People / Faculty

Tomaso Poggio

Tomaso Poggio, Ph.D.
Eugene McDermott Professor in the Brain Sciences and Human Behavior
Director of the Center for Biological and Computational Learning at MIT

Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Lab: The Center for Biological & Computational Learning

Computational Neuroscience

At the Center for Biological and Computational Learning at MIT we believe that learning is at the core of the problem of intelligence, both biological and artificial.  The mission of CBCL is to study the problem of learning within an approach that combines science with engineering, since learning is the gateway for understanding how the human brain works as well as for making intelligent machines. Research in the Center for Biological and Computational Learning is focused on the problem of learning in three domains a) theory; b) engineering applications; c) neuroscience.
At the level of mathematical theory, we collaborate with S. Smale (Hong Kong), M. Maggioni (Duke) and A Verri (U. Genova). In engineering we are working among others with L. Itti (USC) and C. Koch (Caltech). In computational neuroscience, the lab is working on models of the primate visual cortex to summarize physiological and psychophysical data and to explain image understanding and object recognition abilities of humans and primates. We collaborate closely with physiological and psychophysical labs, including Desimone's (MIT), Miller's (MIT), Logothetis' (MPG), Serre (Brown), Koch (Caltech), Sheinberg (Brown).

In 2008, Prof. Poggio began working with Prof. Tenenbaum, and others, to launch the Intelligence Initiative at MIT, a multidisciplinary approach to understanding how human intelligence develops.

Prof. Tomaso Poggio was awarded the 2009 Okawa prize for his “…outstanding contributions to the establishment of computational neuroscience, and pioneering researches ranging from the biophysical and behavioral studies of the visual system to the computational analysis of vision and learning in humans and machines.”

Read an Interview with Professor Poggio

Watch a presentation about Professor Poggio's work

Visions of the Future - Tomaso Poggio, Thomas Serre and Aude Oliva.
* BBC -- This is part of the excellent BBC series entitled "visions of the future". This short clip here shows work performed at CBCL (MIT) about a computational neuroscience model of the ventral stream of the visual cortex. The story here focuses on recent work by Serre, Oliva and Poggio on comparing the performance of the model to human observers during a rapid object categorization task.

NIPS 2007 tutorial videos:
Visual Recognition in Primates and Machines (T. Poggio) Tutorial:
Twenty-first Annual Conference Neural Information Processing Systems:
NIPS Conference 2007, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, December 3,

Chikkerur, S., T. Serre, C. Tan, and T. Poggio, "What and Where: A Bayesian inference theory of visual attention", Vision Research, [doi: 10.1016 /j.visres.2010.05.013], May 20, 2010

Jhuang, H., E. Garrote, J. Mutch, X. Yu, V. Khilnani, T. Poggio, A.D. Steele, and T. Serre."Automated home-cage behavioural phenotyping of mice. Nature Communications," 1, Article 68, [doi: 10.1038/ncomms1064], September 7, 2010. Click here for software documentation.

Marr, David, Vision, MIT Press, with a new foreword by Shimon Ullman and afterword by Tomaso Poggio, ISBN-10: 0-262-51462-1; ISBN-13: 978-0-262-51462-0 1982, reissued July, 2010

Smale, S., L. Rosasco, J. Bouvrie, A. Caponnetto, and T. Poggio, "Mathematics of the Neural Response", Foundations of Computational Mathematics, Vol. 10, 1, 67-92, 2010

Additional publications