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Principal Investigator

Gregory Cogan, PhD
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


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
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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
Jim Zhang
Jim graduated from Rice University in 2022 with a B.A. in Neuroscience and a B.S. in Electrical & Computer Engineering. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience, working with Dr. Tobias Egner, Dr. Simon Davis, and Dr. Gregory Cogan. Jim is currently interested in how subjective experiences arise from neural activity, the application of stimulation (TMS) to improve semantic memory in MCI adults, and the influence of episodic memory on cognitive control levels. He plans to study these questions using behavioral, fMRI, modeling, TMS techniques, and intracranial recordings.
Email: jim dot zhang at duke dot edu

Undergraduate Students

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
Kassie Hamilton
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
Brooke Sevchik
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
Erin Burns Headshot.jpg
Erin is a sophomore undergraduate student majoring in Neuroscience and pursuing a certificate in Decision Sciences. She is interested in the interaction between Neuroscience and other disciplines such as language and computer science. In her free time, she loves to read, watch movies, and hike.
Email: erin dot burns at duke dot edu
Erin Burns
Raymond is an undergraduate pursuing a BS in Computer Science and a minor in Linguistics. He is interested in the intersections of neuroscience, linguistics, and computer science, especially in the automation of neurolinguistic research toolkits. In his free time, he enjoys tennis and cooking.
Email: raymond dot xiong at duke dot edu
Raymond Xiong

Research and Clinical Staff

Aaron is a Research Technician II who is helping to develop and maintain the data analysis pipelines for the lab. He 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  for prosthetics or wearables. In his free time, Aaron enjoys tennis, politics, backpacking, and board games. 
Email: aaron dot earlerichardson at duke dot edu
Aaron Earle-Richardson
Nicole Liddle
Nicole is a Clinical Research specialist, Sr. in the lab. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 2022 with a B.A. in Psychology, where she conducted research at the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab (CANLab) on the neurophysiological effects of acoustic resonance and interpersonal entrainment. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in auditory signal processing to elucidate how granular encoding of stimulus components and integrated reconstruction mechanisms enable coherent acoustic perception. In her free time, Nicole enjoys discovering new music and local restaurants, as well as spending time in nature.
Email: nicole dot liddle 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
Ian Jackson
Ian is currently a PhD student in Cognitive Science at UCSD.
Former Masters Student
Izzy Kjaerulff
Former Undergraduate Student
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