Franco Pestilli

Franco Pestilli

Adjunct Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences


  • Ph.D., New York University, 2008
  • M.A., New York University, 2006
  • B.A., University of Rome, La Sapienza, 2001

Research interests

Professor Pestilli's research concerns white-matter, microstructure, anatomy and brain tracts as well as tractogrpahy. He also studies computational modeling of human behavior and brain activity and psychophyscis of visual perception and reading. Professor Pestilli also studies behavioral and brain mechanisms of motivation and attention.

Professional Experience

  • Research Associate (2011-2014) Stanford University, CA
  • Postdoctoral Fellow (2008-2010) Columbia University, NY
  • Visiting Researcher (2009) RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Japan

Representative publications

Attention enhances contrast sensitivity at cued and impairs it at uncued locations (2005)
Franco Pestilli and Marisa Carrasco
Vision research, 45 (14), 1867-1875

Transient attention enhances perceptual performance and fMRI response in human visual cortex (2005)
Taosheng Liu, Franco Pestilli and Marisa Carrasco
Neuron, 45 (3), 469-477

Evaluation and statistical inference for human connectomes (2014)
Franco Pestilli, Jason Yeatman, Ariel Rokem, Kendrick Kay and Brian Wandell
Nature Methods,

Attentional enhancement via selection and pooling of early sensory responses in human visual cortex (2011)
Franco Pestilli, Marisa Carrasco, David J Heeger and Justin L Gardner
Neuron, 72 (5), 832-846

How do attention and adaptation affect contrast sensitivity? (2007)
Franco Pestilli, Gerardo Viera and Marisa Carrasco
Journal of vision, 7 (7), 9-Sep

The vertical occipital fasciculus: a century of controversy resolved by in vivo measurements (2014)
Jason D Yeatman, Kevin S Weiner, Franco Pestilli, Ariel Rokem, Aviv Mezer and Brian A Wandell
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111 (48), E5214-E5223

Functionally Defined White Matter Reveals Segregated Pathways in Human Ventral Temporal Cortex Associated with Category-Specific Processing (2015)
Jesse Gomez, Franco Franco Pestilli, Nathan Witthoft, Golijeh Golarai, Alina Liberman, Sonia Poltoratski ...
Neuron, 85 (1), 216-227

Attention trades off spatial acuity (2009)
Barbara Montagna, Franco Pestilli and Marisa Carrasco
Vision research, 49 (7), 735-745

A major human white matter pathway between dorsal and ventral visual cortex (2015)
Hiromasa Takemura, Ariel Rokem, Jonathan Winawer, Jason D Yeatman, Brian A Wandell and Franco Pestilli
Cerebral Cortex, 26 (5), 2205-2214

A population-coding model of attention’s influence on contrast response: Estimating neural effects from psychophysical data (2009)
Franco Pestilli, Sam Ling and Marisa Carrasco
Vision research, 49 (10), 1144-1153

Human blindsight is mediated by an intact geniculo-extrastriate pathway (2015)
Sara Ajina, Franco Pestilli, Ariel Rokem, Christopher Kennard and Holly Bridge
Elife, 4 e08935

White-matter tract connecting anterior insula to nucleus accumbens correlates with reduced preference for positively skewed gambles (2016)
Josiah K Leong, Franco Pestilli, Charlene C Wu, Gregory R Samanez-Larkin and Brian Knutson
Neuron, 89 (1), 63-69

Ensemble tractography (2016)
Hiromasa Takemura, Cesar F Caiafa, Brian A Wandell and Franco Pestilli
PLoS computational biology, 12 (2), e1004692

Evaluating the accuracy of diffusion MRI models in white matter (2015)
Ariel Rokem, Jason D Yeatman, Franco Pestilli, Kendrick N Kay, Aviv Mezer, Stefan Van Der Walt ...
PloS one, 10 (4), e0123272

White matter consequences of retinal receptor and ganglion cell damage (2014)
Shumpei Ogawa, Hiromasa Takemura, Hiroshi Horiguchi, Masahiko Terao, Tomoki Haji, Franco Pestilli ...
Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 55 (10), 6976-6986