Skip to main content
COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

Get the latest public health information from CDC:
Get the latest research information from NIH:

Profile Image


Arash Afraz, M.D., Ph.D.

Laboratory of Neuropsychology

Unit on Neurons, Circuits and Behavior (UNCB)
Building 49 Room 1B80
Convent Drive
Bethesda MD 20892-4415
Office: 301-443-8060

Dr. Afraz received his MD from Tehran University of Medical Sciences in 2003. In 2005 he joined the Vision Science Laboratory at Harvard and studied spatial constraints of face recognition under the mentorship of Dr. Patrick Cavanagh. Dr. Afraz received his PhD in Psychology from Harvard University in 2009. Right after, he joined Dr. James DiCarlo's group at MIT as a postdoctoral fellow to study the neural underpinnings of face and object recognition. Dr. Afraz started at NIMH as a principal investigator in 2017 to lead the unit on Neurons, Circuits and Behavior.

Dr. Afraz claims to be interested in everything related to the brain function. Since that covers almost everything in the realm of human experience thus hard to define, following is the general sketch of his group's practical research focus. Dr. Afraz's group, Unit on Neurons, Circuits and Behavior, studies the neural mechanisms of visual object recognition. The research team is particularly interested in establishing causal links between the neural activity in the ventral stream of visual processing in the brain and object recognition behavior. The group combines visual psychophysics with conventional methods of single unit recording as well as microstimulation, drug microinjection and optogenetics to bridge the gap between the neural activity and visual perception.

More on research

Staff Image
  • 1) Afraz A., Boyden E.S., DiCarlo J.J. (2015)
  • Optogenetic and pharmacological suppression of spatial clusters of face neurons reveal their causal role in face gender discrimination
  • Proc Natl Acad Sci., 112(21): 6730-5.
  • 3) Cavanagh P, Hunt AR, Afraz A, Rolfs M. (2010)
  • Visual stability based on remapping of attention pointers.
  • Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 14(4): 147-53.
  • 4) Afraz A., Vaziri-Pashkam M., Cavanagh. P. (2010)
  • Spatial heterogeneity in the perception of face and form attributes.
  • Current Biology, 20(23): 2112-6.
  • 5) Afraz A., Cavanagh. P. (2009)
  • The gender-specific face aftereffect is based in retinotopic not spatiotopic coordinates across several natural image transformations.
  • Journal of Vision, 9(10): 10.1-17.
  • 6) Afraz S.R., Cavanagh. P. (2008)
  • Retinotopy of face aftereffect.
  • Vision Research, 48(1): 42-54.
  • 7) Ezzati A., Golzar A., Afraz A. (2008)
  • Topography of the motion aftereffect with and without eye movements.
  • Journal of Vision, 8(14): 23.1-16
  • 8) Noudoost B., Afraz S.R, Vaziri-Pashkam M., Esteky H. (2006)
  • Visual spatial integrity in the absence of splenium.
  • Brain Research, 1076(1): 177-86.
  • 9) Afraz S.R, Kiani. R., Esteky. H. (2006)
  • Microstimulation of inferotemporal cortex influences face categorization.
  • Nature, 442(7103): 692-5.
  • 10) Afraz S.R, Kiani. R., Vaziri-Pashkam. M., Esteky. H. (2004)
  • Motion Induced Overestimation of the Number of Items in a Display.
  • Perception, 33(8): 915-25.
View Pubmed Publication