Curriculum Vitae


  • Post-doctoral Fellowships, Winawer Lab, 2014-2016; Brainard Lab, 2010-2014; Aguirre Lab, 2010-2014;
  • Ph. D., University of Washington, 2005-2010
    School of Medicine, Division of Biomedical and Health Informatics
  • B. S., Purdue University, 2001-2005
    Major Concentrations: Mathematics, Computer Science, Biology (triple-major)
    Coursework Foci: discrete math, statistics, algorithms, theory of computation, biochemistry

Honors and Grants

  • 2013 Trainee Abstract Travel Award Winner, OHBM
  • 2006 Student Paper Competition Finalist, American Medical Informatics Association Conference
  • 2005-2008 National Library of Medicine Research Training Grant
  • 2005-2008 ARCS Foundation Top Future Scientist Fellowship,
  • 2004 Hughes Bioinformatics Undergraduate Research Fellowship


  • 2016-Present Research Scientist with with Dr. Jonathan Winawer, Dept. of Psychology, New York University
  • 2014-2016 Post-doctoral Fellowship with Dr. Jonathan Winawer, Dept. of Psychology, New York University
  • 2010-2014 Post-doctoral Fellowship with Drs. David Brainard and Geoff Aguirre, Depts. of Psychology and Neurology, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2006-2010 Graduate Student under Dr. Valerie Daggett, Protein Simulation Analysis and Data Mining, Division of Biomedical and Health Informatics, University of Washington
  • 2006 Graduate Rotation with Dr. Ira Kalet, Markov Models as a Method of Predicting Tumor Spread
  • 2005 Graduate Rotation with Dr. Valerie Daggett, Clustering of Protein Transition States
  • 2003-2005 Undergraduate Research Assistant under Dr. Chris Bailey-Kellogg, Graph Theory and NMR


  • Zhou JW, Benson NC, Kay KN, Winawer J (2017) Compressive Temporal Summation in Human Visual Cortex. J. Neurosci. In Press
  • Aguirre GK, Datta R, Benson NC, Prasad S, Jacobson SG, et al. (2016) Patterns of Individual Variation in Visual Pathway Structure and Function in the Sighted and Blind. PLOS ONE 11(11):e0164677. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0164677
  • Bock AS, Binda P, Benson NC, Bridge H, Watkins KE, Fine I (2016) Resting-State Retinotopic Organization in the Absence of Retinal Input and Visual Experience. J. Neurosci. 35(36):12366-12382. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4715-14.2015
  • Butt OH, Benson NC, Datta R, Aguirre GK (2015) Hierarchical and homotopic correlations of spontaneous neural activity within the visual cortex of the sighted and blind. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 9:25-25. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2015.00025
  • Benson NC, Manning JR, Brainard DH (2014) Unsupervised learning of cone spectral classes from natural images. PLOS Comput. Biol. 10(6):e1003652. DOI:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003652
  • Benson NC, Butt OB, Brainard DH, Aguirre GK (2014). Correction of distortion in flattened representations of the cortical surface allows prediction of V1-V3 functional organization from anatomy. PLOS Comput. Biol. 10(3): e1003538. DOI:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003538
  • Butt OH, Benson NC, Datta R, Aguirre GK (2014) The Fine-Scale Functional Correlation of Striate Cortex in Sighted and Blind People. J. Neurosci. 33(41):16209-16219. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0363-13.2013
  • Benson NC, Butt OH, Datta R, Radoeva PD, Brainard DH, Aguirre GK (2012) The retinotopic organization of striate cortex is well predicted by surface topology. Curr. Biol. 22(21):2081-5. DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2012.09.014
  • Benson NC, Daggett V (2012) A comparison of methods for the analysis of molecular dynamics simulations. J. Phys. Chem. B 116(29):8722-31
  • Benson NC, Daggett V (2012) Wavelet analysis of protein motion. Int. J. Wavelets Multi. Inf. Process. 10:1250040-59
  • Benson NC, Daggett V (2012) A chemical group graph representation for efficient high-throughput analysis of atomistic protein simulations. J. Bioinformatics Comput. Biol. 0(2):1250008-24
  • van der Kamp MW, Schaeffer RD, Jonsson AL, Scouras AD, Simms A, Toofanny RD, Benson NC, Anderson PC, Merkley ED, Rysavy S, Bromley D, Beck DAC, Daggett V (2010) Dynameomics: a comprehensive database of protein dynamics. Structure 18:423-435 Benson NC, Daggett V (2009) Dynameomics: large-scale assessment of native protein flexibility. Protein Sci. 17(12):2038-50
  • Simms AM, Toofanny RD, Kehl C, Benson NC, Daggett V (2008) Dynameomics data warehouse: Design of a computational lab workflow and scientific data repository. Protein Eng. Des. Sel. 21(6):369-77
  • Benson NC, Whipple M, Kalet IJ (2006) A Markov model approach to predicting regional tumor spread in the lymphatic system of the head and neck. AMIA Annu. Symp. Proc. :31-5

