ACADEMICS

  • Ryan Mruczek  

    Ryan E.B. Mruczek

    Contact Information
    Office S-241D
    508-929-8789
    rmruczek@worcester.edu

    Education
    Ph.D., Brown University
    B.S., University of Rochester 

    Areas of Specialization
    Dr. Mruczek is a cognitive neuroscientist and a vision scientist with broad interests that span psychology and biology, including human and non-human primate vision, object and tool representations, experience-dependent plasticity, size perception, visual illusions, working memory, and methods for studying the brain.
     

  • Courses Taught
    • Psychological Statistics (PS 275)
    • Research Methods (PS 276)
    • Sensation and Perception (PS 280)
    • Physiological Psychology (PS 380)
    Research

    One of the most striking accomplishments of the human brain is the relative ease with which it allows us to interpret and interact with our environment. Object vision is a perfect example: within a fraction of a second, humans can identify and act upon objects embedded within a highly cluttered and complex visual scene.

    My research focuses on understanding the fundamental neural mechanisms that support our ability to live, perceive, and act in a complex world. Specifically, I am interested in how the human brain represents information about objects, how object representations change as a function of our experience, and how visual information is used to guide behavior. To address these questions, I utilize a combination of psychophysical measurements, electrophysiological recordings, functional neuroimaging, and computational modeling.

    Some ongoing projects include using dynamic visual illusions to study the neural computations underlying cue integration during size perception and using neurophysiology to explore the ways in which our personal experience with objects shapes the way neurons in our brains represent those objects, including the emergence of specialized representations for tools.

    Selected Publications

    • Mruczek REB, Blair CD, Strother L & Caplovitz GP (2015). The Dynamic Ebbinghaus: motion dynamics greatly enhance the classic contextual size illusion. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9:77.
    • Wang L+, Mruczek REB+, Arcaro MJ & Kastner S (2015). Probabilistic maps of visual topography in human cortex. Cerebral Cortex, 25(10): 3911-3931 (+ authors contributed equally)
    • Mruczek REB, von Loga IS* & Kastner S (2013). The representation of tool and non-tool object information in the human intraparietal sulcus. Journal of Neurophysiology, 109(12): 2883-2896.
    • Mruczek REB & Sheinberg DL (2012). Stimulus selectivity and response latency in putative inhibitory and excitatory neurons of the primate inferior temporal cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology, 108: 2725–2736.
    • Anderson B, Mruczek REB, Kawasaki K & Sheinberg DL (2008). Effects of familiarity on neural activity in monkey inferior temporal lobe. Cerebral Cortex, 18(11): 2540-2552.
    • Full list of my published work  


    Recent Conference Presentations

    • Mruczek REB & Caplovitz GP (2016). Individual differences in the effects of motion on classic size illusions. Individual Differences in Vision Brown Bag Satellite Event at Vision Science Society, 2016.
    • Mruczek REB, Blair CD, Cullen, K*, Killebrew K, Aguizzi A & Caplovitz GC (2016). The effects of motion dynamics on the Ebbinghaus and Corridor illusions. Vision Science Society, 2016.
    • Cullen, K* & Mruczek REB (2015). Opposite effects of motion on size perception in the Ebbinghaus and Corridor illusions. Worcester State University Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity, 2016.
    • Courtemanche, D* & Mruczek REB (2015). The effects of motion dynamics on the Ebbinghaus and Corridor illusions. Worcester State University Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity, 2015.

    *undergraduate student collaborator

    Honors and Grants