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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.


Publications

Posters and Presentations

Honors and Awards

Contact Information

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
Email: emargali@usc.edu