Russell Epstein

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University of Pennsylvania

epstein [at] psych [dot] upenn [dot] edu


Other information

SILC Faculty Member and member of our Spatial Network.

Biographical Sketch: Russell A. Epstein

Professional Preparation

University of Chicago Physics B.A., 1991

Harvard University Applied Math (Computer Vision) Ph.D., 1996

Harvard University Cognitive Neuroscience Postdoctoral, 1996-1997

MIT Cognitive Neuroscience Postdoctoral, 1997-1999


2008-present     Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania

2002-2008        Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania

1999-2001       Research Scientist, Medical Research Council Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge UK


Five related publications:

  1. Epstein, R. A. & Kanwisher, N. (1998). A cortical representation of the local visual environment. Nature, 392, 598-601.
  2. Epstein, R. A., Graham, K. S. & Downing, P. E. (2003). Viewpoint-specific scene representations in human parahippocampal cortex. Neuron, 37, 865-876.
  3. Epstein, R. A., Parker, W. E. & Feiler, A. M. (2007). Where am I now? Distinct roles for parahippocampal and retrosplenial cortices in place recognition. Journal of Neuroscience, 27, 6141-6149.
  4. Epstein, R. A. (2008). Parahippocampal and retrosplenial contributions to human spatial navigation. Trends in Cognitive Science, 12, 388-396.
  5. MacEvoy, S. P. & Epstein, R. A. (2009). Decoding the representation of multiple simultaneous objects in human occipitotemporal. Current Biology, 19, 943-947.

Five other publications:

  1. Epstein, R. A. & Higgins, J. S. (2007). Differential parahippocampal and retrosplenial involvement in three types of visual scene recognition. Cerebral Cortex, 17, 1680-1693.
  2. Macevoy, S. P. & Epstein, R. A. (2007). Position selectivity in scene- and object-responsive occipitotemporal regions. Journal of Neurophysiology, 98, 2089-2098.
  3. Epstein, R. A., Higgins, J. S. Jablonski, K., & Feiler, A. M. (2007). Visual scene processing in familiar and unfamiliar environments. Journal of Neurophysiology, 97, 3670-3683.
  4. Epstein, R. A., Parker, W. E. & Feiler, A. M. (2008). Two kinds of fMRI repetition suppression? Evidence for dissociable neural mechanisms. Journal of Neurophysiology, 99, 2877-2886.
  5. Epstein, R. A. & Ward, E. J. (2010). How reliable are visual context effects in parahippocampal cortex? Cerebral Cortex, 20(2), 294–303.

Synergistic Activities

Member of the leadership group for the NSF Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC; SBE-0541957), a multi-university research effort dedicated to understanding human spatial cognition, with an emphasis on applying this knowledge to educational settings.

Development of curricula for two undergraduate courses (Research Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience, Visual Cognition) and two graduate courses (Cognitive Neuroscience Proseminar; fMRI Data Analysis) that directly incorporate research into teaching.

Refinement of neural adaptation, individual differences, region of interest, and multi-voxel pattern analyses as tools for fMRI research.

Outreach to non-scientific communities interested in spatial cognition and spatial thinking, including architects (Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, Washington DC) and artists (Philoctetes Center, New York).

Collaborators & Other Affiliations:

Collaborators (not including students in lab): G.K. Aguirre (University of Pennsylvania), N. Newcombe (Temple University), Thomas Shipley (Temple University)

Graduate Advisor: A. L. Yuille (UCLA)

Postdoctoral Advisor: N. Kanwisher (MIT)

Graduate/Postdoctoral Advisees: Sean MacEvoy (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2006-2009), Victor Schinazi (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2008-present), Seth Bouvier (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2009-present), Vanessa Troiani (grad student, 2008-present), Lindsay Morgan (grad student, 2008-present), Teresa Pegors (grad student, 2009-present)

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