Clare Dean
UROP '06
Jessenia Urrea
Project Sucess '05
Ansam Sinjab
RSI '03
Matthew Tsg
RSI '03
Linda Tran
Project Success '03
Kevin Yang
Project Success '03
Carol Lee
Summer '03, RSI '00
Hermie Mendoza
RSI '02
Dan Seltzer
Summer '02
Nina Vasan
RSI '01
Liz Shulman
Summer '97, '98
Adriana Elmes
Visiting '92
Felicity Lanier
Summer '92
Albert Lew
UROP '91
Yurah Kim
Summer '91
Erica Song
UROP '90, '91
Alice Yee
UROP '88-'90
Tracy Kincaid
UROP '89, '90
Lisa Gische
UROP '89, '90
John Martello
UROP '89, '90
Maya Bose
UROP '89, '90
Stephanie Jackson
Summer '89
Charlie Pokorny
UROP '89
Karen Yu
UROP '87-'89
Arthur Figel
UROP '86-'88
Felicita Treue
Visiting '88
Bob Sugiura
UROP '88
Amy Pruszenski
UROP '87
Brian Katz
Summer
Marc Light
Summer '85, '86