Chaz Firestone
Associate Professor
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Johns Hopkins University

[email protected]


Hello! I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. I also teach and advise students in the Department of Philosophy, and am affiliated with the Department of Cognitive Science as well. 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.

With Kevin Lande, I am a co-organizer of the phiVis workshop, a satellite meeting of the Vision Sciences Society that aims to promote interaction between philosophers of perception and vision scientists.

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

Email: [email protected]
Office: Ames Hall 223
Office Hours: By appointment for Fall 2023

Research Opportunities

Interested in joining our lab group? We will consider applications for graduate students during the 2023-2024 application cycle (i.e., to begin in Fall 2024). 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), which I began teaching here at Hopkins in Fall 2017. You can find more information at our course website, We take song requests. NB: I am not the instructor for this course in Fall 2023; however, I will return to teaching it in Fall 2024.

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"/"optimal"/"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!

As of Fall 2020, I am a member of the Curriculum Committee for the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences. If you would like to share any thoughts, ideas, or concerns about undergraduate teaching here at JHU, please do get in touch.

About Me


Before coming to Johns Hopkins, I earned my Ph.D. from 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. My H-index* is 1.

*H is for "Hammer"


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 the tire-making Firestones; but since you asked, check out this video from 1963 of my grandmother singing on Canadian broadcast television in defiance of various sexist religious norms. (This is another nice photo, available through the Toronto Public Library.) This is a 3D print of my brain (at 1/8th scale by volume).

I enjoy writing. These days, most of my writing is academic, but I used to work as a science journalist covering several different fields, with a focused stint in paleoclimatology. My stories have appeared in Nature, The Atlantic, Discover, and other publications. My first writing love will always be The Brown Daily Herald, where I got my start covering all sorts of topics on the "features" desk, including bug eating, meteor hunting, and pies in the face of Thomas Friedman.

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:

In 2020, my wife and I welcomed into our family a beautiful baby boy, who was promptly adopted by bears. His little brother arrived in 2023.