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Hello! I am a 6th year PhD student in Marina Bedny's lab, in the department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins University.
There is a remarkable gap between the "inputs" and "outputs" of human experience. On the one hand, we perceive the world rapidly, effortlessly, and to a large degree, uniformly through our senses (e.g., most of us can agree that this is just a giant block of red). But once inside the mind of a human being, seemingly simple information gets transformed beyond recognition--inspiring, for example, thoughts as wide-ranging as "I don't care," to "I'm going to attack it," to "I want to write thousands of words about it".
I want to understand how it is that we make this jump from perceptual experience to the generation and communication of complex, abstract thought. What is the infrastructure that links together perception, thought, and language? What is the nature of language of thought?
As one way of chipping away at this question, I study various topics that lie at the intersection of vision and language. In particular, I use behavioral, TMS, and fMRI experiments to probe how congenitally blind individuals' concepts and brains are similar to and different from those of the sighted. You can go to my research page to read about work on the neural basis of visual and Braille reading (orthography), sentence processing in the "visual" cortex, and the acquisition of concepts about physical features (e.g., color and shape) in the absence of visual experience.
More recently, my interests have been shifting away from the "perception'" end, moving more towards the "complex thought" end of questions. Some of my recent projects and collaborations ask about causal explanations, compositional semantics, and narrative structure.