2021 FoVea Travel and Networking Awardees

FoVea is pleased to announce the winners of our 2021 FoVea Travel and Networking Award.

The FoVea Travel and Networking Award was open to female members of the Vision Science Society (VSS) in pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, and pre-tenure faculty or research scientist positions and intended to cover costs involved in attending the VSS meeting, including membership fees, conference registration fees, and travel expenses.  This year due to the virtual nature of the meeting, the awards covered the costs of VSS membership fees and conference fees.

FoVea created this award as part of its mission to advance the visibility, impact, and success of women in vision science. A recent report from Cooper and Radonjić (2016) indicated that in 2015, the ratio of women to men in VSS was near equal at the pre-doctoral level (1:1.13), but decreased as career stage increased. The decline is symptomatic of forces that impede the professional development of female vision scientists. A key aspect of professional development is building a professional network to support scientific pursuits and to provide mentorship at critical junctions in one’s academic career. The FoVea Travel and Networking Award will help female vision scientists build their professional network by encouraging them to meet with at least one Networking Target at the VSS meeting to discuss their research and consider potential for collaboration.

10 awards were funded by an NSF grant and 3 awards were funded by the Visual Cognition journal.

Sponsored by NSF

Sarah Cormiea

Sarah Cormiea is a graduate student in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins. As a member of the Dynamic Perception Lab, she spends a lot of time thinking about how we extract coherent impressions of the world from a chaotic sensory landscape. Her research focuses on the ways people perceive, describe, and think about odors. In a previous set of experiments, she found that participants’ mental representations of everyday smells (e.g., banana, coffee, bacon, grass, beer) changed when they were paired with verbal labels. More recently, she has been asking people to try to identify odors in the absence of visual or context clues. The types of answers people give (even the wrong answers) offer a unique window into their olfactory perceptual experience. Going forward, Sarah hopes to continue exploring how human olfaction interacts with vision, language, and other higher-level cognitive abilities.

Catherine Dowell

Catherine Dowell is a PhD candidate in the School of Psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi working with Dr. Alen Hajnal.  She is currently interested in studying the perception of novel 3-D objects, and the acquisition and utilization of affordance perception of complex objects. To study this, she uses unique objects known as “feelies”, which were originally developed by James J. Gibson, to determine how perceived affordances are influenced by changes in modality, exploratory activity, and object characteristics. She is also interested in how perceptual abilities (in particular, affordance perception), can develop and change through learning and aging. She obtained her BS in Psychology, and her MS in Psychological Science at Western Kentucky University.

Haydée G Garcia Lazaro

Haydée García-Lázaro is a postdoctoral researcher at the Smith Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco, California, working with Dr Santani Teng. Her current research is focused on the neural mechanisms of reverberant auditory perception, echolocation and navigation in blind and sighted populations. To accomplish this, Haydée uses psychophysics, electrophysiological techniques (M/EEG) and computational modelling. In a second line of research, and as an extension of her doctoral research, Haydée is also interested in the neural mechanisms behind auditory and visual attention in humans. Haydée received her PhD from the Otto von-Guericke University of Magdeburg, Germany, working with Prof. Dr Jens-Max Hopf. Her graduate work focused on dissociating feature-based selection of attention and reward-based selection in visual cortical areas using psychophysics and M/EEG.

Hanna Haponenko

Hanna Haponenko is a third-year PhD student studying Human Cognition and Perception at McMaster University, from where she also obtained her Bachelor of Health Sciences Degree in 2013. Her undergraduate honours thesis focused on enhancing community connectedness through business development ventures in the north end of Hamilton. Hanna has most recently married her love of researching human attention with her business interests into managing a startup called Axcessiom Technologies. At Axcessiom, Hanna applies principles of human and computer vision to lead the development of a facial gesture recognition device used by drivers with disabilities to activate functions like windshield wipers and turn signals with simple facial expressions. Hanna is most passionate about designing effective human machine interfaces, wrangling and analyzing data to make valuable insights, and exploring ways to increase trust between humans and autonomous vehicles.

Zoey Isherwood

Zoey Isherwood is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar in Prof. Michael Webster’s lab at the University of Nevada, Reno. She received her PhD at UNSW Sydney in 2019 under the supervision of Prof. Branka Spehar and Dr. Mark Schira. Shortly afterwards, she started her first postdoc position at the University of Wollongong, staying on in Dr. Mark Schira’s lab. During her PhD she focused on researching the visual processing and aesthetic appreciation of natural scene statistics (specifically the 1/f amplitude spectrum) using neuroimaging and psychophysical techniques. In her first postdoc position, she worked on processing high resolution 7T MRI data as part of the development of an in vivo high resolution human brain atlas. In her current postdoc position, she has shifted gears back to vision research, and is using neuroimaging techniques to investigate the cortical underpinnings of colour processing and compensation in colour deficiencies such as anomalous trichromacy.

