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
X (Twitter):

Post-Doctoral Fellows 

Katherine Conen, Ph.D.

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

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 

Hannah Doyle
Position: Neuroscience Graduate Student

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 

Aiai Calmer ’26
Position: Undergraduate Research Assistant

Overview: I am a neuroscience and history concentrator interested in researching how disorders impacting executive function can affect the neural mechanisms behind abstract sequencing. In the lab, I look forward to using human fMRI to study working memory in sequential tasks.

Valeria Quero ’27
Position: Undergraduate Research Assistant

Overview: I am an Applied Mathematics – Computer Science concentrator, broadly interested in leveraging computational statistics to analyze large clusters of data and the development of efficient algorithms to describe the behavior of real-world phenomena. As part of the lab, I am eager to work on a streamlined pipeline for electrophysiology data analysis.

Clifton David ’25
Position: Undergraduate Research Assistant

Overview: As for myself, I am a rising senior attending Brooklyn College (CUNY). I am double majoring in Psychology and Philosophy. I am interested in human behavior–in relation to other fields such as sociology, psychology, and religion. In particular, for the religious aspect, how does one’s belief in a “God” affect their behavior. There is also the concept of the conflict between scientific freedom and ethical considerations within society, and how can scientists ease public fears and perception of science. 

Derek Hessinger ’26
Position: Undergraduate Research Assistant

Overview: I’m a student athlete at Colby College majoring in Computer Science and Mathematical Science, studying at Brown this summer. Broadly, I am interested in learning about how addiction affects cognitive control mechanisms and sequential tasks/processing.

Research Technician 

Nami Kaneko

Overview: I am broadly interested in investigating the evolutionary origins of cognition. Eventually I hope to analyze the differences between the human and primate neural mechanisms involved in various abstract cognitive processes. Previously I worked in the field as a research assistant in the Cognitive Evolution Group at the University of Michigan.

Lab Alumni


  • 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
  • Kyoko Leaman, ScB 2023. Honors Thesis: The effect of prior experience on abstract sequential processing
  • Lewis Nunez, ScB 2024 (Hunter College). Honors Thesis: Neural activity patterns underlying abstract sequence viewing in humans
  • Rolake Feyisetan, ScB 2024. Honors Thesis: Comparing RS-FC between prefrontal cortical regions and caudate in people with OCD and HCs
  • Claire Kim, ScB 2024. Honors Thesis: Implications of sequence task timings on the rate of microsaccades 
  • Monica Ocitti, ScB 2024. Honors Thesis: Using electrophysiological data to look at inhibitory and excitatory activity in the monkey prefrontal cortex
  • Samantha Buyungo, ScB 2024. Honors Thesis: Analyzing resting state functional connectivity in the anterior insula, precuneus, and rDLPFC in OCD and HCs