The Laboratory for Visual Neuroplasticity


Lotfi B. Merabet, OD PhD MPH


P: (617) 573-4130 | Email

Lotfi Merabet is a clinician-scientist investigating how the brain adapts to ocular as well as brain-based visual impairment and blindness. He completed his doctorate in neuroscience (University of Montréal) and clinical doctorate in optometry (New England College of Optometry). He continued his post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School, Boston University, and the MGH Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. This was followed by a master’s degree in public health (Harvard). In 2010, he joined the clinical and research faculty of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear, and in 2022, he was named the Frederick and Thaddeus Jakobiec Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology. His work is currently supported by the NIH/National Eye Institute. He also serves on the Board of Directors Education and CVI Steering Committees of the Perkins School for the Blind, the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group (PEDIG Neuro-ophthalmology Workgroup), and the Trans-NIH Expert Panel on CVI.

Claire Manley

Senior Research Technologist & Study Coordinator

P: (617) 573-3794 | Email

Claire Manley earned her B.A. in Psychology from Boston University in 2021. After graduation, she joined the Laboratory for Visual Neuroplasticity to assist in research on the development and innovation of virtual-reality-based behavioral assessments for individuals with cerebral visual impairment (CVI). Claire is also particularly interested in understanding the compensatory behaviors and neurodevelopmental differences in visually impaired individuals.

Madeleine Heynen

Research Technologist & Study Coordinator

P: (617) 573-3794 | Email

Maddie Heynen earned her B.A. in Psychology from Colorado College in 2023. Her thesis work assessed the reliability and validity of Tobii eye-tracking technology in the estimation of participant eye movement and attention. Maddie joined the Laboratory for Visual Neuroplasticity as a Research Technologist & Study Coordinator, where she employs both eye-tracking and virtual reality technologies to characterize neurodevelopmental and behavioral deficits in individuals with Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI).

Emily Cantillon, M.A., CTVI

Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment Lead Teacher, Doctoral Student

P: (978) 835-6515 | Email

Emily Cantillon is a certified Teacher of the Visually Impaired for Perkins School for the Blind and is the Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) Lead Teacher for Community Programs at Perkins.  Emily is currently a Doctoral student at the University of Northern Colorado. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Special Education with an emphasis on CVI. She received her MA from the University of Northern Colorado in special education for the visually impaired. Emily completed the University of Massachusetts, Boston’s CVI Certification as well. She also received her Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education with a concentration in earth science from The State University of New York at Oswego.

Laboratory Alumni

Xin Zhang – Study Coordinator 

Timothy Gottlieb – Assistant Programmer

Mark Halko – Postdoctoral Fellow

Emma Bailin – Study Coordinator

Erin Connors – Senior Study Coordinator

Gabriella Hirsch – Study Coordinator

Lindsay Yazzolino – Study Coordinator

Antonio Guimaraes – Visiting Researcher

Nora Bradford – Summer Intern

Molly Connors – Summer Intern

Josh Park – Summer Intern

Della Shi – Summer Intern

Bowen Zhan – Summer Intern

Chris Bennett – Postdoctoral Fellow

Corinna Bauer – Postdoctoral Fellow

Zahide Pamir – Postdoctoral Fellow

Collaborators & Friends

Andrew Ellison – Center for Biomedical Imaging, Boston University School Of Medicine

Daniel Dilks – Department of Psychology, Emory University

David Somers – Department of Psychology, Boston University

Davide Bottari – IMT School for Advanced Studies

Elisa Fazzi – Unit of Child Neurology and Psychiatry, ASST Spedali Civili. Brescia, Italy 

Serena Micheletti – Unit of Child Neurology and Psychiatry, ASST Spedali Civili. Brescia, Italy 

Corinna Bauer – Department of Radiology, MGH – Harvard Medical School

Christopher Knox – Senior Grants Administrator, Mass General Brigham

Gena Heidary – Department of Ophthalmology, Boston Children’s Hospital

Marina Bedny – Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Johns Hopkins University

Florian Eichler – MGH Leukodystrophy Service, MGH – Harvard Medical School

Stephanie Badde – Department of Psychology, Tufts University

Barry Kran – New England College of Optometry and Perkins Eye Clinic

John Ross Rizzo – Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, New York University

Melinda Chang – Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, University of Southern California

John Ravenscroft – School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh

Nicholas Giudice – School of Computing and Information Science, University of Maine

Pawan Sinha – Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Peter Bex  – Department of Psychology, Northeastern University

Zaira Cattaneo – Department of Psychology, University of Bergamo.

Helen Lindner – School of Health Sciences, Örebro University.

Patricia Musolino – MGH Pediatric Stroke and Cerebrovascular Service, MGH – Harvard Medical School

Alyssa Sullivan – Department of Psychiatry, MGH – Harvard Medical School


Current and past support for our research have come from: