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Sydney Ash

Head Lab Director

As a part of my responsibilities, I manage lab directors and assist them in any part of their roles that they may need help with. I also coordinate advertising for participants and ensure proper integration of new members into the lab. Additionally, I send a bi-weekly newsletter with upcoming events and general information/updates. Budgeting and funding are crucial parts of the role, and I am also involved in fundraising activities. I assist the Membership Director with interviews and mid-semester check-ins. Serving as a mentor, I respond to inquiries and concerns from lab members. Furthermore, I manage the social media presence of the lab, ensuring that our work and updates are communicated effectively to the public.


Athenia Ibragimov

Lab Director-Research Advisor

I coordinate and manage introductory orientations for ERP and mid-semester check-ins to ensure that all members are aligned with the lab's goals and objectives. A critical aspect of my role is to ensure that members properly cite research, which involves ensuring that CITI training is complete and that ResearchGate accounts are set up. I also assist with responding to inquiries about programs used in the lab, such as Testable, Endnote, and Qualtrics. Additionally, I help lab members with scholarships and applications to ensure that they have the necessary support to progress in their academic and professional careers. As previously mentioned, I assist with participant recruitment, a crucial task for the success of our studies. Lastly, I serve as a mentor and respond to inquiries and concerns from lab members, making sure that everyone feels supported and empowered in their roles.

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Alexa Alvarez

Research Assistant



Matthew Pardillo

Research Assistant


Cavel Taupper

Research Assistant

Examining issues of frontal contributions via neuromodulation. 


Claudia Sierzputowski

Research Assistant

TMS and tACS with Satiation. EEG and cravings. 


Lexie Lawson

Graduate Research Assistant

Runs the Red Panda research as well as investigations on Freewill and the brain.


Abigail Straus

Research Assistant

Leads menstruation investigation team. Investigates third-person perspective.

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Gabriel Duran

Research Assistant

The Cortical Correlates of Art and Music


Maria Ferrol

Lab Director-Project Manager

My duties include participant scheduling and managing Calendly to ensure that all appointments and meetings are organized efficiently. I am responsible for creating timelines and deadlines for studies, which is crucial for ensuring project progression. Weekly progress check-ins are conducted to monitor the status of the projects and to make sure that everyone sticks with the decided project's timeline. Additionally, I am always available to listen to project ideas and answer any project-related questions. For all directors, I assist with participant recruitment, a vital task for the successful completion of our studies. Similarly to my other roles, I serve as a mentor and respond to inquiries and concerns from lab members, ensuring that everyone feels supported and heard in their roles.


Alejandro Gili

Lab Director-Project Instructor

I answer inquiries regarding the IRB (Institutional Review Board) process or IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee), ensuring that all members are aware of the ethical considerations and guidelines that need to be followed in our research. I also introduce projects to members and assign them based on their interests to ensure that everyone is engaged and motivated in their work. Another important task is to find conferences, both in and out of state, that would be beneficial for lab members to attend or present their work. Additionally, I maintain the Shared Drive organized and updated, which is crucial for the efficient operation of the lab. As mentioned earlier, I answer inquiries about programs used, such as Testable, Endnote, or Qualtrics. I also instruct members about TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) and EEG (Electroencephalogram), and the overall goal of the lab: "How and why the self evolved in the human brain". My role also involves assisting the Membership Director with interviews, mid-semester check-ins, and participant recruitment. Lastly, serving as a mentor and responding to inquiries and concerns from lab members is a continuous responsibility that I take very seriously.


Nathira Ahmad

Former Lab Coordinator

My work also involves conducting research on racial biasing and brain methods in racial-free imaging. This involves investigating how racial biases may affect the way we interpret images and the methods we can use to eliminate these biases. Moreover, I also work on projects related to self-deception, employing TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) to investigate how self-deception manifests in the brain and how it can be potentially mitigated. These research areas are critical for understanding the underlying mechanisms of racial bias and self-deception and developing strategies to address these issues.

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Qiana Archer

Research Assistant

Braiding and Racism, Social Media and the Brain


Adrianna LaVarco

Graduate Research Assistant

rTPJ, Gibbons and ToM, Red Panda stress response, Contaigous Yawning


Anthony Minervini

Graduate Research Assistant

rTPJ, Gibbons, mirror self-recognition


Samantha Zorns

Research Assistant

Examine racial bias and implicit bias in cognition. 


Molly Skowdon

Graduate Research Assistant

TMS and Learning

Our Adventures


The Lab Skydive! Yes, we all jumped!

We love good food and creating meaningful experiences!

The Cognitive Neuroimaging Lab at Sense to Synapse is a bustling hub of activity and innovation. Here are some of the local high school students that work in the lab, showcasing the lab's commitment to fostering the next generation of scientists. These bright young minds work alongside graduate and undergraduate students, creating a collaborative and dynamic environment that encourages learning and growth for all. The mix of different education levels promotes a culture of mentorship, where the more experienced students can guide and support the younger ones. Together, they engage in cutting-edge research, using state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to explore the mysteries of the human brain. The lab is a space where curiosity is encouraged, knowledge is shared, and the future of cognitive neuroscience is being shaped.

Numerous alumni hold advanced degrees such as PhDs and MDs, while many others are in the process of completing their academic journey. Some have ventured into clinical roles, academia, or the corporate world. To contact any of our former students, please reach out via email to the lab as, with a network of over a hundred alumni, it is impractical to maintain an up-to-date list of current emails on our website. Our alumni network is vast and diverse, representing a wide array of talents and expertise. They are making significant contributions to their respective fields, and we are incredibly proud of their achievements.

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