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I am generally interested in the processes underlying learning such as storing information in long-term memory via system consolidation. Currently, I’m investigating how we learn to identify new faces using behavioral and fMRI studies. Face recognition is often taken as automatic and robust, however this is only true for familiar faces as we experience difficulties identifying unfamiliar faces. My research focuses on how we learn regularities associated with a person’s face over time (e.g., large eyes and small nose) and repeated exposure to that face leads to a prototype representation that facilitates familiar face recognition. I’m seeking to demonstrate the formation of such a prototype in the anterior temporal lobe (ATL), a region broadly involved in person identity. Based on this prototype, the ATL is hypothesized to exert top-down effects on posterior face-selective regions in order to promote tuning and selectivity of neural responses to a familiar face and consequently improve face recognition. Other areas of interest include developing methods for mapping patterns of functional connectivity to individual differences in behavior/cognition.