People in the DiCarlo Lab

Principal Investigator



Dr. DiCarlo was named Investigator at the M.I.T. McGovern Institute for Brain Research and Assistant Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences in 2002, and was promoted to full Professor and Department Head in 2012.  He was named MIT's Peter de Florez endowed professor in 2015.  He received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 1998 and did his postdoctoral work at Baylor College of Medicine from 1998 to 2002. His research group is focused on understanding the neuronal representations and computational mechanisms that underlie visual object recognition in primates.   

DiCarlo's CV

Videos: DiCarlo on his group's research and on cogntive computing

Video: DiCarlo (as BCS Department Head) on "Why study the brain?"


Postdoctoral Researchers


Kohitij Kar, PhD

Kohitij (‘Ko') got his PhD from Rutgers 
University in Neuroscience.
 He is currently interested in understanding the role of cortical feedback in object recognition. He is using large scale NHP electrophysiology along with insights from human psychophysics and computer vision models to guide his thought process. Additionally, he is also testing different chemogenetic tools and strategies in non-human primate models. Ko's Website







Pouya Bashivan, PhD

Pouya joined the lab in 2016. He received his PhD in computer engineering from the University of Memphis. He is currently working on building models of ventral stream that learn from temporal contiguity of visual experiences and require minimal supervision.





N Apurva Ratan Murty, PhD

Ratan received his PhD from the Centre for Neuroscience, Indian Institute of Science and joined the lab in July 2017. He is broadly interested in investigating the link between neural responses in the ventral cortex and perception/behavior, and how it unfolds over the course of development. As a joint postdoc with Nancy Kanwisher, he is currently setting up meso-scale high throughput neural recording techniques in macaques that would enable him to address some of these questions.




Kamila Jozwik, PhD

Kamila is interested in modelling the representations in the brain and behavior, for human and monkey, using deep neural networks. She holds a joint appointment with Jim DiCarlo and Nancy Kanwisher at MIT, and Zoe Kourtzi at the University of Cambridge as a Sir Henry Wellcome postdoctoral fellow.  Kamila's Website






Tiago Marques, PhD

Tiago got his PhD in neuroscience at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown studying hierarchical circuits in the mouse visual cortex. He joined the lab in 2019 and is developing metrics to benchmark computational models of the primate ventral stream. In the future, he is interested in using these benchmarks to guide the development of better models of visual processing..  







Graduate Students

Hyodong (Hyo) Lee, MA 

Hyo joined the Dicarlo lab in 2014. Prior to this, she received her bachelor’s in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University. She’s interested in understanding the primate ventral stream and developing computational models.






Michael Lee, BSE 

Michael joined the DiCarlo lab in 2016 after receiving his BSE in Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering from Duke University. He is interested in studying downstream projection areas of the ventral stream, and how they utilize sensory representations to form functional knowledge of the visual world.










Martin is interested in the interface of computational models and the brain. His research focuses on using deep neural networks to build predictive models of the ventral stream, guided by neural and behavioral recordings. Together with Josh Tenenbaum, he is also working on expanding these approaches to language. Martin completed his Bachelor and Master degrees in Software Engineering in Germany (universities TUM, LMU and UNA), worked on recurrent visual processing at Harvard, and interned at Salesforce Research on architecture search for natural language processing.





Lab Manager and Technical Assistants 

Christopher Shay, PhD

Chris received his PhD from Boston University where he was trained as a patch clamp electrophysiologist.  He is currently the Research Laboratory Operations Manager of the DiCarlo Lab. 






Kailyn Schmidt, MS

Kailyn joined the lab as the lab manager in 2010 and is curently the lead technician at the DiCarlo Lab at MIT.








Computer Programmer and Software Developer

Chris Stawarz

Chris develops and maintains MWorks, a suite of open source applications and libraries for designing and running realtime experiments, particularly in the domains of psychology and neurophysiology. This software is the backbone of our lab's behavioral and neural data collection.



Lab Photos 

Jim and Rishi celebrating Rishi's defense, June 2018.


DiCarlo Lab celebrating Rishi's defense, June 2018.


DiCarlo lab, March 2017. Photo credit: Justin Knight.


DiCarlo lab, Crawford Notch Bartlett, NH December 2016


DiCarlo lab December 2013

DiCarlo lab paintball outing, Fall 2012.

Lab Alumni

Rishi Rajalingham, PhD. Rishi completed his PhD in the DiCarlo lab in June 2018 and is now continuing as a Postdoc. Prior to this time in the DiCarlo lab, he received his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from McGill University. His research interests focus on understanding the neural processes underlying perception for brain-machine interface applications.

