Principal Investigator

  tobias.egner at

tobias.egner at

Tobias Egner, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience
Director of Graduate Studies, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience

Tobias received a B.Sc. in Psychology from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and then went on to earn his Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience at Imperial College London, University of London. After that, he undertook postdoctoral research at the Functional MRI Research Center at Columbia University in New York City before working as a Research Assistant Professor in the Cognitive Neurology & Alzheimer's Disease center at Northwestern University in Chicago. In summer 2009, he joined the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University.

For more information, download Tobias Egner's CV.


 chiu.yuchin at

chiu.yuchin at

Yu-Chin Chiu, Ph.D.

Yu-Chin received a B.Sc. in Psychology from National Taiwan University in 2004. She then worked as a research assistant at Academia Sinica before she went to earn her Ph.D. in Psychological and Brain Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University in 2010. She then went to do a short postdoc at the University of California San Diego before she joined the Egner Lab.

Yu-Chin is interested in how humans exert top-down, cognitive control when bottom-up (attentional & motivational) biases are in conflict with the current goal. When cognitive control fails, these biases could become detrimental, contributing to maladaptive behaviors as seen in many psychiatric disorders. Yu-Chin's overarching research goal is to examine how top-down/executive setting can modulate and override bottom-up biases using various research methodologies (behavior, TMS, fMRI).

 anthony.sali at

anthony.sali at

Anthony Sali, Ph.D.

Anthony received a B.A. in Psychology from Hamilton College in 2010. He later earned his Ph.D. in Psychological and Brain Sciences from the Johns Hopkins University in 2015.

Anthony is interested in how learning guides flexible attentional control. When behavioral goals change, an individual must be prepared to shift attentional selections. However the likelihood that such a shift will be necessary varies across environmental contexts. Anthony's work seeks to understand the representational mechanisms through which environmental structure influences the flexible updating of attentional selections using studies of human behavior, functional human neuroimaging and TMS.

Graduate Students

 christina.bejjani at

christina.bejjani at

Christina Bejjani

Christina received a B.A. in neuroscience from Pomona College in 2013. She worked as a research assistant at UCLA before becoming a lab manager for the Learning and Decision Making lab at Rutgers University, Newark in 2014. She joined the Egner lab as a Psychology & Neuroscience graduate student in 2016.

Christina is interested in how bottom-up associational processes interact and work hand-in-hand with control processes to guide adaptive behavior. She plans to investigate stimulus- and context-control learning (i.e. how control states are associated with particular stimuli or contexts) using various methodologies (behavior, modeling, fMRI).

 peter.whitehead at

peter.whitehead at

Peter Whitehead

Peter received a B.Mus in Orchestral Performance - Bassoon and a B.S. in Psychology from Arizona State University in 2016. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience in the Egner lab and Woldorff lab.

Peter is interested in how items in working memory influence actions and perception, and how control processes can modulate these influences. He plans to investigate these topics using various methodologies (behavior, modeling, and EEG). at at

Nithin George

Nithin is pursuing a Ph.D. at Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, India. He received B.A. in Psychology from MG University in 2012 and Masters' in Cognitive Science from University of Allahabad in 2014.

As a visiting graduate student at the Egner lab, Nithin is trying to understand the dissociable role of expectation and attention in the exclusion of external noise. Attention is tuned based on the reliability of incoming information. He is interested in using this framework to explain feature binding as resulting from the reliability of feature combinations. Through behavioral experiments, he is working towards understanding how various contextual factors and voluntary action influence selective attention.


Amelia M. Abbott-Frey 

Hanna Oh Descher - Insight Data Science Fellows Program, Seattle, USA

Paul Muhle-Karbe - Oxford University, UK & Ghent University, Belgium

Jiefeng Jiang - Stanford University, USA

Emma Wu Dowd - Ohio State University, USA

Anastasia Kiyonaga - University of California, Berkeley, USA

Franziska Korb - Dresden University of Technology, Germany

Joseph King - Dresden University of Technology, Germany

Darinka Trübutschek - École des Neurosciences, France