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Mobirise
Mobirise

PI: Megan Peters

This is a transition year.  In March 2020 I'm joining the UCI Department of Cognitive Sciences.  Since 2017 I've been on the faculty at UCR in the Department of Bioengineering. I'm also a cooperating faculty member in the Neuroscience Graduate Program and the Department of Psychology at UCR, and a Cooperating Researcher in the Department of Decoded Neurofeedback at Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International in Kyoto, Japan. I received my Ph.D. in computational cognitive neuroscience (psychology) from UCLA, having worked with Ladan Shams, and then was a postdoc there working with Hakwan Lau.

My research aims to reveal how the brain represents and uses uncertainty, and performs adaptive computations based on noisy, incomplete information. I specifically focus on how these abilities support metacognitive evaluations of the quality of (mostly perceptual) decisions, and how these processes might relate to phenomenology and conscious awareness. I use neuroimaging, computational modeling, machine learning and neural stimulation techniques to study these topics.

CV | Google Scholar | NeuroTree


core members

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Brian Maniscalco
Assistant Researcher

I trained in experimental psychology at Columbia University with Hakwan Lau and received my Ph.D. in 2013. Subsequently I did a cognitive neuroscience postdoc with Biyu He at the NIH and NYU Langone Medical Center. I joined the Cognitive & Neural Computation Lab in 2018. My work focuses on understanding conscious awareness and metacognition using psychophysics, computational modeling, and cognitive neuroscience modalities.

More on my website, here.

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Sivananda Rajananda
Lab Manager, Programmer

I am a graduate of UCLA with a Bachelors in Cognitive Science, and I joined the Cognitive & Neural Computation Lab in 2017. I am currently studying conscious perception in peripheral vision and testing a model to determine psychophysical thresholds efficiently. I am also interested in conducting psychophysics online and am an avid programmer.

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Shaida Abachi
PhD Student (UCI | Cognitive Sciences)

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Vanessa Ceja
PhD Student (UCI | Cognitive Sciences)

I am a first year graduate student in Cognitive Sciences at UCI, although I started my graduate training in the Neuroscience program at UCR. I graduated from UCR June of 2018 with a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Anthropology. I have always been interested in the areas of philosophy, psychology, cognition, perception, and artificial intelligence. My current research is in its initial stages but we expect the results of this project will offer an innovative and more precise way to diagnose and quantify physical and behavioral deficits brought on by psychiatric disorders. 

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Sana Hussain
PhD Student (UCR | Bioengineering)

I received my bachelors in Bioengineering from UC San Diego in 2016, and my masters in Bioengineering from UC Riverside in 2018. My research focuses on resting state neuroimaging, the locus coeruleus circuit, and functional connectivity of resting state and attention networks. I intend to build a computational model that depicts how the locus coeruleus controls attention during resting state.

More on my website, here.

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Mehdi Orouji
PhD Student (UCI | Cognitive Sciences)

I received a Master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri and a second Master's in bioengineering from UC Riverside. Currently, I am a first-year graduate student in the Department of Cognitive Sciences at UCI. I am interested in the applications of classification and machine learning to learn about how and where consciousness arises in the brain. Currently, I am working on a neural network architecture to understand categorical object representations in different regions of the brain.

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Kimia Yaghoubi
PhD Student (UCR | Psychology)

I am a Computational Cognitive Neuroscience PhD student. I work with Dr. Aaron Seitz and Dr. Megan Peters in the departments of Psychology and Bioengineering, respectively. My research interests involve understanding neuronal circuitry underlying cognitive abilities, such as attention, perception and decision-making. I am currently working on characterizing the role of Locus Coeruleus in perceptual processing using fMRI.

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Nalani Lando
MS Student (UCR | Bioengineering)

I received my Bachelor's degree in bioengineering from UCR and am currently a graduate student at UCR. My research focuses on applying transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) to study potential changes in perception and metacognition when this region of the brain is stimulated. 

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Fan Zhang
MS Student (UCR | Data Science)

I received my Bachelor's degree in mathematics from UC Santa Cruz in 2016, and worked as a Data Analyst / Data Scientist until 2018. My research interests include computer vision, predictive coding, and Bayesian inference. I also minimize my brain's free energy using a free energy bound on simulations produced by theories of free energy.

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Olenka Castaneda
Undergraduate Researcher (UCR)

I joined UC Riverside as a transfer student from Chaffey College in order to pursue a Bachelor's in Neuroscience. I am interested in studies of phenomenal consciousness, metacognition, sleep and dreaming, as well as mental health. I'm also drawn to related concepts in philosophy and other issues in sustainability. I hope to join a PhD program after graduation.

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Tammi Tang
Undergraduate Researcher (UCR)

I am a third year undergraduate at UC Riverside and am currently completing a Bachelor's in Bioengineering with a minor in Music. My research interests include music cognition, computational neuroscience, and metacognitive sensitivity. I'm currently conducting a project on auditory metacognition to determine the unique neurological signatures of absolute pitch individuals, as well as the neural correlates between confidence and musical aptitude. I hope to enter the industry after graduation before returning to pursue a Master's.