Jonas Kubilius, PhD. Jonas is now completing the second half of his Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoc fellowship with Hans Op de Beeck (U of Leuven, Belgium). Jonas is interested in developing computational models of primate visual system and understanding how they learn. Jonas' Website

Darren Seibert. Darren Completed his PhD in the DiCarlo Lab in July, 2018. He is now pursuing his MD at Upstate SUNY in Syracuse, NY.

Shay Ohayon, PhD. Shay joined the DiCarlo lab in late 2014 after graduating from the CNS program in Caltech. Prior to that, he obtained his MS in computer science from the Israeli Institute of Technology (Technion). Shay developed minimally invasive probes for deep in-vivo fluorescence imaging that would enable him to tackle questions related to functional connectivity in the ventral stream. In February 2018, Shay joined a research group at Google.

Elias Issa, PhD. Elias came to the DiCarlo Lab by way of Johns Hopkins. He studies object processing in inferotemporal cortex using fMRI and neurophysiology. In July 2017, Elias left for Columbia University to start his own lab.  Elias's website

Arash Afraz, MD, PhD. Published as Seyed-Reza Afraz up to Dec 2008, Arash got his MD from Tehran 
University of Medical Sciences and PhD in Psychology from Harvard University.
 Arash finished his postdoc in the DiCarlo lab in January, 2017 and is now a Principal Investigator at NIH. He claims to be interested in almost everything! Particularly in object 
vision, history and visual arts.  Arash's website

Dan Yamins, PhD. Dan finished his post doc in August, 2016 and is starting his own lab at Stanford. Dan's Website

Ha Hong, PhD. Ha completed his PhD in the lab in 2015. He in now an Investigator at Bay Labs, Inc., a small startup company in San Franciso. Other than sciences, Ha is a big fan of beer, coffee roasting, cocktail, Chopin, electronics tinkering, Feynman, piano, swimming, and typography. Ha is from South Korea.  Ha's website

Diego Ardilla, MADiego joined the lab in 2013 and completed his Masters in 2015. Diego used crowdsourced psychophysics and neural networks to explore, understand, and/or close the gap between human and machine visual intelligence (especially object recognition). Broadly speaking, he is interested in finding ways to improve life for humans using technology, which he has also been working on using music.  Diego now works for Google. 

Xiaoxuan Jia, PhD. Xiaoxuan joined the DiCarlo lab in 2012. Prior to this, she received her bachelor's degree from Tsinghua University in Beijing and PhD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in NY. Her research interests focus on the ventral visual pathway and understanding the neural mechanisms underlying object recognition. She moved to San Francisco in 2015 and joined a small startup called mProbe, Inc. In 2016, she joined the neural coding group at Allen Institute for brain science. 

Abhijit Bendale. Abhijit is a visiting student from University of Colorado - Colorado Springs. He is increasingly enjoying the lunch time conversations in DiCarlo Lab. He has a modest ambition of solving the problem of Object Recognition. Apart from being a humble grad student, he is excited about his recent purchase of a Canon SX110... And yes he is missing the mountain biking!!!  Abhi's website

Alexander Papanastassiou, MD Alex comes from a background of neurosurgery, and has completed his project with Hans Op de Beeck studying learning effects with fMRI. He is currently back in the world of human neurosurgery.

Ben Kennedy Software Engineer/Programmer. Ben is from an electrical engineering background, and is interested in developing tools to further research in science. The lab's server misses him deeply.

Benoit Corda Benoit is a masters student from the University of Technology of Compiègne in France. He is currently doing his M.Sc thesis (Computer Science /Artificial Intelligence) working on computational neuroscience inspired by recent neuronal and behavioral research in the lab. His project in the lab was organized around trying to apply different models to perform motion tracking. Benoit is currently at home in France.

Charles Cadieu, PhD Charles' Website

Chou Hung, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher. Chou received his PhD at Yale, where he studied early visual processing in areas V1 and V2. Chou's most recent work has been investigating the spike correlational structure of visual representation in IT and linking this representational structure across species (monkeys/humans). He recently moved his lab to Georgetown University. Chou's Website

Daniel Oreper, Masters Student. Dan is working on a system for X-ray localization of electrodes in the brain, in pursuit of a Master of Engineering degree in Computer Science.Dan is currently working in Burlington, MA.

David Cox, PhD. Dave obtained his PhD in April , 2007, from the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. His current work is organized around understanding the omputational role of visual experience in shaping object recognition processes in primates. Dave is currently running his own lab at the Rowland Institute at Harvard. Lab Website

David Doukhan. David is a masters student from the EPITA (France), where he majored in Artificial Intelligence and got involved in pattern recognition projects applied to music. His main project in the lab involved working on computational neuroscience projects as a Cell Be programmer using the PlayStation 3, among other projects. David is currently home in France.

