Charles Edward Connor Jr., Ph.D.

  • Director, Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute
  • Professor of Neuroscience

Research Interests

Object synthesis in higher-level visual cortex


Dr. Ed Connor is a professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He serves as director of the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute. His research examines object synthesis in the higher-level visual cortex.

Dr. Connor obtained his Ph.D. in neuroscience from Johns Hopkins in 1989. After postdoctoral studies at the California Institute of Technology and Washington University, he joined the Hopkins Neuroscience Department in 1996. He has served as Director of the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute since 2007.

His work has shown how object structure is represented by populations of neurons in higher-level visual regions of the brain. In new studies funded by the Hopkins Brain Science Institute, his laboratory has begun to investigate the neural basis of shape aesthetics. more


  • Director, Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute
  • Professor of Neuroscience

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • Ph.D.; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Maryland) (1990)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Connor’s laboratory research aims at understanding the neural algorithms that make object vision possible. The lab hopes that findings will not only explain the neural basis of visual experience but will someday contribute to designs for more powerful machine vision systems and brain-machine interfaces.

Ongoing research in the Connor lab seeks to understand the following questions:

  • How is complex 3-D object structure represented?
  • How is large-scale 3-D structure (buildings, landscapes) represented?
  • How is 4-D object structure (shape-in-motion through time) represented?
  • How are these representations generated from retinal input signals?
  • How is object information stored, recalled, and used in decision-making?
  • How do neural representations determine visual aesthetics—what is special about the neural activity patterns evoked by beautiful sculptures or paintings?

Selected Publications

Yau JM, Pasupathy A, Brincat SL, Connor CE. “Curvature Processing Dynamics in Macaque Area V4.” Cereb Cortex. 2012 Jan 31.

Hung, C –C, Carlson, ET, Connor CE. “Medial Axis Shape Coding in Macaque Inferotemporal Cortex.” Neuron. 2012 Jun 21:74(6):1099-113. PMID: 22726839

Kourtzi, Z & Connor, CE. “Neural representations for object perception: structure, category, and adapative coding.” Annu Rev Neurosci 2011; 34:45-67.

Carlson ET, Rasquinha RJ, Zhang K, Connor CE. “A sparse object coding scheme in area V4.” Curr Biol 2011. 21(4):288-93.

Yau JM, Pasupathy A, Fitzgerald PJ, Hsiao SS, Connor CE. “Analogous intermediate shape coding in vision and touch. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Sep 22;106(38):16457-62. Epub 2009 Sep 4.

Yamane Y, Carlson ET, Bowman KC, Wang Z, Connor CE. “A neural code for three-dimensional object shape in macaque inferotemporal cortex.” Nat Neurosci. 2008 Nov;11(11):1352-60. Epub 2008 Oct 5.

Brincat SL, Connor CE. “Dynamic shape synthesis in posterior inferotemporal cortex.” Neuron. 2006 49:17-24.

Brincat SL, Connor CE. “Underlying principles of visual shape selectivity in posterior inferotemporal cortex.” Nature Neuroscience. 2004 7: 880-886.

Pasupathy A, Connor CE. Population coding of shape in area V4. Nature Neuroscience. 2002 5: 1332-1338.

Hinkle DA, Connor CE. “Three-dimensional orientation tuning in macaque area V4.” Nature Neuroscience. 2002 5: 665-670.

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Neuroscience Graduate Program

Psychological and Brain Sciences

Visual Neuroscience Training Program

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