Yih-Shiuan Lin

Yih-Shiuan Lin is a PhD candidate working in the lab of Prof. Mark Greenlee in the Department of Experimental Psychology at University of Regensburg in Germany. Her PhD work focuses on investigating lateral modulation in human vision such as exhibited in filling-in by means of psychophysics, computational modeling, and fMRI. Her PhD project is part of the collaboration between the lab of Prof. Greenlee and the lab of Prof. Chien-Chung Chen in National Taiwan University. At the same time, she has been working with Dr. Maka Malania on a project involving understanding the effect of perceptual learning on visual crowding. She has also gained research experience in a broad range of topics like binocular vision, perceptual grouping, and color vision during her master’s years in National Taiwan University. In addition, she is very interested in learning how to apply machine learning techniques for advanced data analysis in her own studies.

Melisa Menceloglu

Melisa Menceloglu is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences at Brown University, working with Dr. Joo-Hyun Song. She received her PhD in Psychology in 2020 from Northwestern University, working with Dr. Satoru Suzuki and Dr. Marcia Grabowecky. Melisa’s research focuses on perception, action, and attentional processes in the temporal domain. She uses behavioral methods including continuous movement tracking and EEG to understand how we generate expectations about timing of events and orient attention to specific points in time, and how auditory and visual perceptual processes and goal-directed action are altered with temporal orienting of attention.

Samantha Montoya

Samantha A. Montoya is a second-year student in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the University of Minnesota, supervised by Dr. Michael-Paul Schallmo and Dr. Stephen Engel. Samantha studies visual perception, with a particular interest in populations who experience altered visual perception. She is currently studying visual processing and perception in people with psychosis using behavior, neuroimaging (fMRI), and electroencephalography (EEG). She is also planning to apply behavioral and neuroimaging methods to study Visual Snow Syndrome—a condition characterized by the experience of persistent flickering specks covering the entire visual field. In addition to her research, Samantha uses art to communicate scientific findings with the community and advocate for people with visual disabilities. Samantha received her B.A. in Neuroscience and Studio Art from Kenyon College in 2019.

Lynn Sörensen

Lynn K. A. Sörensen is a fourth-year graduate student at the University of Amsterdam jointly supervised by Dr. Steven Scholte, Dr. Sander Bohté and Dr. Heleen Slagter. In her research, she integrates ideas and methods from psychology, neuroscience and deep learning to better understand how cognition modulates visual information processing in the brain. In particular, her research focusses on modelling the effects of selective attention and arousal state on visual representations underlying object recognition using various kinds of deep neural networks. Her research is funded by a Research Talent grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

Susanne Stoll

Susanne Stoll completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology at the University of Tübingen, followed by an MSc in Mind and Brain at Humboldt University of Berlin. Currently, she is a final year PhD student under the supervision of Dr Sam Schwarzkopf and Dr John Greenwood in the Department of Experimental Psychology at University College London. Her research uses functional magnetic resonance imaging and population receptive field (pRF) modeling to investigate how perceptual grouping and spatial attention modulate the visual brain’s representation of visual information. Susanne also has a keen interest in relating pRF properties to behavior, multisensory integration as well as counteracting regression fallacies and probing the validity of analysis procedures in visual neuroimaging and beyond.

Sponsored by Visual Cognition

Crista Kuuramo

Crista Kuuramo is a PhD candidate under the supervision of Dr. Ilmari Kurki in the Department of Psychology and Logopedics at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She is broadly interested in visual memory and perception from an information processing perspective. Her dissertation aims to study what information is stored in human visual working memory and how that information changes due to forgetting at various levels of visual processing. In her work, Crista uses methods from behavioral experimental psychology, psychophysics, and computational modeling. In particular, she uses classification images, which can directly reveal what visual features are stored working memory representations. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Cognitive science from the University of Helsinki.

Samoni Nag

Samoni Nag is a third-year graduate student at the George Washington University in Dr. Steve Mitroff’s Visual Cognition Lab. She is interested in hysteresis effects on attention, visual search, and behavior and hopes to better understand the mechanisms that enhance, limit, and/or alter these processes. Her current projects explore questions related to how visual search competence changes over time and how trial histories and task demands influence subsequent performance. She employs “big data” and individual differences approaches to study these questions. At GW, she also collaborates with Dr. Dwight Kravitz and members of the Army Research Lab. Samoni obtained her bachelor’s in psychology from Emory University and previously worked as a lab manager in Dr. Julie Golomb’s lab at the Ohio State University.

Lynn Schmittwilken

Lynn Schmittwilken is a doctoral researcher in the excellence cluster Science of Intelligence at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany. She is a lab member of the Computational Psychology group of Prof. Dr. Marianne Maertens. She obtained her BSc and MSc in Psychology and Neurosciences at the University of Bremen, Germany. In her graduate work, Lynn investigates how fixational eye movements might be relevant to encode visual information in space and time. For this, she is currently working on biologically-inspired models of early visual processes that investigate to which extent human edge processing and human lightness perception could emerge from an active sampling strategy of the visual system. In her theoretical work, Lynn aims at achieving a better understanding of early vision by integrating insights from active vision into spatial vision models. She plans to combine these theoretical insights with phenomenological findings from her psychophysical experiments.

You can view past recipients here.