Shahin Nasr, PhD

Professional Information


Assistant Professor in Radiology, Harvard Medical School
Research Staff, Massachusetts General Hospital


PhD Cognitive Neurosciences, Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics (IPM), 2009

Martinos Faculty


Mailing Address

Building 149, Room 10.049
13th Street
Charlestown, MA 02129 USA

General Contact Information



   As a cognitive neuroscientist, my expertise is in using a
variety of techniques, from psychophysics to event-related potentials (ERP), to functional MRI (fMRI), to
study the function and organization of visual system in the brain. 
   Currently, a large portion of my efforts are focused on studying fine-scale cortical structures within
human visual cortex based on using high-resolution functional and structural imaging techniques in
ultra-high field (7T) scanners. The main goals of these studies are: 

    - to detect mesoscopic processing
streams, usually not detectable by conventional neuroimaging techniques, that are involved in encoding
fundamental visual features such as color, motion, shape and stereopsis (Nasr et al., 2016).
   - to
understand the link between the activity within these fine-scale streams and high-level visual capabilities
such as object recognition and categorization. 
    - to understand the impact of statistics of natural
scenes on organization of these fine-scale structures (Nasr and Tootell, 2016). 

    I am also involved in multiple projects in which my colleagues and I are studying the impact of
neurodegenerative (e.g. Huntingtons disease), developmental (e.g. Amblyopia) and
neuropsychological (e.g. Schizophrenia) disorders on cortical and subcortical visual processing. The
main goals of these studies is to highlight and understand the perceptual impairments in patients
suffering from these disorders, and to assess their links to clinical symptoms such as abnormal social
and/or cognitive behaviors (Nasr and Rosas, 2016). 

Most recent papers:

High Resolution fMRI:
- Nasr, S., Polimeni, J. R., & Tootell, R. B. (2016). Interdigitated Color- and Disparity-Selective Columns within Human Visual Cortical Areas V2 and V3. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(6), 1841- 1857. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3518-15.2016
- Nasr, S., & Tootell, R. B. (2016). Visual field biases for near and far stimuli in disparity selective
columns in human visual cortex. Neuroimage. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.09.012

Visual Impairments in Huntington's Disease:
- Nasr, S., & Rosas, H. D. (2016). Impact of Visual Cortico-Striatal Loop on Neural Processing
within the Parahippocampal Place Area. Journal of Neuroscience,36 (40), 10456-10471. doi:

Scene and Face Perception in Human:
- Nasr, S., Echavarria, C. E., & Tootell, R. B. (2014). Thinking outside the box: rectilinear shapes
selectively activate scene-selective cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 34(20), 6721-6735. doi:
- Nasr, S., & Tootell, R. B. (2012). Role of fusiform and anterior temporal cortical areas in facial
recognition. Neuroimage, 63(3), 1743-1753. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.08.031

Human vs. Non-Human Primates Comparative Studies:
- Nasr, S., Stemmann, H., Vanduffel, W., & Tootell, R. B. (2014). Increased Visual Stimulation
Systematically Decreases Activity in Lateral Intermediate Cortex. Cerebral Cortex, 25(10), 4009-
4028. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhu290
- Nasr, S., Liu, N., Devaney, K. J., Yue, X., Rajimehr, R., Ungerleider, L. G., & Tootell, R. B. (2011). Scene-selective cortical regions in human and nonhuman primates. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(39), 13771-13785. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2792-11.2011