October 28, 2019
Psychology 1312
Doris Tsao, California Institute of Technology


Doris Tsao is Professor of Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Director of the Tianqiao & Chrissy Chen Center for Systems Neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Tsao received a B.S. (1996) from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. (2002) from Harvard University, and she was head of an independent research group at the Institute for Brain Research at the University of Bremen (2004–2008) before joining the faculty at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Tsao is a systems neuroscientist studying the neural mechanisms underlying primate vision. She and her group aim to discover how the brain "stitches together" individual pixels of light—the photons hitting our retinas—to create the visual experience of discrete and recognizable objects in space. Tsao is widely recognized for pioneering the use of fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to target electrodes for studying visual processing in monkeys, and has also demonstrated the existence of "face patches" in the macaque brain. Her research has been published in such scientific journals as Cell, Nature Neuroscience, the Journal of Neuroscience, Neuron, and Science. She was awarded a 2018 MacArthur Fellowship.