Assistant Professor of Psychology
University of Washington
is Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington and is affiliated with the University of Washington Institute for Neuroengineering (UWIN), the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) and the Program in Neuroscience. His research is focused on defining the fundamental computations in the brain that control sensory integration and decision-making, with a primary goal of developing technologies and practices to help our brains make optimal decisions in uncertain environments. His work integrates physics, neuroscience and comparative biology, combining modern data-driven analysis techniques with newly developed technologies for imaging and recording from the brain. Working with an international team of scientists, his group has pioneered new approaches to study navigation and spatial reasoning across multiple species, including the creation of computer-controlled environments. Through this interdisciplinary approach, his group creates and tests theories regarding how our brains interpret and remember sensory information to guide our decisions.
Director, Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering & Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
University of Washington
Rajesh P. N. Rao
is the Director of the NSF Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering and Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholar award, an NSF CAREER award, a Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research, a Sloan Faculty Fellowship, and a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering. He is the author of the book Brain-Computer Interfacing (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and the co-editor of two volumes, Probabilistic Models of the Brain (MIT Press, 2002) and Bayesian Brain (MIT Press, 2007). His research spans the areas of computational neuroscience, AI, and brain-computer interfacing. Prof. Rao and his collaborators were the first to demonstrate direct brain control of a humanoid robot in 2007 and direct brain-to-brain communication in humans in 2013. With Prof. Adrienne Fairhall, he offered the first MOOC (massively open online course) in computational neuroscience on Coursera. Prof. Rao's other interests include classical Indian paintings and the 4000-year-old undeciphered Indus script, a topic on which he has given a TED talk.
Professor of Psychology
University of Washington
studies how visual perception is influenced by factors outside the visual stimulus, such as what you are attending to and where, and your prior experience. For example, using functional MRI, he has shown that paying attention to specific locations and features has a large influence on the brain’s neural response to a visual stimulus, even in brain areas early in the processing stream that we originally thought were driven entirely by the retinal input. More recently he has been studying how visual function can be restored in the blind through retinal prosthetics. Working with scientists at a variety of companies that are developing new ways to stimulate working cells within the retina, he and his collaborators are developing a ‘virtual patient’ that simulates what it looks like to have one of these devices implanted in the eye. These simulations are being used to see how well patients might be able to learn how to use these prosthetic devices for functional vision. Dr. Boynton received his PhD in 1997 in brain and cognitive sciences at the University of California at Santa Barbara after studying mathematics at U.C. San Diego. After a postdoc at Stanford University, he was a faculty member at the Salk Institute in La Jolla California for nine years before joining the Psychology Department at the University of Washington in 2007.
Sight Restoration Patient
Michael G. "Mike" May
is an American business executive, skier and enthusiast of other sports who was blinded by a chemical explosion at the age of three, but regained partial vision in 2000, at the age of 46, after cornea transplants and a pioneering stem cell procedure by San Francisco ophthalmologist, Daniel Goodman. In 1999, May founded the Sendero Group in Davis, California, which employs many individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Sendero has assisted those with sight disabilities by producing the first accessible GPS solution for blind persons. The Sendero Group's GPS technology received the Consumer Electronics Show's "Innovation Honoree" title in 2004 and 2009.
Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Washington
Dr. Katie McLaughlin
is a clinical psychologist with interests in how the childhood social environment influences brain and behavioral development in children and adolescents. She has a joint PhD in clinical psychology and in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University and is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington
. Her research examines how environmental experience shapes emotional, cognitive, and neurobiological development throughout childhood and adolescence. Dr. McLaughlin’s overarching goal is to understand how adverse environments alter developmental processes in ways that increase risk for psychopathology. Her research uncovers specific developmental processes that are disrupted by adverse environmental experiences early in life and determines how those disruptions increase risk for mental health problems in children and adolescents. Understanding these mechanisms is critical for the development of interventions, practices, and policies to promote adaptive development and to prevent the onset of psychopathology in children who experience adversity.
Professor of Pediatrics
Boston Children's Hospital
Charles A. Nelson III
, is Professor of Pediatrics and Neuroscience and Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Elsewhere at Harvard, he holds faculty appointments in the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and sits on the steering committee for the Harvard Center on the Developing Child and the Harvard interfaculty initiative on Mind, Brain, and Behavior. In addition, he holds the Richard David Scott Chair in Pediatric Developmental Medicine Research at Boston Children’s Hospital, and is Director of Research in the Division of Developmental Medicine. His research interests center on a variety of problems in developmental cognitive neuroscience, including developmental trajectories to autism and the effects of early adversity (including psychosocial deprivation), on brain and behavioral development. He chaired the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Early Experience and Brain Development and served on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panels that wrote From Neurons to Neighborhoods, and more recently, New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research. Among his many honors, he has received the Leon Eisenberg award from Harvard Medical School, an honorary Doctorate from Bucharest University (Romania), was a resident fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center (Italy), and has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
UW Department of Psychology, Guthrie Hall, Box 351525, Seattle, WA 98195