News! June 2019. Our new review paper A roadmap for understanding memory: Decomposing cognitive processes into operations and representations is just out in eNeuro!

News! March 2019.
Congratulations again to Patrick, whose paper showing that we can learn to "connect the dots" of an object without using top-down object knowledge has been accepted by the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General! See here.

Welcome to the Computational Memory and Perception Lab, directed by Dr. Rosie Cowell in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

We are interested in the neural and cognitive mechanisms of visual perception and memory in the human brain. We also investigate how these functions are disrupted by aging or by brain damage in the ventral visual stream and medial temporal lobe. We use computational models, fMRI and behavioral studies in humans. Our research asks questions such as: What are the neural mechanisms of face processing? Does recollection require the hippocampus, or can it be mediated by other parts of the brain? How does interference cause forgetting, and does this change with age?

We are also developing novel methods for fMRI analysis, using maximum likelihood estimation and Bayesian hierarchical modeling. Our goal is to develop a mathematical technique that can characterize the neural-level responses that give rise to the voxel tuning functions observed in early visual areas using fMRI.

Our research is funded by the Cognitive Neuroscience Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF CAREER Award 1554871), and by the NIMH under the BRAIN Initiative (1RF1MH114277). We also have Airforce funding for a project developing neural networks that perform scene and object recognition in collaboration with Erik Learned-Miller in Computer Science.

Join us! To apply for a PhD in our lab, please see the UMass PBS Cognitive Division website and at the UMass Graduate School website; the next round of applications will be in Dec/Jan for entry in Fall 2019. We are always interested in hearing from potential post-doctoral or post-baccalaureate research associates whose interests align with ours. Please inquire by sending an email to rcowell[at] To join us as a UMass undergraduate research assistant, see here.

© Cowell Lab 2019, University of Massachuetts, Amherst.
Lab Schedule Fall 2019 - here
computational Memory and Perception Lab