Carnegie Mellon University
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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 was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences in 2015 and into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019.

Dr. Behrmann is widely considered to be a trailblazer and a worldwide leader in the field of visual cognition. Below is an example of recently published work from the lab:


Liu TT, Freud E, Patterson C, Behrmann M. J Neurosci. 2019 Jun 5. pii: 3160-18. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3160-18.2019. [Epub ahead of print]

The consequences of cortical resection, a treatment for patients with pharmaco-resistant epilepsy, provide a unique opportunity to advance our understanding of the nature and extent of cortical (re)organization. Using psychophysical and fMRI investigations, we compared the neural and visuoperceptual profiles of ten children or adolescents following unilateral cortical resections and their age- and gender-matched controls. All patients except two, showed normal perceptual performance. Consistently, again, with the exception of the same two individuals, both univariate and multivariate fMRI analyses revealed normal selectivity and representational structure of category-selective regions. These findings offer novel insights into the malleability of cortex in the pediatric population and suggest that, while experience may be necessary for the emergence of neural category-selectivity, this emergence is not necessarily contingent on the integrity of particular cortical structures.