People

Principal Investigator 

Theresa M. Desrochers, Ph.D.
Position: Rosenberg Family Assistant Professor of Brain Science,
Departments of Neuroscience; Psychiatry and Human Behavior (courtesy),
and Carney Institute for Brain Science
Email: theresa_desrochers@brown.edu
CV: https://vivo.brown.edu/display/tdesroch​

Post-Doctoral Fellows 

Katherine Conen, Ph.D.
Email: katherine_conen@brown.edu

Overview:I am interested in understanding how neural circuits represent the structure of behavior across time. Using approaches from systems neuroscience, I study how neurons in prefrontal areas encode information about sequence progression, focusing in particular on transition points in the task structure. Ultimately, this work will provide insight into the hierarchical and sequential relationships the primate brain uses to link percepts and behaviors into complex actions and predictive models.

Lab Manager 

Matthew Maestri
Email: matthew_maestri@brown.edu

Overview: Prior to managing the Desrochers Lab, Matthew was a Research Assistant in a neuroscience lab at Augusta State University, formerly the Medical College of Georgia.

Graduate Students 

Nadira Yusif Rodriguez
Position: Neuroscience Graduate Student 
Email: nadira_yusif_rodriguez@brown.edu

Overview: I am interested in identifying how and which brain areas support abstract sequence processing, focusing mainly on the role of the PFC during these sequential processes. Through the use of fMRI, statistical and instrumental behavioral tasks, I aim to determine the neural mechanisms involved, to understand these necessary abstract sequences that we use in day to day life. 

Aarit Ahuja
Position: Neuroscience Graduate Student
Email: aarit_ahuja@brown.edu

Overview: I am a shared student working in both the Sheinberg lab and the Desrochers lab. My main research interests include the neural basis of mental simulation/dynamic mental imagery, as well as comparative primate + human fMRI in general.

Hannah Doyle
Position: Neuroscience Graduate Student
Email: hannah_doyle1@brown.edu

Overview: I am broadly interested in using primate and human fMRI to study cognitive control mechanisms that dictate our day to day lives. In particular I aim to better understand brain areas involved in sequential processing and how these neural mechanisms might go awry in people with obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.

Undergraduate Students 

Kyoko Leaman ’23
Position: Undergraduate Research Assistant
Email: kyoko_leaman@brown.edu

Overview: I am a neuroscience and English double concentrator broadly interested in fMRI research investigating higher level cognition, particularly sequential processing and neurolinguistics. As part of this lab, I am looking forward to exploring the neural mechanisms of abstract sequence processing in the brain.

Rolake Feyisetan ’24
Position: Undergraduate Research Assistant
Email: rolake_feyisetan@brown.edu

Overview: I am a neuroscience concentrator broadly interested in learning about how developmental and/or adverse events affect the brain and behavior. I look forward to using human fMRI to study how the brain processes sequential tasks in people with obsessive compulsive disorders. 

Claire Kim ’24
Position: Undergraduate Research Assistant
Email: claire_c_kim@brown.edu

Overview: I am a neuroscience concentrator with research interests in the processing of abstract visual sequences and associations with cognitive processes. In the lab, I look forward to conducting analyses of electrophysiological data from task sequences in primates.

Post-Bacc

Sebastian Nunez (University of California San Diego) ’21
Position: Post-Baccalaureate 
Email: sebastian_nunez@brown.edu

Overview: I am broadly interested in how people do routine tasks that are organized into sequences and how sequential control relies on executive functioning. I am interested in using fMRI to study the neural activity in the Rostrolateral Prefrontal Cortex that is responsible for sequential control. I am currently working on understanding how OCD patients may have a deficit in the neural mechanism underlying sequential control, more specifically, a disruption in the RLPFC that inhibits their ability for sequential control.

Lab Alumni

Postdocs

  • Debaleena Basu, Ph.D.
  • Theresa McKim, Ph.D.

Undergraduate Students

  • Kathryn Graves, ScB 2015, Honors Thesis: Differential reaction times in familiar and novel sequences: a pilot study 
  • Sarah Master, ScB 2017, Honors Thesis: The influence of anxiety on sequential processing
  • Juliana Trach, ScB 2018, Honors Thesis: Practice and embedded motor sequences facilitate the learning and execution of abstract task sequences
  • Victoria Flagg, ScB 2018
  • Meghan Hershkowitz, ScB 2019 (in Biology)
  • Keran Yang, BA 2019 (Wheaton College, MA), Honors Thesis: Investigation of kinesin-2 and osm-3 during ciliogenesis in sea urchin embryos
  • Eojin Choi, ScB 2019, Honors Thesis: Full Circle: Parallels Between the Beginning and End of Life in Health Care (Science, Technology, and Society) 
  • Gabriela Batista 2020
  • Vivian Lu, ScB 2020, Honors Thesis: Exploring the role of sleep in sequence processing
  • Kristina Lowndes, ScB 2020, Honors Thesis: The role of working memory in tracking sequences of variable length
  • Jay Vankawala, ScB 2021, Honors Thesis: Evidence of sensory recruitment and local ramping in a feature-based visual working memory task
  • Christine Schremp, ScB 2022, Honors Thesis: Identification of depression subtypes through clustering of EEG microstates and disease symptomatology
  • Matthew Salomon, ScB 2022
  • Michael Lahiff, ScB 2022
  • Janet Chang, ScB 2022, Honors Thesis: An online behavioral research paradigm using Amazon Mechanical Turk, JSPsych & PsiTurk: A pilot study assessing hierarchical abstract sequential processing