Student Spotlights

Wellesley College

Monica Gates
Neuroscience major

Monica Gates participated in the 2014 CBMM Summer Research program, working in the neuroscience laboratory of Prof. Bevil Conway at Harvard Medical School. Her research focused on the neural basis of color processing in the visual cortex of macaque monkeys. One cortical region thought to be important for color vision is area V4/PIT, which contains color-selective “glob” cells. Using single-unit electrophysiology to record signals from these cells while the monkeys fixated on a visual display, Monica and her collaborators tested the hypothesis that the behavior of these neurons is correlated with color perception. Monica is continuing her research on color vision through a senior honors thesis project that explores the Bezold-Brucke hue shift and the basis for perceptual color categories.

Learn more about Monica’s research (PDF).

Heather Kosakowski
Neuroscience major

Heather Kosakowski participated in the 2014 CBMM Summer Research program, working with Lindsey Powell in the Laboratory for Developmental Studies directed by Prof. Elizabeth Spelke at Harvard. Her research explored the basis for the prosocial nature of imitation by exploring whether young infants show a preference for third-party imitators. Using observations of infants’ looking behavior when presented with visual displays of simple cartoon characters engaged in imitative actions, Heather examined whether third-party imitation preferences exist in preverbal 4-month and 7-month old infants, and tested hypotheses about the possible basis for the prosocial nature of imitation. Heather is continuing her research in the Spelke Lab this year.

Learn more about Heather’s research (PDF).