Martina Poletti and Manuel Gomez-Ramirez, both assistant professors of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester and members of the Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience, are among this year’s recipients of Sloan Research Fellowships. Awarded annually since 1955 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the fellowships recognize young scientists for their independent research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become leaders in the scientific community. Each fellowship carries a $75,000, two-year award. This year, 128 scientists across the U.S. and Canada were awarded fellowships. Gomez-Ramirez and Poletti are the University’s fourth and fifth Sloan fellows in the last three years.
Poletti’s research focuses on how humans perceive the world by taking in visual information through a combination of sensory processing, motor behavior, and attention. In particular, she studies the foveola—a small region of the retina that is essential for high-resolution vision—and how the foveola works in tandem with microscopic eye movements and attention to enable vision.
Gomez-Ramirez’ research focuses on the mechanisms that enable our hands to perceive, grab, and manipulate objects. This research is important in optimizing brain-computer interfaces and developing neuroprosthetics that integrate brain signals with prosthetic devices in order to control the devices.
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