Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory


Meet Our Exceptional Team Members


Itzhak Fried, M.D.,Ph.D.


Dr. Fried is Professor of Neurosurgery and Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA.  He is Director of the Adult Epilepsy Surgery Program there, and is also Co-Director of the Seizure Disorder Center.  Concurrently, he is a Professor of Neurosurgery at Tel-Aviv University in Israel.  After obtaining a degree in physics at Tel-Aviv University, Dr. Fried completed his Ph.D. at UCLA, and went on to a medical degree at Stanford and neurosurgery training, specializing in epilepsy surgery, at Yale University.  He heads the Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory, which is centered on the opportunities to study the human brain afforded by the epilepsy surgery program at UCLA.  A small number of these patients have depth electrodes inserted in order to evaluate their seizures for subsequent surgery.  It is this opportunity that is used to record the responses of single neurons while the patient performs cognitive tasks. Some aspects of brain function that he and his collaborators have studied, particularly in the medial temporal lobe, are visual perception, memory, navigation, imagery, and motor function.


John Sakon, Ph.D.

Project Scientist

John Sakon is a project scientist that oversees lab recruitment, research projects, and contributes to scientific goals. He has a PhD in physics from North Carolina State University and did postdoctoral training with Wendy Suzuki and Roozbeh Kiani at New York University and Michael Kahana at the University of Pennsylvania. John’s research interests include understanding the neurophysiological basis of memory and translating these findings to ameliorate memory dysfunction in humans. When not studying memory he plays ultimate and drinks fancy tea. Actually he does one of those while studying memory too.

Please see his personal UCLA page here:


Emily Mankin, Ph.D.

Emily Mankin, PhD, works on understanding the neural mechanisms of memory and developing therapeutics for memory impairment. She is looking at memory enhancement during sleep as well as exploring whether brain stimulation during sleep may be effective for enhancing memory.


Andreina Hampton

Staff Research Associate II/Lab Manager

Andreina is a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator at CNL. She has a background in cognitive neuroscience and research administration. Andreina is primarily involved in lab administration, including grant and IRB management. She is also experienced in performing electrophysiological recordings and neurostimulation. Andreina’s research interests include the neural correlates of self and neuronal mechanisms underlying the self-reference effect. She aims to further advance her career in research administration. Her hobbies include spending quality time with her cats, modifying cars, exploring the LA food scene with her partner, and personal finance.  


Anthony Rangel, M.S.

Staff Research Associate II/Lab Manager

As a Staff Research Associate II and Lab Manager, Anthony blends his expertise in neuroimaging and human data acquisition with a solid foundation in Neuroscience (BS) and Neuroimaging and Informatics (MS). Passionate about neurosurgery, neuromodulation, and the mysteries of memory and sleep, he is pursuing a path to becoming a physician-scientist neurosurgeon. Outside the lab, Anthony is a 3D-printing enthusiast, aviation aficionado, and a keen follower of leading-edge tech. Balancing the cerebral and the creative, he’s excited to contribute to our lab’s pioneering work.


Chris Chan

Clinical Specialist

Chris is a Clinical Specialist in Dr. Fried’s group. He facilitates functional neurosurgical cases at Ronald Reagan Medical Center and fabricates research microelectrodes. Chris holds a triple major in neuroscience & cognitive science, biochemistry, and molecular & cellular biology from the University of Arizona. His senior thesis on transcranial ultrasound and its effect on Alzheimer’s is what drew him to the field of brain stimulation and memory. Chris previously researched the cardiac autonomic system in the porcine model at the David Geffen School of Medicine, where he has also collaborated with Amgen in a pharmacological study for anti-arrhythmia drugs. He hopes to create a lasting impact in electrode design in Dr. Fried’s group. In his free time, he cooks and plays MMOs.


Aditya Datta

Staff Research Associate II/Lab Manager

Adi is a Lab Manager in Dr. Fried’s team. He is responsible for conducting patient testing alongside the other Lab Managers, and handles day to day administrative tasks for the team. Adi recently graduated from UC San Diego and holds a B.S in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience and a minor in General Biology. He is very interested in connecting functional and structural aspects of the brain to higher order cognitive processes. Aditya aims to pursue a PhD in either Psychology or Neuroscience, and apply it to research and development. Outside of his studies, he enjoys gaming, baking, reading, and watching hockey.


James Bruska

Lead Software Engineer

James Bruska is a Lead Software Engineer contracting with the Fried Lab through his company Bruska Technologies LLC ( After having worked in computer security and chemical technologies, he fell in love with psychology/neuroscience (especially positive psychology and memory). He first worked in Dr. Michael J Kahana’s lab for two years and then branched out on his own by starting his own company. Now he provides support for multiple psychology labs, chief among them being Dr. Itzhak Fried’s lab. He currently is focused on developing the closed-loop stimulation system for the Fried lab. However, he also leads or helps with developing 2D and 3D experiment code, implementing lab infrastructure, optimizing analysis code, training other lab members to write efficient/readable code, and even helps with hiring new programmers for the lab. He hopes to continue doing this for a long time as each new project helps another lab contribute an exciting discovery to the field. His other pastimes include music, snowboarding, rock climbing, capoeira, eating, sleeping, and programming for fun.


Brandon Katerman

Ph.D Graduate Student

Brandon is a cognitive neuroscience PhD student in the psychology department. His research interests lie in the impact of emotion and goal-states on memory formation and retrieval in naturalistic settings. He aims to explore how diverse internal states influence human perception and segmentation of continuous experiences. Brandon is currently exploring how emotion can create contextual boundaries during passive movie watching using intracranial EEG and behavioral methods. Outside of the lab, he enjoys the great outdoors, painting, and hanging with his cats.