Department of Psychology
PhD York University, Toronto, ON — 2016
MA York University, Toronto, ON — 2012
BA Skidmore College, Saratoga Spring, NY — 2003
Honors & Awards
CREATE Training Grant — 2013-2015
Canada Arts Council Grant — 2014
Marian Regan Prize — 2013
Faculty of Graduate Studies Thesis Prize in Psychology — 2013
The human subcortex contains multiple nuclei that act to govern the transmission of information to and among the cortical areas. In the visual domain, these nuclei are organized into retinotopic maps. While the structure and function of these nuclei have been extensively studies in the macaque, study of these nuclei in vivo in humans has proven difficult due its small size and deep location in the brain. Historically, the study of the human subcortex had been restricted to anatomical resection of the postmortem brain. However, over the last decade researchers using functional imaging techniques and a phase-encoding visual mapping procedure have been able to characterize the polar angle and eccentricity representations in the human thalamus and brainstem. More recently, these results have been extended through the use of the population receptive field model.
I aim to explain how the subcortex interacts with various cortical areas in support of vision and cognition. To that end, I use computational models to characterize the response properties of the brain as measured with functional imaging techniques. I have authored open-source software estimating a variety of population receptive field models, including models describing auditory and spatiotemporal neural properties in the thalamus.
DeSimone K, Schneider KA (2016) Intrinsic and model-based functional segmentation of the human lateral geniculate nucleus. NeuroImage, in review.
DeSimone K, Rokem A, Schneider KA (2016) popeye: a population receptive field estimation tool. Journal of Open Source Software 1(8). doi:10.21105/joss.00103.
DeSimone K, Viviano JD, Schneider KA (2015) Population receptive field estimation reveals new maps in human subcortex. Journal of Neuroscience 35: 9836-9847. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.3840-14.2015.
Kelly KR, DeSimone K, Gallie BL, Steeves JKE (2014) Increased cortical surface area and gyrification following long-term survival from early monocular enucleation. Clinical NeuroImaging 7: 297-305. doi:10.1016/j.nicl.2014.11.020
Kastner S, DeSimone K, Konen C, Szczepanski S, Weiner K, Schneider K (2007) Topographic maps in human frontal cortex revealed in memory-guided saccade and spatial working memory tasks. Journal of Neurophys- iology 97: 3494-3507. doi:10.1152/jn.00010.2007.
Pinsk MA, DeSimone K, Moore T, Gross CG, Kastner S (2005) Representations of faces and body parts in macaque temporal cortex: an fMRI study. PNAS 102: 6997-7001. doi:10.1073/pnas.050260510.