Suhas Vijayakumar

studies brains for a living


Motivation and current position

You probably can’t differentiate between flowers that are harmless, from the ones that can kill you in an instant. You probably also can’t hang silently from a tree for hours on end, grooming you friends. Suffice to say that we’ve branched off of our closest ancestors and have managed to acquire different skills along the way like effectively communicating with someone, be it across the room, or across the ocean.

But how did our brains evolve to achieve such a feat? How are our brains different from other animals’, from each others’? And just how does that result in the vast variety of behavior that we see - with some capable of composing beautifully complicated symphonies, and some others capable of reciting pi to a hundred decimal places?

I finished my PhD work at the Cognitive Neuroecology Lab of the Donders Institute, Nijmegen, where we studied the parietal-frontal networks using resting state functional connectivity. I was supervised by Dr. Rogier B. Mars and Prof. Dr. Pieter Medendorp. Currently, I work as a fellow at Harvard University in the Evolutionary Neuroscience Lab led by Dr. Erin Hecht.


  • Neural mechanisms of predicting individual preferences based on group membership. Vijayakumar S, Hartstra E, Mars RB, & Bekkering H | (submitted)

  • Longitudinal connections and the organization of the temporal cortex in macaques, great apes, and humans. Roumazeilles L, Eichert N, Bryant KL, Folloni D, Sallet J, Vijayakumar S, Foxley S, Tendler BC, Jbabdi S, Reveley C, Verhagen L, Dershowitz LB, Guthrie M, Flach E, Miller KL, & Mars RB | (submitted)

  • Mapping multiple principles of parietal-frontal cortical organization using functional connectivity. Vijayakumar S, Sallet J, Verhagen L, Folloni D, Medendorp WP, & Mars RB | Brain Structure and Function 224:681-697 (2019)
    [ .link | .pdf | twitter]

  • Lateral frontal pole and relational processing: Activation patterns and connectivity profile. Hartogsveld B, Bramson B, Vijayakumar S, Van Campen AD, Marques JP, Roelofs K, Toni I, Bekkering H, & Mars RB | Behavioural Brain Research 355:2-11. (2018)
    [ .link | .pdf ]

  • Oops – That was a Mistake! How Toddler Brains React to Feedback. Meyer M, Hassan Vijayakumar S, Bekkering H, Janssen D, de Bruijn E, & Hunnius S | Front Young Minds. 3:13. (2015)
    [ .link | .pdf ]

  • Emotional responses to Hindustani raga music: the role of musical structure. Mathur A, Vijayakumar SH, Chakrabarti B, & Singh NC | Front. Psychol. 6:513 (2015)
    [ .link | .pdf ]

Education & Work

Fellow | Evolutionary Neuroscience Lab | December, 2019 – present
Evolutionary Neuroecology Lab
Harvard University Cambridge, MA, USA

PhD | Cognitive Neuroscience | 2015 – 2019
Cognitive Neuroecology Lab
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour Nijmegen, The Netherlands

M.Sc | Cognitive Neuroscience | 2013 – 2015
Specialization: Brain Networks and Neuronal Communication
Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands

B.Sc | Physics, Maths, Electronics | 2009 – 2012
St. Joseph’s College Bengaluru, India

Pre-University | 2007 – 2009
Studied: Physics, Maths, Computer Science & Chemistry
Sadvidya Composite Pre-University College Mysuru, India