Birthday party -- April 2014!

Birthday party — April 2014!

Members of the Woldorff Lab -- Spring 2010

Members of the Woldorff Lab — Spring 2010

Principal Investigator:


Marty Woldorff, Ph.D.
Professor (Psychiatry; Psychology & Neuroscience; Neurobiology)

Center for Cognitive Neuroscience
Duke University, Box 90999, Durham, NC 27708-0999
Office: 919-681-0604

More info on Dr. Woldorff
My main research interest is in the cognitive neuroscience of attention. At each and every moment of our lives, we are bombarded by a welter of sensory information coming at us from a myriad of directions and through our various sensory modalities — much more than we can fully process. We must continuously select and extract the most important information from this welter of stimulus inputs. How the human brain accomplishes this is one of the core challenges of modern cognitive neuroscience. My lab uses a combination of electrophysiological (ERP, MEG) and functional neuroimaging (fMRI) methods to study the time course, functional neuroanatomy, and mechanisms of attentional processes. This multimethodological approach is directed along several main lines of research: (1) The mechanisms of attentional and cognitive control; (2) The influence of attention on sensory, perceptual, and memory processes; (3) The role of attention across sensory modalities; (4) The influence of training and expertise on attentional speed and capacity; and (5) The relationships between attention, perceptual processing, and conscious awareness. For more information, see my Duke Institute for Brain Science profile.

Affiliated faculty:


L. Greg Appelbaum, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor (Psychiatry; Psychology & Neuroscience)
Duke University

Office: 919-613-7664

More info on Dr. Appelbaum
My research focuses on the behavioral and neural processes that underlie human visual cognition, how these capabilities differ among individuals, and how they can be improved through behavioral and neurofeedback interventions. In this research I utilize a combination of psychophysical measures aimed at quantifying behavioral performance, coupled with the neuroscience techniques of electroencephalography (EEG), trasncranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to understand the neural mechanisms underlying visual-cognitive abilities. This research has addressed aspects of perception and action, cognitive control, decision-making, learning and expertise and is aimed at developing new knowledge about the function of the human brain that can be leveraged in applied contexts. For more information on me and my research, please go to

Postdoctoral Associates:


Elise Demeter, Ph.D.
Duke University


More info on Elise
My work in the Woldorff lab centers on two primary lines of research. First, I’m interested in how we control our attention, particularly when there are distractors in the environment. Second, I’m interested in how attentional performance is influenced by reward and motivation. In order to study these questions, my work employs behavioral, EEG/ERP and fMRI methods. Prior to joining the Woldorff lab, I worked at the University of Michigan with Stephan Taylor (Psychiatry) and Luis Hernandez-Garcia (fMRI Center). I completed my doctoral work in Neuroscience in the labs of Cindy Lustig and Martin Sarter at Michigan. My dissertation focused on translational research studies on attentional control in animal models, healthy young adults, and patient populations. I’m originally from Winston-Salem, NC and I earned my bachelor’s degree in biology from Duke University.


Lingling Wang, Ph.D.
Duke University


More info on Lingling
I’m interested in the neural basis of attentional selection and how this basic cognitive process can be influenced by expectation, motivation and emotion. Leveraging the high temporal resolution of EEG, my work in the Woldorff lab explores whether/how reward plays a role in the cascade of neural events involved in visual search.
Prior to joining the Woldorff lab, I worked with Greg Appelbaum and Stephen Mitroff at Duke. I completed my doctoral work with Steve Most at University of Delaware. My dissertation focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying emotion-perception interactions.

Graduate Students:


Marissa Gamble
Duke University


More info on Marissa
In our daily environment, we are bombarded with an enormous amount of sensory information. It is incredible that we can successfully navigate this rich environment, select certain relevant pieces of information, while simultaneously ignoring irrelevant information. I am interested in the neural mechanisms underlying how people are able to effectively search for and selectively attend to a particular stimulus in a complex and dynamic environment. Using the high temporal resolution of EEG, I study the cascade of neural events involved in finding and focusing attention towards a relevant auditory or visual stimulus. (Please see my website


Berry van den Berg
University of Groningen
Duke University


More info on Berry
We navigate through life in complex, dynamic environments, in which the relevance of information around us changes continuously. To efficiently deal with these changes, we use attentional-control processes to select that stimulus information which is most important to us at each moment, resulting in improved task performance on those inputs. I use EEG, fMRI with healthy adults to study these processes. In the longer term, I will look how these selection processes change in the healthy aging person. See more at


Benjamin Geib
Duke University


More info on Ben


Charlie Giattino
Duke University


More info on Charlie
I’m interested in the neural basis of consciousness, an admittedly ambiguous term that has two main definitions in a neuroscience context. One definition refers to the continuum between deep sleep and vigilant wakefulness – not a trivial difference as far as our subjective experience is concerned. The other refers to our perceptual awareness of the world around us – sights, sounds, etc. While interested in both aspects, my current focus is on the latter, with a special emphasis on attention as a selection mechanism for what we become aware of.

Lab Manager / Assoc. in Research:


Ken Roberts
Duke University


More info on Ken
I am very interested in applying emerging methodological techniques to investigate the neural basis of cognitive processes. My work in the lab has involved the integration of fMRI and electophysiological data to leverage the complementary strengths of each and has involved as well the development of novel imaging technologies in collaboration with Duke’s Brain Imaging and Analysis Center.


Cameron McKay
Georgetown University


More info on Cameron
I am interested in the neural basis of attentional and cognitive-control mechanisms, and I use EEG and behavioral measures to study the processes underlying how we filter out distracting information from concurrent sensory stimuli. I graduated from Duke University in 2014 with a BS in Neuroscience, after conducting an independent project in the Woldorff Lab. I will be starting graduate school at Georgetown University as part of the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience in 2015.

Undergraduate Research Assistants:

Zaynah Alam

Daniela De Albuquerque

Mudit Dutta

Jacob Gardner

Brittany Glassberg

Frank Lee

Sharon Peng

April Ratliff

Eshita Singh

Christian Song

Lab Alumni:

Laura Busse, Ph.D.
Faculty, University of Tuebingen

Daniel Weissman, Ph.D.
Faculty, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Daniel Senkowski, Ph.D.
Faculty, University Medicine Berlin

Heleen Slagter, Ph.D.
Faculty, University of Amsterdam

Psyche Loui, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Wesleyan University

Durk Talsma, Ph.D.
Faculty, University of Ghent

Wayne Khoe, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, University of California, San Diego

Tracy Doty, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Researcher, Aberdeen Proving Ground

C.-T. Vince Wu, Ph.D.
Faculty, National University of Taiwan

Karen Meyerhoff, MD, MPH
Resident Physician, University of Washington

Lindsay Warner, D.V.M.
Veterinarian, Apex, NC

Melissa Libertus, Ph.D.
Faculty, University of Pittsburgh

C. Nico Boehler, Ph.D.
Faculty, University of Ghent

Tineke Grent-‘t-Jong, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Sirawaj Itthipanyanan
Graduate Student, University of California, San Diego

Ruth Krebs, Ph.D.
Faculty, University of Ghent

Ulrike Zimmer, Ph.D.
Faculty, University of Graz

Jessica Green, Ph.D.
Faculty, University of South Carolina

Sarah E. Donohue, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral researcher, Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg / Leibinz Institutute for Neurobiology in Magdeburg, Germany

Joseph A. Harris, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral researcher, Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg / Leibinz Institutute for Neurobiology in Magdeburg, Germany

Kait Clark, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral research associate, Cardiff University in Wales

Francesco Marini, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral associate, University of California, San Diego

René San Martín, Ph.D.
Faculty, Universidad Diego Portales in Chile