John Serences - Principal Investigator

John is a UCSD alum and worked with Prof. Hal Pashler as an undergraduate. He moved to Johns Hopkins for grad school and worked with Prof. Steve Yantis, and then moved to the Salk Institute to do a postdoc with Dr. Geoff Boynton.  


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Sunyoung Park - Grad Student

Sunyoung earned her B.A. in Psychology and M.S. in Cognitive Sciences at Yonsei University, where she worked with Dr. Do-Joon Yi, on the effects of familiarity on memory. She also worked as a lab manager in Dr. Won Mok Shim’s lab, studying various effects of feedback on visual perception and how they are reflected in the brain using fMRI. At UCSD, she is excited to continue her research on neural mechanisms underlying top-down influences, such as attention or expectation, on perception. In her spare time, she enjoys watching horror movies and weightlifting.

Janna Wennberg - Grad Student (website)

Janna is a psychology PhD student. She earned her B.A. in Mathematics from Carleton College, where she also did speech perception research with Dr. Julia Strand. She also did vision research with Dr. Shinsuke Shimojo at Caltech, with Dr. Klaus Oberauer during a semester abroad in Zürich, and with Dr. Edward Awh and Dr. Edward Vogel at University of Chicago. Janna's work examines all things interference in working memory, ranging from inter-item interference to distractor interference. She is also an undergraduate teaching and open science enthusiast. When she's not in the lab, Janna enjoys running, reading novels, and listening to podcasts. 

Holly Kular - Grad Student

Holly is a Ph.D. student in the Psychology Department. She earned her B.S. in Neuroscience at UCLA, where she worked in a concussion research lab led by Dr. Chris Giza. Next, she worked as a lab manager at the Stanford Vision and Perception Neuroscience Lab led by Dr. Kalanit Grill-Spector measuring how the brain and visual perception change across development. At UCSD, Holly is excited to continue exploring the visual system and its neural mechanisms, especially attention and perception. Outside of the lab, she enjoys all things outdoors including running, skiing, and nature photography. 

Leah Ettensohn - Grad Student

Leah is a PhD student in the Psychology Department. She earned her B.S. in Cognitive Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. Leah completed her undergraduate honors thesis in the lab of Dr. Marlene Behrmann, where she studied plasticity in the visual system. She then received a post-bac IRTA fellowship to study visuomotor perception at the NIH under Drs. Leslie Ungerleider and Chris Baker. At UCSD, Leah is excited to continue studying visual and multimodal perception, particularly within the context of working memory. In her free time, Leah enjoys pilates, being outdoors, and spending time with her cat.

Yixin Yuan - Grad Student

Yixin / Stella is a third-year Neuroscience PhD student in the Serences and Aoi labs. She received a B.S. in Neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University, where she completed an honors thesis on cell-type specific epigenetic markers of aging under the direction of Dr. Andreas Pfenning. She then received training at the Marcus Autism Center with Dr. Ami Klin, Dr. Warren Jones and Dr. Hasse Walum to parse heterogeneity within Autism Spectrum Disorder from longitudinal clinical assessments and eye-tracking data. At UCSD, Stella is interested in investigating how neural representations of visual experiences evolve over time, and how the brain can maintain stable interpretations of the world given these changes in neural activity. 

Isabella Longoria-Valenzuela - Grad Student

Isabella is a first-year Psychology PhD student in the Brady and Serences labs. She earned her B.A. in Cognitive Neuroscience at Brown University, where she conducted computational visual perception research with Dr. Thomas Serre. She is interested in leveraging computational tools to investigate the intersection between visual perception, working memory, and long-term visual memory. When she is not in lab, Isabella enjoys eating french fries, doing yoga, and listening to podcasts. 

If the Serences Lab Pets were our reviewers...


...Relatedly, the authors failed to cite literature on the benefits of string cheese in canine diets (see Ricky, 2020; Ricky 2021a, Ricky 2021b, Ricky 2022, Ricky 2023, Ricky, 2024), an oversight I find problematic and that limits the rigor of this manuscript.

Muha and Dali

Muha (left): Overall, this manuscript was SO, SO interesting! I think my co-reviewer Dali would be ESPECIALLY interested in the claim that orange cats are especially sensitive need more affection than other cats. But overall, I have very few comments, SUPER COOL!

Dali (right): Whatever the reviewer Muha recommends? Do THE OPPOSITE.


My main point of consideration is on the authors’ use of figures. Currently, readers cannot sniff or roll around in the figures. Scratch & Sniff figures would be useful, particularly given the broad readership of the journal.


I fear I must decline this review request, as I have very little bandwidth. My schedule is packed with early morning naps, late morning naps, afternoon naps, early evening playtime with bespoke toys, late evenings of staring menacingly out the window, and middle of the night naps.


While this manuscript is well-written and covers an interesting topic, it contains several critical flaws and needs substantial revision, as well as additional experiments. Of course, I am also open to accepting the manuscript as-is for boiled chicken...