x Vision & Perception Neuroscience Lab | Stanford University
home people research publications links photos internal


My research seeks to understand the the neural basis of visual perception and categorization, using multimodal methods including: fMRI, quantitative MRI, diffusion weighted imaging, behavioral, and computational methods. The ultimate goal is linking brain activations and computations to human perception.

We are particularly curious about the relation between human brain structure, function, & behavior, which has been triggered by our discoveries of striking structural-functional regularities in human visual cortex that hadn't been previously predicted. For example, tertiary sulci such as the mid fusiform sulcus predict the location of functional regions such as mFus-faces (a region involved in face recognition), and the distribution of white matter bundle endpoints predicts reading-related brain activations. These intriguing findings led us to ask: How does the underlying microarchitecture and connectivity constrain brain function? What may be the computational utility of functional-structural coupling in the brain?

We are also fascinated by the development of the human brain during infancy and childhood. In particular, we seek to understand how the development of brain microstructure and brain function enable better visual recognition from childhood to adulthood. We have discovered that cortical myelination during infancy and childhood plays an important role in microstructural brain development. Interestingly, brain development is not always linear: we discovered that cortical representations of limbs are recycled to face and word representations during childhood development.

Additionally, we are developing novel computational encoding models of the visual system using spatial and temporal neural population receptive fields models. These models not only predict neural responses to new stimuli but also explain basic visual phenomenon that have been elusive for decades. Such as, why are people better at recognizing upright than upside-down faces? How does attention make your perception better?


Undergraduate Courses
Psych 30: Introduction to Perception (Fall 2020)

Graduate Courses
Psych 207: Professional Seminar for First-Year Ph.D. Graduate Students (Fall 2021)
Psych 250/CS 431: High Level Vision From Neurons to Deep Neural Networks (Win 2021)
Psych 204b: Human Neuroimaging Methods (Spr 2020)
Psych 284: Mapping the human visual system (Win 2020)
Psych 206: Cortical Plasticity (Win 2018)

Fun Stuff


Kalanit Grill-Spector, Ph.D
Chair, Department of Psychology
Center for Neurobiological Imaging board
Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
Stanford University

e-mail: kalanit @ stanford.edu