Sarah  Shomstein, Ph.D.

Lab Director
[CV] [google scholar] [ResearchGate]

Sarah Shomstein is an Associate Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, and Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Program, at the George Washington University. Her research interests are focused on investigating the neural mechanisms of  attentional selection by combining both behavioral and neuroimaging techniques in normals as well as brain damaged populations.  In her spare time she plays squash, skis, scuba dives, travels, attends art exhibits, and perfects her photography skills.

Xiaoli Zhang

[personal] [google scholar] [ResearchGate]

Xiaoli received a BS in Psychology in 2013 from Tsinghua University, China. Later she earned her PhD in Cognitive Psychology in 2020 from The Ohio State University where she worked with Julie Golomb. She is interested in how we perform dynamic perception, attention, and memory functions, especially how our brain effectively processes fast-changing visual inputs. Her research approaches include behavioral measures, eye tracking, and fMRI. In her spare time, Xiaoli enjoys reading novels, cooking, and playing with her cat Pirate.

Kelly McEvoy
Graduate Student


Kelly graduated from Loyola University New Orleans in 2022 with a BS in Psychology and concentration in Neuroscience.  She is interested in using neuroimaging to investigate the top-down and bottom-up influences on visual selective attention and the impact stress and emotional faces may have on these influences. In her spare time, she likes to listen to podcasts about space, paint landscapes, read classic literature works, and drink a lot of cofee

Ellie Robbins
Graduate Student

Ellie graduated from Colgate University in 2018 with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Applied Mathematics. She is interested in researching the effects of semantic information and long-term memory on attentional selectivity. In her spare time, Ellie likes to spend time with animals, do crossword puzzles, and is a self-proclaimed "foodie", always exploring local restaurants.

Kira Wegner-Clemens

Graduate Student

Kira graduated from Rice University in 2017 with a BA in Cognitive Science, then studied face viewing behavior as a post bac researcher at Baylor College of Medicine before starting graduate school with Mike Beauchamp. She's interested in attentional mechanisms in real world multisensory contexts, such as face conversation. Outside of lab, she likes to try new restaurants and recipes, paint watercolors, and fall off walls at the rock climbing gym.

Sanika Paranjape (co-advised with Dwight Kravitz)

Graduate Student

Sanika graduated from Case Western University in 2019 with a BS in Biology and Cognitive Science. She then worked as a postbac researcher at the NIH studying face perception with Chris Baker. In graduate school, she is interested in how visual working memory influences perception and attention, and vice versa. in her free time, she enjoys exploring the city, baking, and playing fetch with her cat.


Post Doctoral Fellows:

Selene Schintu                             Research Associate, Center for Mind/Brain science University of Trento
Jonathan Doyon                          Postdoc, Harvard Medical School, The Jung Lab
George Malcolm                          Associate Professor, University of East Anglia, England
Stephen Adamo                           Postdoc, University of Central Florida, Schmidt Lab
Summer Sheremata                   
Assistant Professor, Florida Atlantic University
Fatma Uyar                                  Data Scientist, University of Pittsburgh Health Plan
Junjun Zhang         
                    Assistant Professor, University of Chengdu, China


Graduate Students:

Jeongmi Lee                                Assistant Professor, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Leslie Drummond                       Cognitive Scientist, Battelle
Breana Carter                             Research Associate, University of Maryland Applied Research Lab
AJ Collegio                                  Senior User Researcher, Bose Corporation
Joseph (Chong-In) Nah              Postdoc, UC Davis,
Geng Lab
Dick Dubbelde                            Adjunct Professor, George Washington University

Undergraduate Students:

Eden Levitt
Paul Scotti                                   Graduate Student, Ohio State University, Golumb Lab and Leber Lab
Alexander J. Etz                        
Graduate Student, University of California, Irvine, Vandekerckhove lab
Ian Donovan                               Graduate Student, New York University, Carrasco Lab

Emily Bilger                                Medical School
Sarah Mayer-Brown                  Grad Student, Clinical Psychology,  University of Florida
Alexandra Fleszar                      Law School
Erik Wing                                   Graduate Student, Duke University, Cabeza Lab
Anna Byers
                                Grad Student, UCSD, Serences Lab
Jacoba Johnson                          Counseling Center, Villanova University