People / Faculty

Robert Desimone

Robert Desimone, Ph.D.
Doris and Don Berkey Professor of Neuroscience
Director, McGovern Institute

Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Building: 46-3160
Email: desimone@mit.edu

Neural Basis of Visual Attention and Executive Control

Robert Desimone's research focuses on the neural bases of attention and executive control, which are frequently abnormal in major mental diseases.  His lab combines neurophysiological recording in animals and fMRI and MEG brain imaging techniques in humans to understand how neural circuits filter out distracting information.   His lab is particularly interested in the role of synchronized neural activity in attentional control. 

Robert Desimone is Director of the McGovern Institute and Professor in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department. Prior to coming to MIT, he was Director of the NIMH Intramural Research Program, the largest mental health research center in the world. Desimone received his B.A. from Macalester College and his Ph.D. from Princeton University . He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts of Sciences, and a recipient of numerous awards, including the Troland Prize of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Golden Brain Award of the Minerva Foundation.


Buffalo EA, Fries P, Landman R, Liang H, Desimone R. (2010) A backwards
progression of attentional effects in the ventral stream. PNAS
107:361-365.

Gregoriou, GG, Gotts, SJ, Zhou, H, and Desimone, R. (2009) High
frequency, long-range coupling between prefrontal and visual cortex during
attention. Science 324: 1207-10.

Han, X, Qian, X, Bernstein, J.B., Zhou, H, Franzesi, T.G., Stern, P., Bronson, R.T., Graybiel, A.M., Desimone, R., and Boyden, E.S. (2009). Millisecond-timescale optical control of neural dynamics in the nonhuman primate brain. Neuron 62:191-8

Fries P, Womelsdorf T, Oostenveld R, and Desimone R. (2008) The effects of visual stimulation and selective visual attention on rhythmic neuronal
synchronization in macaque area V4. Journal of Neuroscience, 28:4823-35.


Additional Publications