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I am a neuroscientist. My overarching interest is to understand how differences in brain architecture and function lead to individual differences in perception and behavior.

For example, think about two of your friends, e.g. Jane and Ann. They see the world slightly differently, they behave differently in the same situation, they solve problems in different ways. Quantifying differences between people has been the object of the scientific discipline of differential psychology for over 100 years. There are many psychological assessments available to measure people, perhaps the most established ones being IQ tests and personality tests. Individual scores on these tests correlate well with some important "real life" outcomes such as life expectancy, educational achievement, career success and wealth, etc. The predictive validity of these tests demonstrates that differential psychologists got something right. But whether the concepts of "intelligence" and "personality" are the ones that best describe underlying differences in the brain -- whether they carve Nature at its joints -- is unclear. It is important that we discover the correct causal model that goes from differences in the brain to individual differences in perception and behavior; only such a model would allow us to design effective interventions.

My main tool is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which allows me to probe both the structure and the function of the human brain non-invasively. I use large datasets (>100 subjects) to uncover individual differences in the brain, and then relate them to individual differences in perception and behavior. Functional MRI is a very blunt tool to image brain function: not only because of its low spatio-temporal resolution (mm, and s) with respect to neuronal activity (um, and ms), but also because it measures changes in blood oxygenation, volume and flow rather than neuronal activity. Yet it allows to image the entire brain non-invasively, and I have been successful linking differences in fMRI data to individual differences in intelligence and personality. In a parallel line of research, I am interested in how the signals that I measure with fMRI compare to signals recorded invasively with electrodes implanted in the human brain -- the very rare opportunity to obtain such invasive recordings arises in the context of the surgical treatment of severe cases of focal epilepsy.

I am a research scientist, with visiting appointments in the laboratory of Prof. Ueli Rutishauser in the department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; and in the laboratory of Prof. Ralph Adolphs at Caltech.

I have worked on many topics since the onset of my neuroscience career, such as unconscious vision, attentional selection, the representation of concepts in the brain, face processing, and social cognition. I have experience with many methods, such as psychophysics, electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), and single-unit recordings. I earned a PhD in Computation and Neural Systems from Caltech, where I was mentored by Prof. Christof Koch (now Chief Scientific officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science). I also earned a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from Universite Paul Sabatier in France, where I was mentored by Dr. Rufin VanRullen at the Centre de Recherche Cerveau et Cognition (CERCO).

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
127 S. San Vicente Blvd.
Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion (office A6444)
Los Angeles, CA 90048

jcrdubois \at\ gmail