ChatLab
Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania

Lab Personnel

Lab Director | Staff | Post-Doctoral Fellows | Student Researchers | Visiting Researchers | Alumni

Chatterjee Lab 2014

The Chatterjee Lab, April 2014 (photo taken by Jonathan Yu)

Lab Director
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Anjan Chatterjee
M.D., F.A.A.N.

Anjan Chatterjee

Professor of Neurology
Department of Neurology
Contact: anjan@mail.med.upenn.edu

My area of interest is in Cognitive Neuroscience and Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology. My research is directed at understanding the architecture and neural bases for human cognition. The structure of cognition is at present (and perhaps in principle) not reduced easily to cellular or molecular explanations. The study of how the brain mediates cognition, while constrained by micro-neural facts, is more directly investigated at higher levels of organization by studying cognition in humans. We use experimental and neuroimaging techniques in normal subjects and examine the neuro-psychological effects of brain damage. A clear understanding of cognitive systems and their breakdown is essential in educating patients and families and critical in designing rational treatment strategies.

Staff
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Eileen Cardillo
D. Phil.

Eileen Cardillo

Patient Coordinator
Department of Neurology
Contact: eica@mail.med.upenn.edu

As the coordinator of the Patient Database at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, I act as a liaison between patients with brain injury, their neurologists and families, and the scientists and clinicians studying the effects of brain injury on cognition. My own research concerns embodied approaches to language and their ability to account for normal comprehension and as well as the linguistic impairments following brain injury. Using a combination of behavioral and neuroimaging tasks with healthy adults and patients, I specifically focus on the neural basis of metaphoric and spatial language. I am also interested in cognitive and neural changes associated with different types of meditation practice.
Joe Ptacek

Joe Ptacek

Research Specialist
Department of Neurology
Contact: jptacek@mail.med.upenn.edu

During my undergraduate training in neuroscience and linguistics at Macalester College, I contributed to research activities at the Reasoning and Language Investigations (RALI) Lab, focusing on questions related to discourse processing and pragmatics. Prior to joining Chat Lab, I spent several years at Minnesota Epilepsy Group, where I carried out cognitive assessment and assisted with clinical research within a pediatric population. Beyond my interests in cognitive neuroscience, I am curious to learn more about approaches in human-centered design that strive to make technology more usable and enjoyable. In my free time, I like building and modifying electronic musical instruments.
Emily Rogers

Emily Rogers

Research Specialist
Department of Neurology
Contact: rogerse@mail.med.upenn.edu

After completing my Master's degree in psychological research at the University of East Anglia in England, I became increasingly interested in the neural basis of the behavioral and cognitive processes that I had been studying from a psychological perspective. Specifically, I am interested in more socially interactive aspects of cognitive processing, such as the ways we perceive and interpret various forms of language and communication. Other than research, I enjoy yoga, drawing and rock climbing.

Post-Doctoral Fellows
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Marguerite McQuire
Ph.D.

Marguerite McQuire

Contact: mcquire@mail.med.upenn.edu

Despite the prevalence of figurative language in communication, we know little about the processes underlying its comprehension. As a graduate student at UCSD, I used electroencephalography (EEG) and behavioral methods to gain insights into literal and figurative language comprehension. Here at Penn, I hope to add to this line of study by investigating the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms using fMRI and VLSM methods with typical and patient populations. I speak fluent Spanish and French and enjoy playing wheelchair tennis.
Anja Jamrozik
Ph.D.

Anja Jamrozik

Contact: jamrozik@mail.med.upenn.edu

My research focuses on the role of language in cognition, and the ways that language can help us guide attention, reason about abstract situations, and encode information in memory. I completed my PhD at Northwestern University, where I used behavioral methods to investigate metaphor, spatial language, and relational language. Now I plan on extending this work by using neuroimaging techniques to investigate the neural bases of metaphor and spatial language.
Steve Weisberg
Ph.D.

Steve Weisberg

Contact: stweis@mail.med.upenn.edu

My research explores how people navigate. As a graduate student at Temple University, I conducted behavioral experiments in virtual environments to determine what makes some people navigational experts and others constantly lost. At Penn, I will incorporate patient and neuroimaging techniques to pursue questions at the intersection of language and navigation. Understanding how spatial and linguistic representations differ will hopefully provide windows to treatment for those with navigational deficits.

Student Researchers
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Michelle Oraa Ali

Misha Ali

Undergraduate Student

I am an undergraduate at Mount Holyoke College, majoring in Neuroscience and Behaviour, and Graphic Narrative. At Penn, my research focuses on the neural and behavioral responses to facial appearance. I am interested in neuroaesthetics and understanding the cognitive relationship between creativity and visual story telling. Apart from excitedly talking and writing about science and education, I am passionate about art, photography and spinning tunes as an indie rock DJ.
Claire Dinh

Claire Dinh

Undergraduate Student

I am a German major from Haverford College. I have a fascination with German prepositions and their many abstract uses, so I am studying the neural bases of preposition metaphors at Penn. In my free time, I enjoy exploring and filming the city. Coffee shops, jazz clubs, and art museums are all a part of my natural habitat.
Melissa Beswick

Melissa Beswick

Undergraduate Student

I am an undergraduate at Penn majoring in the Biological Basis of Behavior. I am interested in neuroaesthetics, specifically how people with varying levels of expertise look at and evaluate different types of art. Outside of research, I enjoy writing for the BBB Society's Brainstorm blog, painting, and playing tennis.
Daniel Badgio

Daniel Badgio

Post Baccalaureate Student

I graduated from St. John's College (Annapolis) where I studied the Liberal Arts by reading and discussing classic and canonical works. Currently at Penn I am taking courses and hoping to gain research experience in preparation for graduate school in neuroscience. Some of my interests that I'd like to pursue are in the domains of quantitative thinking, intuition, mathematical modelling of the brain, philosophy of neuroscience, and phenomenology.

Visiting Researchers
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Guo Yuyue

Guo Yuyue

Contact: guoyuyue2008@163.com

I am a Ph.D candidate of Shandong University, majoring in Theory of Literature and Art, and my area of interest is aesthetics. At Penn, my research focuses on evolutionary aesthetics and neuroaesthetics. I am studying beauty, art and sublime from the perspective of evolution. On that basis, I want to build a bridge between metaphysical aesthetics study and scientific aesthetics study. Outside of research, I like playing basketball, classical music and Chinese calligraphy.