Mark Changizi is an evolutionary neurobiologist aiming to grasp the ultimate foundations underlying why we think, feel and see as we do. His research focuses on "why" questions, and he has made important discoveries such as on why we see in color, why we see illusions, why we have forward-facing eyes, why letters are shaped as they are, why the brain is organized as it is, why animals have as many limbs and fingers as they do, and why the dictionary is organized as it is.
He attended the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, and then went on to the University of Virginia for a degree in physics and mathematics, and to the University of Maryland for a PhD in math. In 2002 he won a prestigious Sloan-Swartz Fellowship in Theoretical Neurobiology at Caltech, and in 2007 he became an assistant professor in the Department of Cognitive Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 2010 he took the post of Director of Human Cognition at a new research institute called 2ai.
He has more than thirty scientific journal articles, some of which have been covered in news venues such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and Wired. He has written three books, The Brain from 25,000 Feet (Kluwer 2003), The Vision Revolution (Benbella 2009) and Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man (Benbella 2011). He is working on his fourth book, this one on emotions and facial expressions, called MAKING FACES: What Our Emotional Expressions Say, and How They Say It.