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Welcome to the Brainard Lab

Research Interests

The Brainard Lab studies human vision, both experimentally and through computational modeling of visual processing. Our primary concern is with how the visual system estimates object properties from the information available in the light signal incident at the eye. To study this general problem, we conduct psychophysical experiments to investigate questions such as how object color appearance is related to object surface properties under a wide range of illumination conditions and how color is used to identify objects, and formulate computational models of the results. In addition, we are interested in developing machine visual systems that can mimic human performance and in understanding the neural mechanisms of vision.

Representative Recent Publications

(See Publications for more, or download Brainard's CV in PDF Format. Or visit Brainard's Google Scholar Page).

Brainard, D. H. (2019). Color, pattern, and the retinal cone mosaic. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 30:41–47, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2019.05.005. Download PDF.

Cottaris, N. P., Jiang, H., Ding, X., Wandell, B. A., Brainard, D. H. (2018). A computational observer model of spatial contrast sensitivity: Effects of wavefront-based optics, cone mosaic structure, and inference engine. Journal of Vision, 19(4):8, doi: 10.1167/19.4.8, https://jov.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2730345.

Ruff, D. Brainard, D. H., Cohen, M. R. (2018). Neuronal population mechanisms of lightness perception. Journal of Neurophysiology, 120(5), 2296-2310, doi: 10.1152/jn.00906.2017. Download PDF.

Tuten, W. S., Cooper, R. F., Tiruveedhula, P., Dubra, A., Roorda, A., Cottaris, N. P., Brainard, D. H., Morgan, J. I. W. (2018). Spatial summation in the human fovea: do normal optical aberrations and fixational eye movements have an effect? Journal of Vision, 18(8):6, doi: 10.1167/18.8.6, https://jov.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2697364.

Brainard, D. H., Cottaris, N. P., Radonjić, A. (2018). The perception of color and material in natural tasks. Royal Society Interface Focus, 8(4), doi: 10.1098/rsfs.2018.0012. Download PDF.

Spitschan, M., Bock, A. S., Ryan, J., Frazzetta, G., Brainard, D. H., Aguirre, G. K. (2017). The human visual cortex response to melanopsin-directed stimulation is accompanied by a distinct perceptual experience. PNAS, 114(46), 12291–12296, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1711522114. Download PDF. Press release. [There is a link in the paper to a repository with the raw data. That link turns out to have a finite lifetime. The permalink to the data respository is: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.4906727.v12.]

Cooper, R. F., Tuten, W. S., Dubra, A., Brainard, D. H., Morgan, J. I. W. (2017). Non-invasive assessment of human cone photoreceptor function. Biomedical Optics Express, 8(11), 5098-5112, doi: 10.1364/BOE.8.005098. https://www.osapublishing.org/boe/abstract.cfm?uri=boe-8-11-5098. Erratum: Biomed. Opt. Express, 2018,  9, 1842, https://doi.org/10.1364/BOE.9.001842.

Preprints

1. Lian, T. MacKenzie, K. J., Brainard, D. H., Cottaris, N. P., Wandell, B. A. (2019). Ray tracing 3D spectral scenes through human optics models. bioRxiv 589234, https://doi.org/10.1101/589234.

Preregistered Experiments

Here is a link to our list of preregistered experiments.