Join us in congratulating Marlene R. Cohen!
Marlene R. Cohen, University of Pittsburgh, will receive the 2018 Troland Research Award.
Cohen’s studies are helping transform how we think about the brain. Her work employs a combination of mathematics and experimental neuroscience to study how visual information is encoded and processed in groups of neurons; how important information is then extracted; and how the brain is enabled to make quick decisions to act based on that information.
Her lab employs multiple approaches, the most important aspect of which is the recording of responses of multiple neurons simultaneously, revealing how the information from those different neurons is combined and thereby providing a greater understanding of an animal’s cognitive state and behavior. The research has revealed physiological evidence that cognitive processes (such as paying attention) improve perception by causing groups of neurons to more efficiently encode visual information and communicate that information to different neurons that are involved in decision-making.
Cohen’s work has already influenced the way the field approaches the study of the relationship between neurons, perception, and behavior and promises to hold further revelations in the near future.
Two Troland Research Awards of $75,000 are given annually to recognize unusual achievement by young investigators (defined as no older than 40) and to further empirical research within the broad spectrum of experimental psychology.