University of Pennsylvania
Nicole C. Rust, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Director of the Visual Memory Lab at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Dr. Rust combines behavioral, neural, and computational approaches to understand the brain’s remarkable ability to remember the things we’ve seen, focusing on where and how visual memories are stored. As a complement to this foundational research, she also works to develop new therapies to treat memory dysfunction.
Dr. Rust has been recognized by the Troland Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences, McKnight Scholar Award, a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and the Charles Ludwig Distinguished Teaching Award. Previously she received a BS in molecular biology and biochemistry from the University of Idaho, her PhD in neuroscience from NYU, and completed her postdoctoral training at MIT.
The transformation from seeing to remembering images
We have an astonishing ability to remember the images we’ve seen — we can accurately report whether we’ve seen an image before after viewing thousands of them, each only for a few seconds. How our brains support this remarkable form of memory is not well understood. In this talk, Dr. Rust will describe work in which her team leverages visual recognition memory behavioral signatures and population-based recordings in high-level visual cortex and the hippocampus to understand how the brain transforms seeing into remembering.