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Agnessa Karapetian


Neural Dynamics of Visual Cognition Group

PhD Candidate

Habelschwerdter Allee 45
14195 Berlin

After completing a BSc in Psychology at McGill University in my hometown of Montréal, Canada, I joined the lab in January 2019 as a Master’s student in the MSc Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience at FU. In my Master’s thesis, I investigated category processing in auditory and visual modalities. Afterwards, I stayed in the lab to complete a year-long internship in computational neuroscience, SmartStart, organized by the Bernstein Network. During my internship, I was co-supervised by Prof. Dr. Klaus Obermayer (TU Berlin) to work on a project in perceptual decision-making in humans and deep neural networks. 

In October 2020, I started my PhD funded by the Einstein Center for Neurosciences, which I decided to conduct in the lab. The general theme of my PhD is to investigate scene processing in the human visual cortex and in artificial networks. To achieve that, I use different neuroimaging methods (e.g., EEG) and computational techniques (MVPA, RSA, DNNs). My first project is the continuation of the work I did during my SmartStart internship, which aims at relating neural and behavioural data to determine at which points in time the brain is actively involved in perceptual decision-making. This is achieved using a distance-to-hyperplane analysis, an extension in multivariate space of signal detection theory. The analysis relies on machine learning tools such as SVM to create, at every timepoint, a hyperplane in neural space to separate man-made from natural stimuli. Afterwards, the stimuli’s distances to the hyperplane are correlated with their corresponding reaction times to reveal the time course of decision-making. This analysis is also conducted in a recurrent neural network, to determine whether there are similarities in perceptual decision-making between the brain and artificial networks. 

In my free time, I like to try to get away from the computer and focus on creative endeavours, such as painting, baking, and knitting. I also enjoy spending time in nature, especially for hiking (although it is nearly impossible to find a proper mountain around Berlin). 

For more information, you can find my CV here.

Although I am not currently looking for interns, feel free to get in touch if you are interested in any of the abovementioned topics. 

CV Agnessa Karapetian 2021