Conference Abstracts

  • Benson NC, Broderick WF, Müller H, Winawer J (2017) From Retina to Extra-striate cortex:
Forward Models of Visual Input; Toward a Standard Cortical Observer. Optical Society of America, Fall Vision Meeting (Invited Talk)
  • Benson NC, Broderick WF, Müller H, Winawer J (2017) An anatomically-defined template of BOLD response in V1-V3. J. Vis. 17(10):585. DOI:10.1167/17.10.585 (Talk)
  • Zhou J, Benson NC, Kay K, Winawer J (2016) Temporal Summation and Adaptation in Human Visual Cortex. J. Vis. 16(12):1228-1228 (Poster)
  • Bock A, Benson NC, Mattar M, Aguirre G (2016) Template fitting to automatically derive V1-V3 retinotopy from inter-areal functional correlations. J. Vis. 16(12):136-136 (Poster)
  • Benson NC, Aguirre GK, Winawer J (2015) Use of a prior to improving the retinotopic maps of individual subjects. J. Vis. 15(12):584-584 (Poster)
  • Benson NC, Butt OH, Aguirre GK (2014) Spontaneous visual cortex activity predicts eccentricity and is related to receptive field size. J. Vis. 14(10):587-587 (Talk)
  • Benson NC, Butt OH, Brainard DH, Aguirre GK (2014) Gordon Holmes 100 Years Later: Cortical Folding Predicts Retinotopic Organization. Neurol. 82(10 Supplement):P6.285 (Poster)
  • Datta R, Benson N, Daina A, Gennatas E, Prasad S, Butt O, Aguirre G (2014) A Single Mode Of Brain Alteration In Blindness. A Multimodal MR Imaging Study. Neurol. 82(10 Supplement):S40.006 (Poster)
  • Butt OH, Benson NC, Datta R, Aguirre GK (2013) Blindness subtly alters the distant functional connectivity of dorsal and ventral extra-striate cortex. J. Vis. 13(9):280-280. DOI:10.1167/13.9.280 (Poster)
  • Benson NC, Butt OH, Jain S, Brainard DH, Aguirre GK (2013) Cortical surface structure predicts extrastriate retinotopic function. J. Vis. 13(9):271-271. DOI:10.1167/13.9.271 (Poster)
  • Benson N, Brainard D (2012) An Unsupervised Learning Technique for Typing Cones in the Retinal Mosaic. J. Vis. 12(9):110-110. DOI:10.1167/12.9.110 (Talk)
  • Butt OH, Benson N, Datta R, Aguirre GK (2012) V1 resting-state functional connectivity reflects polar angle and eccentricity both within and between hemispheres. J. Vis. 12(9):574-574. DOI:10.1167/12.9.574 (Poster)
  • Benson NC, Brainard DH, Stambolian D (2012) Contrast sensitivity at soft drusen in early age-related macular degeneration using fine-detail perimetry. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Meeting. (Poster)
  • Benson NC, Butt OH, Datta R, Brainard DH, Aguirre GK (2011) A universal retinotopic mapping of V1 with respect to anatomy. J. Vis. 11(11):1067 (Poster)
  • Butt OH, Benson NC, Datta R, Brainard DH, Aguirre GK (2011) Multi-focal and phase-encoded retinotopy compared. J. Vis. 11(11):1069 (Poster)