Behrmann Lab - Carnegie Mellon University

Dr. Marlene Behrmann

Dr. Marlene Behrmann is a Professor of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, who's research specializes in the cognitive basis of visual perception, with a specific focus on object recognition. Dr. Behrmann received her B.A. in speech and hearing therapy in 1981, followed by her M.A. in speech pathology in 1984, both from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She then received a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Toronto in 1991. 
Dr. Behrmann is widely considered to be a trailblazer and a worldwide leader in the field of visual cognition.

National Academy of Sciences Inductee

In 2015, Dr. Behrmann was elected into the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), making her the first female scientist from Carnegie Mellon University to be granted this prestige. Founded by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is charged with "providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology.1" Read about the history and current state of the NAS on the NAS website.
Below are some examples of recent papers:


Rosenthal, G., Tanzer, M., Simony, E., Hasson, U., Behrmann, M. and Avidan, G. (2017). Altered topology of neural circuits in congenital prosopagnosia. eLife, PMID: 28825896
In this article, we use a new method for determining the nature of connectivity in the brains of individuals with 'face blindness' that is lifelong and not a result of brain injury (congenital prosopagnosia) compared with control individuals.

Rosenthal elife


This recent paper in JEP:G investigates whether face and word perception influences perception of the other stimulus class and elucidate the mechanisms underlying such interactions, we presented images using rapid serial visual presentations and recording EEG signal. The results suggest face processing interferes with word processing, providing evidence for overlapping neural mechanisms of these 2 object types. Furthermore, asymmetrical face–word interference points to greater overlap of face and word representations in the left than the right hemisphere. (Robinson, A., Plaut, D. C. and Behrmann, M. (2017). Word and face processing engage overlapping distributed networks: Evidence from RSVP and EEG investigations. Journal of Experiment Psychology: General, Apr 3. doi: 10.1037/xge0000302)

Amanda EEG image



Professor of Psychology, Dr. Marlene Behrmann, Ph.D.

A picture of Dr. Marlene Behrmann, Ph.D.


B.A. in Speech and Hearing Therapy: University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

M.A. in Speech Pathology: University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Ph.D. in Psychology: University of Toronto, Canada

News In Behrmann Lab

New publications:

Collins, E. G., Dundas, E., Gabay, Y. and Behrmann, M. Hemispheric organization in neurodevelopmental disorders, in press, Visual Cognition (Special Issue on “Person Perception’).

van Rooij, D., Behrmann, M. et al. (2017). Subcortical brain volume differences between patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and healthy individuals across the lifespan: an ENIGMA collaboration. American Journal of Psychiatry, in press.

Freud, E. and Behrmann, M. (2017). The life-span trajectory of visual perception of 3D objects. Scientific Reports, in press.

Liu, T. T. and Behrmann, M. (2017). Functional outcomes in patients with lesions in visual cortex: Implications for developmental plasticity of high-level vision. Neuropsychologia, in press.

Brown, E. N. and Behrmann, M. (2017). Controversy in statistical analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging data. Proc. Nat. Academy of Sciences, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1705513114

Gabay, Y., Dundas, E., Plaut, D. and Behrmann, M. (2017). Atypical perceptual processing of faces in developmental dyslexia, Brain and Language, 173, 41-51.