Kohitij Kar, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, York University

SFARI Investigator Website

Kohitij Kar is an assistant professor at the Department of Biology in the Faculty of Science at York University. He is also a Canada Research Chair in Visual Neuroscience. Prior to this, Kar was a Research Scientist at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working in the lab of James DiCarlo. Before joining the DiCarlo Lab, he completed his Ph.D. in the Department of Behavioral and Neural Sciences at Rutgers University in New Jersey under Bart Krekelberg in 2015.

Kar’s research lies at the intersection of neurophysiological investigations of visual intelligence in non-human primates and artificial intelligent systems. His work has been published in highest-tier neuroscience journals like Science, Nature Neuroscience and Neuron and in highly competitive machine learning conferences like NeurIPS and ICLR. Kar has also recently become a SFARI investigator after receiving a Simons Foundation grant to develop a non-human primate model of autism.

As humans, we can seamlessly interact with the world around us thanks to our remarkably sophisticated visual system. These interactions depend on our brain’s ability to translate the images we see, but understanding the brain’s sophisticated computations has been a challenge. Kar’s research aims to uncover the inner workings of the primate visual system. He and his research team perform detailed circuit-level neural measurements in non-human primates and relate them to specific visual behaviors. They are using their findings to develop artificial intelligence systems that mimic the primate brain to develop treatment strategies for mental health disorders that could improve cognitive behavioral therapies.

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