I am always looking for opportunities to get people excited about science. In addition to my research, I write for science blogs and outreach journals, teach and design content for coding bootcamps, and am actively involved in neuroscience outreach at Penn through GLIA.
How do we understand other people? Frontiers for Young Minds, (2016). Imagine this: you walk into class and see your friend sitting alone at a table. You notice your friend is looking downward, with a frown on her face. You would probably think from these clues that your friend is sad. But how did you know that? One way that your brain accomplishes this is by simulating or copying in your mind what you see the other person doing. This may help you understand that when you are frowning and looking downward, you are usually sad, so it is probably the case that your friend is sad too. While there are other hypotheses for how our brain understands others, we are going to focus on simulation. We will first examine neuroimaging experiments, in monkeys and in humans, in which we use technology to get an indication of brain activity. These brain activations help us understand simulation better. Lastly, we will discuss disorders such as autism, in which it may be more difficult to understand others’ actions, intentions, and emotions.
Blog post summarizing a paper from Nicole Rust's lab on how you find what you're looking for, or technically, signals in inferotemporal and perirhinal cortex suggest an untangling of visual target information.