Chaz Firestone

Assistant Professor (starting July 2017)

Ames 223
Group/Lab Website


Chaz Firestone is Assistant Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Director of the Hopkins Perception & Mind Laboratory. His research explores how perception -- our means of contact with the external world -- interacts with the rest of the mind.

A primary focus of research in the lab has been how perception enables and even incorporates seemingly sophisticated processing of the sort typically associated with higher-level cognition. For example, the lab has recently explored how our minds generate physical intuitions about the world (e.g., how we come to understand that a tower of blocks will topple or a stack of dishes will collapse), and how such intuitions may be underwritten by more basic operations of visual attention and memory. The lab also has interests in long-standing foundational questions about the nature of perception, including how higher-level cognitive factors such as language, desire, emotion, and action can (and cannot) influence what we see.

In addition to computer-based psychophysics experiments, the lab has approached these questions using larger real-world environments, computational models, 3D-printed stimuli, studies of brain-damaged patients, and even some unusual 'field work' (including recent experiments run in New York City's Times Square!).