Please see my personal website for more content and updates!
Hi, I'm Eshed Margalit, a recent graduate of the undergraduate neuroscience program here at USC. I majored in computational neuroscience and minored in computer science. Since joining the Image Understanding Lab, I've studied object recognition, voice recognition, and in particular, face recognition. Despite the remarkable speed and accuracy with which most people can recognize family, friends, and celebrities by their face alone, the mechanisms which underlie this valuable ability remain only partially understood.
A branch of my research focuses on prosopagnosia, a rare condition marked by an inability to recognize familiar faces. My goal is to better understand the underlying causes of this condition using a variety of methodologies, including behavioral studies, fMRI experiments, and computational modeling. This line of research is closely paralleled by studies on phonagnosia, an inability to recognize familiar voices. Accordingly, I've conducting research examining both normal and abnormal voice recognition.
My senior thesis, "The Coding of Object Shape in the Lateral Occipital Complex (LOC)", examines the representation of shape in a cortical area critical for object perception, the lateral occipital complex. This fMRI study aims to determine why LOC responds more strongly to intact objects than to their pixel-scattered versions.
I created a web-application designed to introduce vision scientists to a model of early visual cortex, the Gabor-jet model, which can be used to quantitatively determine the perceptual similarity of two images (according to visual area V1). Check it out here!
Prior to my work in the Image Understanding Lab, I studied the noradrenergic system in the brain, examining the role of the interaction between aging and the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system on cognition and neurodegenerative disease.
I'm currently a student in the Stanford Neurosciences Ph.D. program, where I am continuing to explore the neural and computational bases of object and facial recognition.
- Margalit, E., Shah, M. P., Tjan, B. S., Biederman, I., Keller, B., & Brenner, R. (2016). The Lateral Occipital Complex shows no net response to object familiarity. Journal of Vision, 16(11):3, 1-8.
- Clewett, D., Lee, T.H., Greening, S., Ponzio, A., Margalit, E., & Mather, M. (2016). Neuromelanin marks the spot: Identifying a locus coeruleus biomarker of cognitive reserve in healthy aging. Neurobiology of Aging , 137, 117-126.
- Margalit, E., Biederman, I., Herald, S. B., Yue, X., & von der Malsburg, C. (2016). An applet for the Gabor scaling of the differences between complex stimuli. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics. 78(8), 2298-2306. doi:10.3758/s13414-016-1191-7. [PDF]
Posters and Presentations
- Biederman, I., Herald, S. B., Xu, X., Amir, O., Shilowich B. E., & Margalit, E. (2015). Phonagnosia, a Voice Homologue to Prosopagnosia. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society, St. Petersburg Beach, FL. May.
- Clewett, D., Lee, T.H., Greening, S. G., Ponzio, A., Margalit, E., & Mather M. (2015). Neuromelanin Marks the Spot: A Locus Coeruleus Substrate of Cognitive Reserve in Healthy Aging. USC Neuroscience Graduate Student Symposium, Los Angeles, CA. Jan.
- Biederman, I., Margalit, E., Tjan B.S., & Shah, M.P. (2016). What is actually affected by the scrambling of objects when localizing LOC? To be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society, St. Petersburg Beach, FL. May.
- Margalit, E., Juarez, J., Herald, S.B., Yue, X., & Biederman, I. (2016). What might be the General Visual Deficit that Underlies Developmental Prosopagnosia? To be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society, St. Petersburg Beach, FL. May.
- Irawan, I., Margalit, E., Herald, S.B., & Biederman, I. (2016). Vertices are Effective in Perceptual Grouping (and Ungrouping). To be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society, St. Petersburg Beach, FL. May.
- Biederman, I., Margalit, E., Tjan, B. S., & Shah, M. P. (2016). What is actually affected by the scrambling of objects when localizing LOC? Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Experimental Psychologists. Columbia University, New York. April.
Honors and Awards
NSF fellowship recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines.
Awarded to USC's best neuroscience student with senior standing
Awarded to the top neuroscience major with sophomore or junior standing
Awarded to students who excel in the classroom while demonstrating the ability to create exceptional new scholarship
George H. Mayr Scholarship Foundation
Awarded to outstanding students from California in the college of letters, arts, and sciences
Quarter tuition scholarship to USC
USC Trustee's Award Winner, 2016
Awarded for highest GPA among undergraduate males at the University
University of Southern California
Image Understanding Lab HNB 316
3641 Watt Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2520
Lab Phone: (213) 740-6102
Fax: (213) 740-5687