About Me


I am a scientist and writer living in Michigan.

I received my Ph.D. in neuroscience from MIT and did postdoctoral research at UCLA. I now split my time between conducting research at Wayne State University, writing about science, and raising a toddler.

The research:

My doctoral research with Nancy Kanwisher investigated face and scene processing in visual cortex. My postdoctoral studies in the lab of Tyrone Cannon focused on mental illness and genetics. Before my work with Nancy, I dabbled in psycholinguistics, memory, and studies of the basal ganglia.

I currently work in the lab of Noa Ofen investigating memory in healthy adults and children.

My scientific papers and dissertation can be downloaded below.

The writing:

I’ve taken numerous writing classes at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, including a year-long Master Class in Novel Writing with the beloved and late Les Plesko. My short story “Peep” was published in The Coachella Review and can be found here. I am currently transitioning to science writing and have been at work on a neuroscience book. This May I attended the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop and met wonderful science writers from around the world.

The rest:

I am an incurable nerd and a lover of cheese, books, and NPR. I have a beautiful daughter and a wonderful husband; both occasionally make appearances on this blog. I love to read and think about science and the universe on scales large and small. I also love to hear from readers, so please share your thoughts on my posts!

To contact me, email becca@gardenofthemind.com, visit me on Twitter @gothemind, or leave comments on the blog.


Honesty’s daily decline, Scientific American Mind Matters, February 25, 2014.

The benefits of talking about thoughts with tots. Scientific American Mind Matters, January 28, 2014.

Armchair genetics from Jamestown to Scott Brown. DoubleXScience.org, June 28, 2013.

Peep, a short story published in The Coachella Review in 2011.

Schwarzlose, R.F., Swisher, J.D., Dang, S., Kanwisher, N. (2008). The distribution of category and location information across object-selective regions of visual cortex. PNAS105(11): 4447-4452

Schwarzlose, R. (2008). Principles governing the large-scale organization of object selectivity in ventral visual cortex. Ph.D. thesis. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Schwarzlose, R., Baker, C., Kanwisher, N. (2005) Separate face and body selectivity on the fusiform gyrusThe Journal of Neuroscience.25 (47) 11055-11059


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