Postdoctoral Researcher
Princeton Neuroscience Institute
Princeton University

Research Focus:
Cognitive Neuroscience
Computational Neuroscience
Machine Learning

Princeton Neuroscience Institute
Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544

mci (at) princeton (dot) edu

Google Scholar | Research Gate

Travel and Presentations


Mar 23 PDP Seminar
Princeton, NJ
May 18-23 VSS 2018
St. Pete Beach, FL
June 17-21 OHBM 2018
July 25-28 CogSci 2018
Madison, WI
Nov 3-7 SfN 2018
San Diego, CA
poster | poster


Mar 31 PDP Seminar
Princeton, NJ
May 19-24 VSS 2017
St. Pete Beach, FL
June 28-30 IASL 2017
Bilbao, Spain
Sep 20 CogSci Seminar
Princeton, NJ
Nov 11-15 SfN 2017
Washington, DC
poster | poster
Nov 28-Dec 1 rtFIN 2017
Nara, Japan
Dec 8 PDP Seminar
Princeton, NJ

marius cătălin iordan
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about me
I'm a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, working with Jon Cohen, Ken Norman, and Nick Turk-Browne (Yale University). I earned my Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Vision Lab at Stanford University, co-advised by Fei-Fei Li and Diane Beck (University of Illinois). Before that, I received my B.A. from Williams College in Computer Science, Mathematics, and Cognitive Science.
research interests
My research program seeks to understand how semantic categories
are used, organized, and actively modulated in our behavior and in our brains.

Think about the last time you were driving down an unfamiliar street among unfamiliar cars searching for an unfamiliar house. We perform this incredible feat effortlessly because we immediately recognize novel objects as members of highly familiar semantic categories (streets, cars, houses). Semantic categories join together items that share common features, affordances, and meaning, while glossing over their superficial differences, such as visual appearance. As such, semantic categories are a fundamental building block of our perception and cognition.
I use psychophysics, functional neuroimaging (fMRI), real-time neurofeedback, and machine learning to investigate how we associate novel stimuli with an appropriate semantic category, how processing of semantic information adapts to task demands, and how establishing a causal link between neural semantic representations and perception could improve our interactions with the world. In each of these domains, I leverage the power of advanced, custom-built computational tools to probe, elucidate, and most recently modify the contents of mind.


Nov. 2018: Presenting at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) 2018 Annual Meeting:
poster: Using Closed-Loop Real-Time fMRI Neurofeedback to Induce Neural Plasticity & Influence Perception.
poster: Why We Struggle to Multitask: Converging Evidence from Modeling, Behavior, and Neuroimaging.
Our work also received a Trainee Professional Development Award from the Society for Neuroscience.

Jul 2018: Presenting at the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci) 2018 Annual Meeting:
talk: Feature Ratings and Dimension-Specific Similarity Explain Distinct Aspects of Semantic Similarity.

May 2018: Presenting at the Vision Sciences Society (VSS) 2018 Annual Meeting:
talk: Inducing Neural Plasticity and Perceptual Similarity Using Real-Time fMRI Feedback.

Dec. 2017: Presenting at the Real-Time Functional Imaging and Neurofeedback (rtFIN) 2017 Conference:
poster: KL-Evidence: A Novel Multivariate Method for Differentiating Representations.
Our work also received a Travel Award and a Best Poster Award from the rtFIN Program Committee.

Nov. 2017: Presenting at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) 2017 Annual Meeting:
poster: Inducing Neural Plasticity and Perceptual Similarity Using Real-Time fMRI Neurofeedback.
poster: The Importance of "Motherese": Early Drivers of Successful Communication.

Aug. 2017: Our work showing that vocal timbre is a discriminative feature between infant-directed and adult-directed speech was accepted for publication in Current Biology:
"Mothers Consistently Alter Their Unique Vocal Fingerprints to Communicate With Infants".

May 2017: Presenting at the Vision Sciences Society (VSS) 2017 Annual Meeting:
poster: The Relative Contribution of Features and Dimensions to Semantic Similarity.

Nov. 2016: Presenting at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) 2016 Annual Meeting:
poster: Sequential Warping of Neural Representations According to Cognitive Principles in Visual Cortex.