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Principal Investigator

Gregory Cogan, PhD


Daniel is a neurosurgery resident at Duke interested in working at the intersection of pediatric neurosurgery and neuroscience to better understand and treat the developing brain.
Email: daniel dot dot sexton at duke dot edu
Daniel Sexton, MD

PhD Students

Kumar Duraivel, MS
Kumar is a Ph.D. student in the department of Biomedical Engineering and is co-advised by Dr. Jonathan Viventi and Dr. Gregory Cogan. He received his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering (instrumentation concentration) from Anna University, India in 2015 and his Masters in Biomedical Engineering (neural engineering concentration) from the University of Michigan in 2016. Kumar’s research in Dr. Cogan’s lab involves decoding acoustic features from the human auditory system using high-density micro-ECoG electrodes.
Outside lab, Kumar likes to hike and try out new restaurants in the triangle area.
Email: suseendrakumar dot duraivel at duke dot edu
zac_headshot (1).jpg
Zac Spalding
Zac is a Ph.D student in the department of Biomedical Engineering and is co-advised by Dr. Gregory Cogan and Dr. Jonathan Viventi. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2022 with a Bachelor's degree in Bioengineering. Zac's research in the Cogan Lab aims to use high-density micro-ECoG electrodes to decode speech in patients who have lost the ability to speak. Outside of the lab, Zac enjoys cooking with his wife and ice skating.
Email: zac dot spalding at duke dot edu

Masters Students

Ian is a current MS student in the department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. He received a BA in Computer Science and Psychology from Reed College in 2020, and is planning on pursuing a PhD in the fall of 2023. Ian's work with the lab involves developing, testing, and optimizing video games for in-unit tasks. Outside of the lab, Ian enjoys reading, playing video games, and making music with friends.
Email: ian dot jackson at duke dot edu
Ian Jackson

Undergraduate Students

Clinical Research Coordinator
Research Technician
Palee Abeyta graduated from University College London in 2017 with a Master’s degree in Cognitive Neuroscience and received her Bachelor’s in Psychology in 2013 from the University of North Texas. During her master’s studies Palee conducted fMRI research on self-esteem and neural activation in response to social rejection and is eager to continue working in neuroimaging and brain research. Palee will assist with the ongoing Human Cognition EEG study, the ECoG study, and the micro-ECoG studies. In her free time she enjoys hiking, baking, and traveling. 
Email: paylee dot abeytaat duke dot edu
Palee Abeyta, MS
Dr. Shervin Rahimpour's operative interests include all fields of neurosurgery with a focus on stereotactic and functional neurosurgery. His research interests involve deep brain stimulation, electrocorticography, neuro-innovation and entrepreneurship.
Email: shervin dot rahimpour at duke dot edu
Shervin Rahimpour, MD


Dr. Gregory B. Cogan obtained his Bachelors in Psychology at Queen’s University, Canada, followed by his masters in Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He completed his PhD in 2011 at the University of Maryland, College Park under the supervision of David Poeppel, where he examined the neural phase coding of speech using information theoretic approaches and magnetoencephalography (MEG). Dr. Cogan then carried out his postdoctoral work at the Center for Neuroscience at New York University (CNS - NYU) with Bijan Pesaran examining speech sensory-motor transformations using electrocorticography (ECoG). This was followed by a postdoctoral position in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Duke University with Jon Viventi to establish a human cognition research program using high density/high channel count electrode arrays. Since 2017, Dr. Cogan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology, Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery, a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, as well as a member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University. Since 2019, he is the Director of Research for the newly formed Duke Comprehensive Epilepsy Center (DCEC).
Email: gregory dot cogan at duke dot edu
Kassie Hamilton
Kassie is an undergraduate pursuing a BS in Neuroscience and a minor in Computer Science. Her research, under the advisement of Kumar Duraivel, seeks to better understand the metrics of phonotactic probability and their co-occurence to further the understanding of the mental process of speech planning. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, hosting game night with her friends, and petting dogs on campus.
Email: kassandra dot hamilton at duke dot edu
Brooke Sevchik
Brooke is an undergraduate Neuroscience and Spanish double major in the class of 2024 from Charlotte, NC. She is interested in the application of different neuroscience techniques to study language and wants to explore how bilingualism affects language processing. She is also interested in how different neurological states impact executive functioning. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and baking.
Email: brooke dot sevchik at duke dot edu
Alice is a sophomore majoring in Neuroscience, minoring in Computer Science, and pursuing a certificate in Marketing and Management Studies. She is interested in language perception and production for both English and Chinese. In her free time, she likes to make art and go running.
Email: yixuan dot lyu at duke dot edu
Alice Lyu
Izzy is an undergraduate student in the departments of Neuroscience and Linguistics. She is especially interested in the neural bases of semantic variance and lexical access. Outside of the lab, she is a first responder and loves backpacking.
Email: isabella dot kjaerulff at duke dot edu
Izzy Kjaerulff

Research and Clinical Staff

Aaron Earle Richardson
Aaron is a Research Technician II in the department of biomedical engineering, and is planning on pursuing his Ph.D. He is from Oneonta, New York and has a bachelors in Bioengineering from Cornell University. He most interested in Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) and hopes to use highly accurate ECoG data to develop models of the brain to a sufficient extent so that useful prosthetics or wearables can be developed. In his free time, Aaron enjoys tennis, politics, backpacking, and board games. 
Email: aaron dot earlerichardson at duke dot edu
ZiYan Britt
ZiYan is a clinical research specialist, sr. and performs consenting, IRB maintenance, data collection, and data preprocessing. She graduated from Augusta University in Augusta, GA, in 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Pre-med focus. She began getting involved in neuroscience research in 2020 and has experience working with neuroimaging, microscopy, gene editing, and data collection and interpretation. She plans to pursue medical school to become a specialized neurologist. 
Email: ziyan dot britt at duke dot edu


Seth Foster
Seth currently works at RedHat Ansible, and still supports the Indiana Pacers.
Former Research Technician II
Shervin is currently faculty at the University of Utah in the Department of Neurosurgery.
Former Neurosurgery Resident
Shervin Rahimpour, MD
Aidan is currently a clinical research coordinator at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Aidan Rogers
Former Masters Student
Palee Abeyta, MS
Palee is currently a clinical research coordinator at Seattle Children's Hospital.
Former Clinical Research Specialist
Anna is currently a Research Program Leader in the Department of Neurosurgery at Duke University.
Anna Thirakul-Denning
Former Clinical Research Coordinator
Alex Shields
Alex is currently a Human Factors Engineer at Genetech/ 
Former Masters Student
Nami Reddy
Former Undergraduate  Student
Juliette Gerber
Juliette is currently a clinical research coordinator at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Former Undergraduate Student
Sarah Hodges
Sarah is currently a Neurosurgery resident at Yale University. 
Former Medical Student
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