About Wilma Bainbridge

Wilma Bainbridge is an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Department of Psychology. She leads the Brain Bridge Lab, which focuses on examining the bridge between perception and memory, through the lens of psychophysical experiments, neuroimaging, and drawing studies. One key branch of her research focuses on the concept of memorability, in which items have an intrisic ability to affect our memory for them.

In some recent news, Dr. Bainbridge has been fortunate enough to gain recognition in the field! She was named a 2024 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow in Neuroscience, a 2023 Rising Star with the Association for Psychological Science, a Scialog Fellow on the Molecular Basis of Cognition, and was awarded the 2022 F.J. McGuigan Early Career Investigator Research Grant on Understanding the Human Mind. She appreciates everyone's kind support!

Before coming to the University of Chicago, Dr. Bainbridge was a postdoc at the National Institute of Mental Health, working with Chris Baker at the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition. She graduated with her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying Brain and Cognitive Sciences with Aude Oliva, in MIT's Computer Science Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). She began her neuroscience research with Marvin Chun's Visual Neuroscience Laboratory, as a cognitive science student at Yale University. She also pursued a related interest in robotics (specifically human-robot interaction) and spent 4 years at Brian Scassellati's Social Robotics Laboratory at Yale, followed by a year-long internship at Masayuki Inaba's JSK Humanoid Robotics Laboratory at the University of Tokyo.

Wilma also has a great love of travel. She has lived in Japan for two years, and has made her way around to several countries since then. She also loves learning languages, and enjoys taking on fun translation projects for popular Japanese TV (Reset, Terrace House). Her recent hobbies also include beta testing for board game companies (though hobbies are temporarily on pause as she raises her twin daughters!).

Note: The photograph used in this header was taken by Wilma spring 2009 during cherry blossom season in Kenrokuen, Kanazawa; heralded as one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan.