Shawn Schwartz

neuroscientist // full-stack developer

I'm a PhD candidate in Psychology at Stanford University, where I'm advised by Anthony Wagner in the Stanford Memory Lab. My research leverages multimodal neuroimaging — fMRI, scalp EEG, and pupillometry — to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying attention and episodic memory.

Specifically, I'm actively designing and coding up novel software/hardware interfaces to implement closed-loop bioengineering to examine causal roles of attention lapsing on cognitive underperformance. I'm also working to shed light on how group and individual differences in molecular and structural biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology relate to variance in moment-to-moment fluctuations in sustained attention and goal-state representation during episodic retrieval.

My research is supported by the Stanford Center for Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology, the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance at Stanford, and the National Institute on Aging.

I'm passionate about data science and teaching statistics using accessible approaches. I also have extensive experience in full-stack web development and design. In my free time, you can catch me playing ultimate frisbee, hiking with my wife+corgi, or dabbling into iOS app development with SwiftUI. Prior to starting my PhD at Stanford in 2021, I received both an MS in Biology (2021) and a BS (2019) from UCLA.


Curriculum Vitae

A summary of my peer-reviewed publications can be found below. Though, click here for my full CV PDF.


Python  R  C++  MATLAB  JavaScript  PHP  SQL 


  1. Dang, J., Lin, B., Yuan, J., Schwartz, S. T., Shah, R. M., & Garg, N. K. (2018). Smart access to 3D structures. Nature Reviews Chemistry, 2, 95-96. [doi][pdf][QR Chem Website]
    *2021 Royal Society of Chemistry Horizon Prize for Education — For the creation of innovative chemical education resources that benefit how students, children, and the general public learn organic chemistry*
  2. Alfaro, M. E., Karan, E. A., Schwartz, S. T., & Schultz, A. J. (2019). The evolution of color pattern in Butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae). Integrative and Comparative Biology, 3(59), 604-615. [doi][pdf][PubMed]
  3. Schwartz, S. T., Siegel, A. L. M., & Castel, A. D. (2020). Strategic encoding and enhanced memory for positive value-location associations. Memory & Cognition, 48, 1015–1031. [doi][pdf][PubMed]
  4. Whatley, M. C. Siegel, A. L. M., Schwartz, S. T., Silaj, K. M., Castel, A. D. (2020). Younger and older adults’ mood and expectations regarding aging during COVID-19. Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, 6, 1–9. [doi][pdf][PubMed]
  5. Silaj, K. M., Schwartz, S. T., Siegel, A. L. M., & Castel, A. D. (2021). Test anxiety and metacognitive performance in the classroom. Educational Psychology Review, 33, 1809–1834. [doi][pdf][OSF]
  6. Siegel, A. L. M., Schwartz, S. T., & Castel, A. D. (2021). Selective memory disrupted in intra-modal dual-task encoding conditions. Memory & Cognition, 49, 1453–1472. [doi][pdf][PubMed]
  7. Snedden, C. E.*, Makanani, S. K.*, Schwartz, S. T., Gamble, A., Blakey, R. V., Borremans, B., Helman, S. K., Espericueta, L., Valencia, A., Endo, A., Alfaro, M. E., & Lloyd-Smith, J. O. (2021). SARS-CoV-2: Cross-scale insights from ecology and evolution. Trends in Microbiology, 29(7), 593-605. [doi][pdf][PubMed]
    *Equal contribution
  8. Schwartz, S. T., & Alfaro, M. E. (2021). Sashimi: A toolkit for facilitating high-throughput organismal image segmentation using deep learning. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 12(12), 2341-2354. [doi][pdf][GitHub]
  9. Silaj, K. M., Schwartz, S. T., Castel, A. D., & McDonough, I. M. (2021). Is the future bright or bleak? Assessing past and future outlooks across the adult lifespan. Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, 7, 1-10. [doi][pdf][PubMed]
  10. Murphy, D. H., Silaj, K. M., Schwartz, S. T., Rhodes, M. G., & Castel, A. D. (2021). An own-race bias in the categorisation and recall of associative information. Memory, 30(2), 190-205. [doi][pdf][PubMed][OSF]
  11. Murphy, D. H., Schwartz, S. T., & Castel, A. D. (2022). Serial and strategic memory processes in goal-directed selective remembering. Cognition, 225, 1-17. [doi][pdf][PubMed][OSF]
  12. Schwartz, S. T., Siegel, A. L. M., Eich, T. S., & Castel, A. D. (2023). Value-directed memory selectivity relies on goal-directed knowledge of value structure prior to encoding in young and older adults. Psychology and Aging, 38(1), 30-48. [doi][pdf][PubMed][OSF]
  13. Richmond, L. L., Kearley, J., Schwartz, S. T., & Hargis, M. B. (2023). Take a load off: Examining partial and complete cognitive offloading of medication information. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 8(1):12, 1-19. [doi][pdf][PubMed][OSF]
    *Stage I Registered Report In-Principle Acceptance (2021)*
  14. Murphy, D. H., Schwartz, S. T., & Castel, A. D. (2023). Value-directed retrieval: The effects of divided attention at encoding and retrieval on memory selectivity and retrieval dynamics. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 1-22. [doi][pdf][PubMed][OSF]
  15. Whatley, M. C., Schwartz, S. T., Block, J. B., & Castel, A. D. (2023). Memory, metamemory, and false memory for features of the Apple logo. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 1-15. [doi][pdf][OSF]
  16. Murphy, D. H., Schwartz, S. T., Alberts, K. O., Siegel, A. L. M., Carone, B. J., Castel, A. D., & Drolet, A. (2023). Clinically studied or clinically proven? Memory for claims in print advertisements. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 1-9. [doi][pdf][OSF]