Nicole Rust

BS in Molecular Biology and Chemistry, University of Idaho;
Ph.D. in Neural Science, New York University
Office Location: 
Room 428, Goddard Lab, 3710 Hamilton Walk
Research Interests: 
Cognitive Neuroscience
Computational Modeling
Memory and Learning
Sensation and Perception
Specific Research Areas: 

Neural basis of visual memory

Research Synopsis: 
We have a remarkable ability to store memories of the objects and scenes we have encountered after viewing thousands, each only once and for a few seconds. To understand the neural basis of visual memory, my lab combines investigations of human and animal visual memory behaviors, measurements and manipulations of neural activity, and computational modeling. One emphasis in our work is directed at algorithmic (or mathematical) descriptions of the brain's learning rules as well as descriptions of how populations of neurons signal visual memory percepts.  A complementary emphasis is focused on understanding where and how visual memories are stored by targeting the circuit and synaptic mechanisms responsible for visual memory storage.
Selected Publications: 

Rust NC, Stocker AA (2010) Ambiguity and invariance: two fundamental challenges for visual processing.  Current Opinion in Neurobiology.  20:382-388.

DiCarlo JJ, Zoccolan D, Rust NC (2012) How does the brain solve visual object recognition?  Neuron 73: 415-434.

Pagan M, Urban LS, Wohl MP, Rust NC (2013) Signals in inferotemporal and perirhinal cortex suggest an “untangling” of visual target information.  Nature Neuroscience 16:1132-1139.

Pagan M, Simoncelli EP, Rust NC (2016) Neural Quadratic Discriminant Analysis: Nonlinear decoding with V1-like computation.  Neural Computation.  28:2291-2319.

Roth N, Rust NC (2017) Large nuisance modulation has little impact on IT target match performance.  bioRxiv 152181; doi:

Courses Taught: 
PSYC 217 Visual Neuroscience
PSYC 417 Seminar in Visual Neuroscience