Cheryl A Olman

Photo of Cheryl A Olman

Contact Me

243 EltH
75 E River Pkwy

Employing a combination of visual psychophysics and fMRI, I want to determine how detection of local image features interacts with scene perception. How are local features in an image selected and grouped to construct a mental representation of a scene or object? To what extent do internal templates determine feature selection and shape perception?

I also spend time investigating the linkage between what BOLD fMRI measures (changes in blood oxygenation) and what we want to know (the underlying neural activity). Is it the input or the output of a visual area that drives the blood flow response? Are excitation and inhibition always balanced, or can inhibition drive the BOLD response as well as excitation? How do spatial characteristics of vascular regulation distort our view of spatially distributed neural activity? More details about current research in my lab can be found at

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2003.
  • B.S.: Physics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 1995.


  • measured fMRI signals and underlying neural activity
  • low level vision
Courses Taught
  • PSY 5065: Functional imaging: hands-on training
  • PSY 3031: Introduction to Sensation and Perception
  • Olman, C. A., Harel, N., Feinberg, D., He, S., Zhang, P., Ugurbil, K., & Yacoub, E. (2012). Layer-specific FMRI reflects different neuronal computations at different depths in human V1. PLoS ONE 7(3):e32536
  • Schumacher, J. F., Thompson, S. K., & Olman, C. A. (2011). Contrast response functions for single Gabor patches: ROI-based analysis over-represents low-contrast patches for GE BOLD. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 5:19.
  • Schumacher, J. F. & Olman, C. A. (2010). High-resolution BOLD fMRI measurements of local orientation-dependent contextual modulation show a mismatch between predicted V1 output and local BOLD response. Vision Research, 50(13), 1214-1224.