Chaz Firestone
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Johns Hopkins University
CV, Google Scholar

Hello! I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. I am also affiliated with Philosophy and Cognitive Science, and advise students in all three departments. Here at Hopkins, I direct the PERCEPTION & MIND LABORATORY, a group of researchers studying how we see and think.

This page contains some information about me and my work, as well as some resources that you might find helpful if you are interested in working in our lab, contacting me, enrolling in one of my courses, etc. You may also want to visit our main lab webpage, or see a list of publications.

Contact Me

Feel free to write to me with questions about research, courses, joining the lab, etc.:

Chaz Firestone
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD

Office: Ames Hall 223
Office Hours: By appointment for Winter/Spring 2020.

Research Opportunities

Interested in joining our lab group? We will consider applications for graduate students during the 2019-2020 application cycle (i.e., to begin in Fall 2020). Additionally, there are positions available for especially dedicated undergraduate research assistants. You can learn more about all the positions available in our lab over at our opportunities page. You can also always feel free to send Chaz a note!


I am the regular instructor for Introduction to Psychology (AS.200.101). We've had three semesters so far (Fall 2017, 2018, 2019), and the course will probably be offered again in Fall 2020. You can see a syllabus here. We take song requests.

In Spring 2018, I taught Thought & Perception (AS.150.476 / AS.200.316), together with Prof. Steven Gross. The course was about philosophical and psychological consequences of "rational" or "optimal" or "Bayesian" approaches to modeling the mind. You can learn more at our course website, There is not currently an active plan to offer this course again with me as the instructor, but that may change!

About Me


Before coming to Johns Hopkins, I did my Ph.D. in the Department of Psychology at Yale, where I worked primarily with Brian Scholl and also collaborated with Frank Keil. Before that, I earned an M.A. from the Department of Philosophy at Brown, where I was advised by Christopher Hill. I was also an undergraduate at Brown, where I was a member of the final graduating class of the Department of Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences (which has since re-organized) and worked with Bill Warren in the Virtual Environment Navigation Lab. Because of someone else's very hard work, I know ~350 years of my academic lineage.


I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, an objectively wonderful city to grow up in despite its record-breakingly awful hockey team. I don't know any of the cast members of Degrassi, though Drake did go to high school around the block from my childhood home. I am not related to "those Firestones"; but since you asked, my grandmother was pretty awesome (check out this video of her from 1963 singing on Canadian broadcast television in defiance of various sexist religious norms). This is a 3D print of my brain (at 1/8th scale by volume).

When I'm not doing cognitive science, one of my favorite hobbies is grappling. Here's what it looks like when very talented people grapple. Here's what it looks like when I grapple.

I enjoy visiting grappling gyms when I travel, and am a member of BJJ Globetrotters. If I'm ever in your town, let's roll! Here's a list of gyms I've trained at:

I'm married to Rebecca Theise, a pediatric nurse practitioner who is also good at writing and throwing Frisbees.