Samantha (Sam) A. Montoya is a PhD student in the Neurosceince Graduate Program at the UoM supervised by Dr. Michael-Paul Schallmo and Dr. Stephen Engel. Sam studies the visual system, with a particular interest in populations who experience altered visual perception. Her work includes studying visual processing and perception in people with psychosis spectrum disorders and a condition called Visual Snow Syndrome (VSS). VSS is a condition where people continually experience flickering specks, like 'TV static, across their visual field. She currently leads the Visual Perception in Visual Snow Syndrome (VPSS) study as her thesis dissertation. Sam researches perception and brain processing using a combination of behavioral and neuroimaging methods. Sam joined the Schallmo lab in the summer of 2020.
In addition to her research, Sam makes science-inspired art and advocates for people with visual disabilities, such as helping start the Twin Cities Visual Snow Society. She also serves on the UoM's Graduate Program in Neuroscience's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Sam received her B.A. in neuroscience and studio art from Kenyon College in 2019.