Current Lab Members


Raymundo Báez-Mendoza, PhD

The ultimate goal of my research is to understand the behavioral and neuronal mechanisms governing cognition, particularly our ability to navigate social interactions.

I was born and raised in Mexico City, where I studied Psychology at UNAM -the largest public university in Latin America. I then studied my master’s with Nikos Logothetis and Kari Hoffman at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany, followed by PhD Studies at Cambridge University working under the supervision of Wolfram Schultz. Where I studied how the basal ganglia respond to rewards in social contexts.

I did my Postdoc with Ziv Williams at the Department of Neurosurgery of Massachusetts General Hospital to uncover the neuronal basis of social interactions. I became an instructor in research in 2018.

I began my current position as Junior Group Research Leader in 2022.



Raymundo Baez Mendoza












Shen Zhang, PhD

Shen graduated from Beijing Normal University with a doctoral degree in cognitive neuroscience in 2023.  In his doctoral thesis he explored how individuals learn by observing and interacting with others.

He then decided to shift from human fMRI techniques to non-human-primate single neuron recordings during his post-doc in Baez Lab at the DPZ studying the same topic.  In non-working times, he enjoys playing badminton.



Lea Schott,  MS

Lea graduated in 2022 from Chemnitz University of Technology with a Master of Science degree in Sensor and Cognitive Psychology and is now pursuing a PhD in the Baez Lab. In her studies she acquired a fundamental understanding of technical sensors, human perception, and natural and artificial cognitive systems.

In her master’s thesis she investigated the basics of light scattering in tissue phantoms for application in optical cochlear implants. After graduation, she worked as a research associate in the field of auditory neuroscience and collected plenty of experience in 3D modeling and printing.

During this position, she was able to gain insights into animal behavioral experiments with rodents and marmosets. She is fascinated by working with animals, especially primates. At the Baez lab Lea will study social communication in primates.



Lab Alumni

Halle Hangen, BS 

Halle graduated in 2022 from University of Rochester with a Bachelor of Science degree in Brain & Cognitive Sciences and a Minor in Anthropology. She worked as a technical research assistant (TA) in the Baez Lab at the DPZ. She is passionate about animal behavior and has experience in Marmoset vision & cognition research and African wildlife conservation. Halle studies for an MA in Biological Anthropology at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte.