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Lab Members

Wolfe Lab 2013

Maria,Emilie, Matt,Trafton, Melissa, Avi, Krista,

Sage, Warren & Co., Preeti, Dejan

and Jeremy!

Principal Investigators

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-26; graduate student at Berkeley with David Whitney), Philip-23, and Simon -16. Click here to read his curriculum vitae.


Research Fellows

Preeti Sareen

Preeti received her Ph.D. in Behavioral Neurobiology from the University of Wuerzburg, Germany, where she worked with Martin Heisenberg on visual attention in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) using a flight simulator. As not much literature was available on attention mechanisms in flies, she mainly read work on humans and other primates which intrigued her into her own species. She had a short postdoctoral visit at the Psychology Department in Wuerzburg with Paul Pauli and Matthias Wieser studying how emotional faces withdraw processing resources depending on their location in the peripheral visual field using steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs). As a postdoctoral fellow in the Visual Attention Lab, she is studying the role of incongruent information in non-selective processing of real-world scenes.


Maria Nordfang

Maria received her PhD from University of Copenhagen in Denmark in 2011 working with attentional capture, conjunction search, and modeling effects of task-relevance and feature contrast on attention. After her PhD, Maria has been working with Claus Bundesen on spatial and nonspatial visual selection in brief visual presentations. She is visiting the Visual Attention Lab for a year on her post doc grant from the Danish Council for Independent Research. At the Visual Attention Lab she spends most her time investigating how task-relevance and stimulus similarity influence long-term memory search concurrent with visual search.

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. Now, as a postdoc in the Visual Attention Lab, Matt is once again happily enmeshed in multiple-target search, especially ecologically inspired foraging models. Check out his website for publications and other information.

Krista Ehinger

Krista received her Ph.D. from MIT, where she worked with Ruth Rosenholtz on visual crowding and scene perception. Her thesis work focused on how three-dimensional spaces are represented through two-dimensional views, and the role of central and peripheral visual information in building a mental representation of a 3D environment in order to reorient in that space. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Visual Attention Lab, she is investigating foraging and navigation behavior in 3D virtual environments. Click here for her CV, publications, and code.

Trafton Drew

Trafton got his PhD working with Ed Vogel at the University of Oregon. Before that, he worked with Ron Mangun and Barry Giesbrecht at UC-Davis, Kimron Shapiro at UW-Bangor, and as an undergrad, Peter Gordon at UNC-Chapel Hill. Trafton studies the relationship between attention and working memory through the use of variety of methodologies including eye-tracking, electrophysiology and psychophysical techniques. His graduate work focused on developing neural measures of the different types of processing that take place during attentive tracking using ERPs (and plotting negative as up, as god intended). As a post-doc, he is using studying ways to improve radiologist performance. This includes monitoring eye-movements of radiologists as they search and studying how observers interpret computer aided detection (CAD) marks during difficult search tasks. He has a very infrequently updated website, where you can see his CV and other random stuff about him.

Melissa Le-Hoa Vo

Melissa received her diploma in cognitive psychology from the Free University Berlin in 2006 investigating the interaction of emotion and cognition in word, sentence, and picture processing. After a few months of backpacking - visiting awesome places like India, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, as well as family in the US - she went back to her hometown Munich, where she started to work on "Attention Allocation in Scene Perception" receiving her Ph.D. from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in 2008. As a postdoctoral research fellow she then went on to join the Visual Cognition Lab at the University of Edinburgh. Together with Prof. John M. Henderson she dived even deeper into the exciting world of eye guidance in scene perception (not without also diving deep into the Scottish water of life!). In the Visual Attention Lab, she will continue to investigate what guides attention and eye movements during search in naturalistic scenes. She is particularly interested in how expectations regarding the composition of a scene influence eye movement control. Click here for her C.V., publications, and some more scenes.


