Nicole Rust, Ph.D.

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In addition to her role as Director of the Visual Memory Laboratory, Nicole is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, Co-Director of the Computational Neuroscience Initiative, and Executive Director for Research for MindCORE at the University of Pennsylvania.

Throughout her career, Nicole has tackled a number of issues related to how our brains process incoming visual information. Recently, she has started to focus more exclusively on questions related to visual memory. Because she believes that understanding visual memory will require many different approaches, she is excited to bring together a collaborative team focused on studying visual memory behavior, neural activity, and computational modeling.

Nicole has received a number of awards for both research and teaching including the Troland Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences, a McKnight Scholar award, an NSF CAREER award, a Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and the Charles Ludwig Distinguished teaching award. Her research is currently funded by the National Eye Institute at NIH, the National Science Foundation, and the Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain.

Nicole received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Idaho. She received her PhD from New York University under the mentorship of Tony Movshon and Eero Simoncelli. She trained as a postdoc at MIT under the mentorship of Jim DiCarlo. Nicole joined the faculty at Penn in 2009, along with her partner Alan Stocker.