New Haven

Research in the Brain Function Laboratory  has  made fundamental contributions to understanding the neural processes for cognitive control that enable flexible goal directed behaviors including the resolution of conflict. Examples of applications include the development of brain mapping procedures for neurosurgical planning that localize regions that are specialized for important functions such as language, movement, vision, and hearing in order for surgeons to protect those functions during surgical procedures such as tumor resections. With her students and colleagues, Dr. Hirsch has developed an imaging diagnostic for autism, and discovered neural mechanisms associated with over-eating behaviors, anxiety disorders, and addictions. Visit out lab website at Yale School of Medicine here.

Current Events:

Another article by George Putic titled “Scientists Explore How Brains Work During Conversations” appeared on Voice of America on June 25, 2015. A link to the article is here and the video from the article is below:


AP Article by Malcolm Ritter (June 22, 2015): “Lasers, magnetism allow glimpses of the human brain at work”  Also appeared on the NY Times and the Hartford Courant.  Video below (with original link to YouTube here:


New Publication (June 15, 2015) – Noah, J. A., et al. (2015). “fMRI Validation of fNIRS Measurements During a Naturalistic Task.” (100): e52116. Video below; pdf available here.  Full link to article here.


Karten and Hirsch 2015New Publication (May 27, 2015) – Karten, A. and J. Hirsch (2015). Brief report: anomalous neural deactivations and functional connectivity during receptive language in autism spectrum disorder: a functional MRI study. J Autism Dev Disord 45(6): 1905-1914.









March 5, 2015 – Dr. Hirsch was interviewed by Carl Zimmer of the New York Times for a piece on Genius at Big Think.  The video and more information is listed in our “In the Media” page.  Click here for the direct link.





Shaul-posterNovember 15-19, 2014 – The members of the Brain Function Lab attended the annual Society for Neuroscience conference in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Hirsch chaired a nanosymposium on  Language: Spoken and Written.  Four abstracts were submitted and presented at poster sessions. The posters were presented in the Language and Brain Dynamics, Executive Function I (a,b) and Multisensory: Cross Modal Processing in Humans sections.  Links to the pdf files of the posters are given here and in the Abstracts section of the Publications section of this website.




September 25, 2014.  The Brain Function Laboratory received their new Shimadzu LABNIRS. This is a cutting edge brain imaging tool with up to 114 channels and is specifically designed to acquire simultaneous signals from multiple subjects during social interactions.





OSTP Nobel Laureates 2013 1November 20, 2013 – Joy Hirsch meets with President Obama in the Oval Office as her husband, James Rothman, is honored as an American Nobel Laureate. White House story here and weekly West Wing Week video blog here. An excerpt of the video can be seen below.




Rothman Obama Hirsch  Rothman Hirsch Obama Hirsch Obama Rothman



Images from Nobel Prize Ceremony (December 10, 2013)

Left. Images with King, Queen, and Princes of Sweden with Medicine laureates and wives
Middle.  James Rothman, Medicine laureate, and wife, Joy Hirsch
Right. Joy Hirsch with Crown Prince Daniel

al_nobel13_prinsensgalleri_3 NobelRothmanHirsch Joy Hirsch Prince Daniel Nobel Banquet 2013

Swedish newspapers and Magazines cover the ceremony (11 Dec 2013) 

Top 5 Nobel gowns:  Joy Hirsch gets voted top gown.

Top 5 Nobel Dresses 4 Stars