top of page

Leyla Isik, Principal Investigator 


Leyla is the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins University, and holds appointments in the department of Biomedical Engineering and Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute. Before joining JHU, Leyla was a postdoc at MIT and Harvard in the Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines, where she worked with Nancy Kanwisher and Gabriel Kreiman. She received her PhD from MIT where she was advised by Tomaso Poggio, and was an undergraduate right here at JHU.

DSC06885 copy.jpg

Elizabeth Jiwon Im, Lab Manager

Elizabeth graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a BA in Cognitive Science and BA in Medicine, Science and Humanities. While she was an undergrad, she worked with Leyla on an on-going social perception research, and with Dr. Michael McCloskey on developmental dysgraphia and motor plans for handwriting. She is broadly interested in social cognition and is currently investigating social perception and theory of mind neural networks.

Emalie McMahon, PhD Student


Emalie is a PhD student in the Department of Cognitive Science. Prior to joining the lab, she complete a post-baccalaureate research fellowship at the NIH in the lab of Leslie Ungerleider. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Tennessee.

Paul Soulos, PhD Student

Paul is a PhD student in the Department of Cognitive Science. He is interested in neurosymbolic computation, reasoning as program induction, and bringing together Cognitive Science and Neuroscience through computational tools and imaging techniques. Before grad school, Paul was a software engineer at Fitbit and Google working on applications and wearable devices. He received his BS in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics and his MS in Cognitive Science at JHU.

headshot (1).jpg

Manasi Malik, PhD Student

Manasi is a PhD student in the Department of Cognitive Science. Prior to joining JHU, she worked at TCS Innovation Labs to develop deep learning models to improve advertising effectiveness. She did her B.Tech from IIIT Delhi and worked on multisensory perception for her bachelors' thesis at National Brain Research Center, India.


Hannah Small, PhD Student


Hannah is a PhD student in the Department of Cognitive Science. She is interested in the spatial organization of the brain. Before joining the lab, she worked on how the brain processes language as a research tech in Ev Fedorenko’s lab at MIT. In undergrad, she studied biology and computer science at University of Richmond, where she researched action potential modulation in an ion-channel electrophysiology lab.


Kathy Garcia, PhD student

Kathy is a PhD student in the Department of Cognitive Science. Prior to joining JHU, she completed a post baccalaureate research fellowship (NU-PREP) at the Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience program. She also worked as a data consultant in Fortune 100 finance companies after completing her BS at Stanford University.

Screen Shot 2023-03-07 at 12.10.40 PM.png

Jiewan Hong, Undergraduate RA

Jiewan is an undergraduate junior majoring in Computer Science and Cognitive Science. He is
currently assisting Emalie with an ongoing research on human perception and response to
external stimuli in the lab. He is interested in learning about the development of AI and the embedded science of human cognition!

Pasted File.png

Veric Tan, Undergraduate RA

Veric is from Singapore and currently a Junior undergrad majoring in Material Science & Engineering and Cognitive Science with a minor in Applied Math. In the lab, he is computationally investigating fMRI imaging data and social cognition. In his free time, he like learning about exciting new startups and freedives.

bottom of page