Sori Baek

Psychology & Neuroscience Ph.D. Student in Princeton University

About Me

Hi! My name is Sori, and it's pronounced like "sorry" in a Canadian accent.

I'm a third-year Ph.D. student in the Psychology & Neuroscience Joint Degree Program at Princeton University. I work with Lauren Emberson and Sabine Kastner, and I'm funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and Princeton Centennial Fellowship.

I conduct neuroimaging, eye-tracking, and behavioral experiments to explore the impact of experiences on our cognition and perception. I currently focus on how experiences like multisensory object exploration shape the human brain, behavior, and emotions across age different groups. I am interested in applying these interests and skillsets to AR/VR.

Check out my lab page: Princeton Baby Lab.

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Current research

How does the infant attention network respond to sequential patterns?

Infants are super good at using previous experiences to make predictions about the future, and they use attention to guide this process. In collaboration with Dr. Sagi Jaffe-Daxe, I look at whether previous audiovisual experiences affect how the input engages the infant attention network. The manuscript for this work is currently under preparation for publication.

How does the infant attention network help make spatial predictions?

Dr. Kristin Tummeltshammer found that infants use top-down contextual knowledge to guide visual attention. In this collaboration with her, I use multisensory stimuli to explore the neural activities that underly this top-down selective attention! We are currently collecting data for this work.

Compared to unisensory exploration, how does multisensory exploration affect how we think?

In collaboration with Dr. Amy Needham, I examine the short-term and long-term effects of active, multisensory exploration on our brains, behaviors, and emotions. We are currently collecting data for this work!

How do low-level scene features affect human emotions across different ages?

Low-level scene features in complex visual scenes affect adults' emotions and help them assess threats in the environment, but is this innate? We test whether adults and babies have the same emotional reaction to abstract low-level features.

How do memories associated with previous experiences affect our eye gaze?

Your eyes really are the windows to your soul: Eye gazes can tell us a lot about the memory a person holds. In this exciting new project, we look at how we can use eye-tracking data to probe the inner memories of infants.

Active experience supports perceptual & cognitive development

In this invited book chapter, we comprehensively review the existing research on infants' active engagement with experiences and their role in supporting the perceptual-cognitive development. You can access my first-author chapter in this published volume on Early Social-Cognitive Development here!

State of infant neuroscience research using fNIRS

fNIRS is an increasingly popular neuroimaging tool to study babies' brains. How can we ensure that we collect the best data? What affects how fussy a baby is during research? We answer these questions by synthesizing all infant fNIRS research published to date. You can check out our pre-registration here.

Previous research

How does the human brain process faces?

We explored how the temporal cortex in the human brain processes human and non-human faces using machine learning methods and electrical brain stimulation. We discovered a causal relationship between the post-fusiform area and face perception. You can access our work published in Nature Communications here!

What happens in our brain when we do math?

We looked at the temporal profiles of the neuronal activity in the posterior inferior temporal gyrus (PITG) and the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) in response to different visual representations of numbers. You can access my first-author work published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience here!

Which brain areas cause subjective experiences?

We examined the causal role of different brain areas on subjective experiences. To do so, we electrically stimulated the brains of more than one hundred human subjects and recorded their perceptual, cognitive, and motor responses. You can access this work published in Nature Human Behaviour here!

What factors affect reading speed across languages?

We analyzed how the print size and retinal eccentricity affect reading speed in English and Korean, and how they differ across languages. You can access this work published in Vision Research here!

Relationship between medial parietal cortex and visuo-spatial processing

We reported a case of a patient with localized focal seizures originating from the medial parietal cortex (area 7m) and clear visuospatial semiological signs. You can access this publication here!