Research Assistant

Avi Aizenman

Avi graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in Psychology. She completed her senior honors thesis on the influence of musicianship on audiovisual pattern recognition while working in Professor Robert Sekuler’s lab. Her interests include visual attention and memory.

Emilie Josephs

Emilie received her B.S. in Psychology from Boston College, where she worked in the Vision and Cognition Lab under the guidance of Sean MacEvoy. She wrote her senior thesis on the role of objects size on the perception of the dimension of real-world scenes. Emilie joined the lab in the summer of 2013.

Sage Boettcher

Sage received her BS in Psychology and BS in Statistics from the University of Delaware. Under the guidance of Jim Hoffman, she completed her senior thesis on the neural component of emotion-induced blindness using event related potentials. Sage joined the lab in June 2012.


Graduate Students

Jinxia Zhang

Jinxia is a visiting student in Visual Attention Lab. She joined the lab in October 2012. She is a Ph.D. candidate student in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, China. Her research interests include visual attention, visual saliency detection, computer vision and machine learning.


Dejan Draschkow

After receiving his B.S. in Psychology and Psychopathology from the University of Munich, Dejan worked for the German Aerospace Center and joined the Neuro-Cognitive Psychology Masters program. Under the guidance of Michael Zehetleitner he researched negative decisions in visual search and also focused on prevalence manipulations of the difficulty of targets. For the GAC he worked under the supervision of Bernhard Weber, where he explored possibilities of telerobot integration into the operation room for minimally-invasive surgery. As a visiting graduate student he is investigating task dependent memory recall performance of naturalistic scenes.


Lab Alumni

Got corrections or additional info for us? Let us know!

 Former Principal Investigator

Todd Horowitz


Former Post-Doctoral Research Fellows

Piers Howe

Click here to see his info

Ester Reijnen

Michelle Greene

Karla Evans


Anina Rich

Click here to see her CV. Click here for publications

David Fencsik

Click here to see his info

Evan Palmer

Click here to see his info

Yair Pinto

Click here to see his info

Melina Kunar

Click here tosee her info

Aude Oliva

Nayantara Santhi

Riccardo Pedersini


Click here to see his info

Former Graduate Students



Kilian Semmelmann

Aug '12-October '12 & Spring '13

MS in Neuro-Cognitive Psychology from the University of Munich

Dejan Draschkow

Summer '12

MS in Neuro-Cognitive Psychology from the University of Munich

Lisa Pfannmüller

Spring '12-Summer '12

MS in Neuro-Cognitive Psychology from the University of Munich

Serap Yigit-Elliott


University of Washington

Kazuya Ishibashi
Spring 10' - Summer 10'

Kobe University
Kobe, Japan

Maria Nordfang
Spring 10' - Summer 10'

University of Copenhagen
Copenhagen, Denmark

Patricia Graf

Munich, Germany

Greg Gancarz
'93-'96, BU/CNS
Corinna Lathan

Former Visiting Post-Docs

Michael Zehetleitner
2009, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
Yair Pinto
Spring '07

Former Research Assistants

Corbin Cunningham

Ashley Sherman

Lori Myers

Erica Kreindel
'09- '11

Yoana Kuzmova
'07- '10

Michael Cohen

Michael Van Wert

Steve Flusberg


Kristin Michod

Sarah Klieger

Naomi Kenner

Randy Birnkrant

Jennifer DiMase

Helga Arsenio

Megan Hyle

Serena Butcher

George Alvarez

Asia Wong
Nikki Klempen
Kari Dahlen
Sara Bennett
Alexander Bilsky
Stacia Friedman-Hill
Marni Stewart
Sue Franzel

Former Visiting, Undergraduate, and High School Students

Leila Heidari
Raymond Farmer
Project Success '11-'12
Diego Reyes
Project Success '12
Wajdy Awad
RSI '12
Amanda Choo
RSI '12
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
Mahilet Oluma
Project Success '08
Christina Chang
Julianna Pillemer
Summer undergrad '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
Marc Light
Summer '85, '86