Visual Neuroscience Lab

Current Lab Members


Dr Murphy is the Founding Director of the MiNDS program and a leader in the field of human brain development. Her studies of neuroplasticity mechanisms in the human brain are rewriting how we think about human plasticity by revealing that synapses continue to change during childhood, teenage years, adulthood, and even into aging.


As a child, I became fascinated by the brain after reading how brain imaging let us see inside. My students and I do high quality research about the human brain and our studies give rise to innovative ideas about our brains.  Graduates from my lab have gone on to leadership positions in academia, medicine, non-profit institutions, and industry.  They have a long record of exceptional accomplishments.  We are also actively engaged in our community both within McMaster and outside where my students and I lead MiNDS events and outreach programs.

I love being a neuroscientist.

Kathy Murphy


Justin Balsor is a PhD student studying the effects of visual experience on development of the visual cortex.


Steven Mancini is a Masters student studying development of human visual cortex.


Caitlin Siu is a PhD student studying plasticity mechanisms in human cortex.

Recent Graduates


Dr Simon Beshara studied drug treatments and environmental enrichment paradigms that reinstate juvenile-like plasticity in the visual cortex and might be useful therapies for correcting neural changes caused by abnormal development. He is currently pursuing an MD at McMaster University.


Dr Joshua Pinto studied development of human visual cortex and devised a method to accurately align synaptic age between rodents and humans. He also obtain an MBA graduating with an MBA/PhD and is currently a Vice President at Credit Suisse in Healthcare Investment Banking.


Dr Kate Williams studied development and plasticity in both human visual cortex and animal models. She uncovered an experience-dependent vunlerability localized to the central visual field.  Currently, Kate is the Scientific Director for the Krembil Foundation.

Our dogs Coco and Shadow