Russell Epstein

Director of Graduate Studies
BA, Physics, University of Chicago;
Ph.D., Applied Mathematics, Harvard University
Office Location: 
Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Goddard Labs, 3710 Hamilton Walk, Room 522
Research Interests: 
Behavioral Neuroscience
Cognitive Neuroscience
Memory and Learning
Sensation and Perception
Specific Research Areas: 

Neural mechanisms underlying high-level vision and spatial navigation.

Research Synopsis:
My lab studies the neural mechanisms underlying visual scene perception, event perception, object recognition, and spatial navigation in humans. We are interested in both perception and memory; thus, for example, our research on navigation explores topics in both scene/place/landmark recognition and spatial memory. Recent work has focused on using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other cognitive neuroscience techniques to understand how scenes, objects, landmarks, events, and environmental spaces are represented in specific brain systems.
Professor Russell Epstein will be considering new graduate students for admission for Fall 2024.
Selected Publications: 

Marchette, S.A., Vass, L.K., Ryan, J. &Epstein, R.A.(2014). Anchoring the neural compass: Coding of local spatial reference frames in human medial parietal cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 17 (11): 1598-1606.

Epstein, R.A. & Vass, L.K. (2014). Neural systems for landmark-based wayfinding in humans. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society London B, 369 (1635).

MacEvoy, S.P. & Epstein, R.A. (2011).  Constructing scenes from objects in human occipitotemporal cortex.  Nature Neuroscience, 14 (10), 1323-1329.

Morgan, L.K., MacEvoy, S.P., Aguirre, G.K. & Epstein, R.A.  (2011).  Distances between real-world locations are represented in the human hippocampus.  Journal of Neuroscience, 31, 1238-1245.

Epstein, R.A. (2008). Parahippocampal and retrosplenial contributions to human spatial navigation.  Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12: 388-396.

Courses Taught: 

PSYC 149 Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC 449 Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousnes
PSYC 600 (Proseminar) Cognitive Neuroscience


Alon Hafri [Psychology Graduate Student]
Joshua Julian [Psychology Graduate Student]
Michael Bonner [postdoc]
Steven Marchette [postdoc]