Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Franco Pestilli

Associate ProfessorPh.D., New York University

Franco Pestilli


  • Office: SEA 5.104
  • Office Hours: Contact by email to schedule
  • Campus Mail Code: A8000


vision science, attention, motivation, learning, aging, brain anatomy, white matter, computational modelling, neuroinformatics


Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas, Austin. Dr. Pestilli joined the University of Texas in 2020. Prior to that, he was Associate Professor at Indiana University. Dr. Pestilli holds a Ph.D. from New York University and a B.A. from the University of Rome La Sapienza and received Postdoctoral Training at Stanford University and Columbia University.  

Dr. Pestilli is the author of over 60 publications spanning multiple fields of science, such as Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience, Vision, Neuroanatomy, Computer Science, and Neuroinformatics. Dr. Pestilli's scientific projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Health, the Department of Defense, the Association for Psychological Science, the Indiana University Emergent Areas of Research, Pervasive Technology Institute, and Microsoft Research. 

Dr. Pestilli is elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and Psychonomics Society and has received a Microsoft Faculty Fellowship, the Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Achievements by the Association for Psychological Science as well as the Early Career Travel Award from the Japanese Neuroscience Society. He is an editorial board member for Scientific Data, and Scientific Reports. Dr. Pestilli is director of the Advanced Computational Neuroscience Network and founder and director of the open science platform



PSY 341K • Psychological Data Sci Fndns I

42035 • Spring 2022
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM SEA 5.556

This lecture course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the process of braindevelopment from embryogenesis through adulthood with emphasis on the role of the environment in directing this process. Initial lectures will focus on the origins of the central nervous system, including topics such as the organization of the brain, neurogenesis, cellular differentiation, migration and targeting of neurons, synapse formation and refinement of the nervous system. In the second half of the course, lectures will focus on the infant brain and the role of experiences during infancy in modifying brain function. Topics will also include recent advances in our understanding of the role of gene-environment interactions and epigenetic programming and shaping brain development. Finally, the adaptive vs. maladaptive outcomes of environmental modifications to the nervous system will be discussed. Throughout the course, students will be guided through examples of how changes in the developing nervous system lead to behavioral patterns both in infancy and adulthood.

PSY 394P • Digital Neuroanatomy-Wb

42985 • Spring 2021
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM
Internet; Synchronous

Current Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience. Brain-behavior relationships, particularly recent research in behavioral neuroscience, including the anatomical and neurochemical mechanisms of behavioral events, and behavioral influences on the brain. Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Neuroscience 394P (Topic 1: Current Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience) and Psychology 394P (Topic 1) may not both be counted.

PSY 394P • Lab Cog/Computational Neu-Wb

41639 • Fall 2020
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM
Internet; Synchronous

Cognitive and computational neuroscience is one of the fastest-growing areas of neuroscience. It spans the more traditional cognitive neuroscience, as well as, clinical, computational and network neuroscience. It requires skills and training drawing expertise from traditionally diverse disciplines and fields (medical imaging, neuroscience, computer science, and psychology among several). Often times, completing a competitive research project in a timely fashion requires, working in a team, and handling the full life cycle of research – from data acquisition and organization to data mining, analysis, and visualization. The modern team-based data science approach requires project management, communication and documentation to quickly and effectively implement the required aspects of the project to produce results and deliver a product within a limited time frame.

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  • Department of Psychology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    SEA 4.208
    108 E. Dean Keeton Stop A8000
    Austin, TX 78712-1043