Cesar Echavarria. Cesar was a UROP in the lab and graduated from MIT in 2011.

Davide Zoccolan, PhD. Davide obtained his PhD at the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste (Italy) with a thesis on the neural coding of sensory motor responses in the medicinal leech. The aim of his current project is to investigate the computational properties of inferotemporal neurons underlying object recognition in cluttered visual scenes. He is currently working with Dave Cox at the Rowland Institute. Davide's Lab Website

Edith Reshef, UROP. Edith graduated from MIT in 2011.

Ethan Solomon, UROP/Technical Assistant. Ethan Graudated from MIT in 2011. He worked in the DiCarlo lab for a year before beginning his MD/PhD at UPenn.

Hans Op de Beeck, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher. Hans received his PhD at the University of Leuven (Belgium) where he studied the processes underlying visual shape categorization in monkeys and human subjects through single-unit physiology and psychophysics (see He has been investigating the effect of learning on object recognition in monkeys and humans using fMRI in a collaboration between Jim DiCarlo and Nancy Kanwisher, and is currently home in Belgium.

Jennie Deutsch, Lab Manager/Technical Assistant. Jennie is currently working at GlaxoSmithKlein as a LAS Lab Scientist in Philadelphia.

Marie Maloof, Technical Assistant/Manager of BCS Teaching Lab. Marie splits her time between the lab and the BCS Teaching Lab (see the Courses section). Marie is currently working in another lab in BCS.

Marino Pagan. Marino was a visiting student from Pisa, Italy. He worked with Nicole Rust and Najib Majaj.

Nicolas Pinto, PhD  Coming from a loving and supportive portuguese family, Nicolas was born in France where he graduated with two M.Sc. in computer science (Software Engineering and Artificial Intelligence). Attracted by multicultural experiences and highly motivated by exploring
intellectual opportunities abroad, he studied in Brazil, Korea and Switzerland before coming to MIT to complete his degrees in Jim DiCarlo's Lab. Nicolas received his PhD from the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences in December 2010. His current interests are in high-throughput computational neuroscience and biology-inspired silicon intelligence with emphasis on vision. Nicolas divides his spare time between
sports, traveling and managing the music association he co-founded. Nicolas' Website

Mehdi Mirza. Mehdi was a visiting student, working with the computational group. Having a background in Physics and Computer Science, he is interested in vision and object categorization problems and understanding how our brain does it and how machines could do it inspired by the brain. He is now pursuing his PhD in the Swiss Alps.

Nadja Oertelt. Nadja first joined the lab as a UROP, and stayed to complete a variety of projects. She is currently working at the Rowland Institute with Dave Cox.

Nicole Rust, PhD. Nicole obtained a PhD from New York University where she focused on computation and motion processing in visual areas V1 and area MT. The focus of her current work is to determine how selectivity, tolerance and sparseness interact and change along the object recognition pathway. Nicole is currently starting her own lab at UPenn. Nicole's Lab Page

Nuo Li, PhD. Nuo received his PhD from the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences in December, 2010. He completed his postdoctoral research at Janelia Farm, HHMI in 2016 and is currently starting his own lab as a faculty member at Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience.  Li's Lab Page

Najib Majaj, PhD  Najib received his PhD from NYU, and completed a post-doctoral fellowshipHe is currently a research scientist at NYU. 

Patrick Mayo, Lab Technician. Patrick is happily working on his PhD in Neuroscience in Marc Sommer's lab at the University of Pittsburgh. He is researching neural representations of time their relation to visual and oculomotor function. He deeply misses Jim's whimsical stories about AJ Foyt.

Paul Aparicio. Paul obtained his PhD in February, 2013, from the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. He is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institutes of Heath.

Yihvan Vuong. Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering 2004. Yihvan is currently working near Washington, DC.

Tahereh Toosi. Tahereh was a graduate visiting student from the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM).  While in the DiCarlo lab, she worked on comparing two datasets under the linking hypotheses which describe human object recognition behavior based on the neural activity in monkey IT cortex.  Also, she enjoyed lunchtime discussions, spontaneous late-night discussions, and long lab meetings.

Phil (Xiyuan) ZHANG. Phil is a visiting graduate student from Mines ParisTech (Ecole des Mines de Paris), one of the most prominent French generalist engineering schools. He is investigating benchmarks of image datasets to provide definite evolution force for vision models. Phil is also interested in high performance computer techniques, such EC2 cloud computing, MPI and GPU etc.

Youssef Barhomi. Youssef is a Masters student from Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France. He is interested in human-machine interfaces. He is currently working with Nicolas Pinto on object recognition algorithms.

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