Welcome to the Brainard Lab

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’s Page)

Nankivil, D., Cottaris, N. P., & Brainard, D. H. (2024). Theoretical impact of chromatic aberration correction on visual acuity.  Biomedical Optics Express, 15, 3265-3284, https://doi.org/10.1364/BOE.516049. Code and data associated with this paper: https://github.com/DavidBrainard/ISETBioJandJ.git.

Twomey, C. R., Brainard, D. H., Plotkin, J. B. (2024). Historical constraints on the evolution of color naming. PNAS, 121 (10) e2313603121, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2313603121.  Preprint available here: arXiv:2305.04345.  Story about this work in Penn Today.

Godat, T., Cottaris, N. P., Patterson, S., Kohout, K., Parkins, K., Yang, Q., Strazzeri, J. M., McGregor, J. E., Brainard, D. H., Merigan, W. H., Williams, D. R. (2022). In vivo physiology of foveal retinal ganglion cells in Macaca fascicularis. PLoS One, 17(11), e0278261, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0278261.

Singh, V., Burge, J., Brainard, D. H. (2022). Equivalent noise characterization of human lightness constancy. Journal of Vision, 22(5):2, doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.22.5.2.

Zhang, L., Cottaris, N. P., Brainard, D. H. (2022). An image reconstruction framework for characterizing early vision. eLife, 2022;11:e71132, https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.71132.

Barnett, M. A., Aguirre, G. K., Brainard, D. H. (2021). A quadratic model captures the human V1 response to variations in chromatic direction and contrast, eLife, 2021;10:e65590, https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.65590.

Cooper, R. F., Brainard, D. H., Morgan, J. I. W. (2020). Optoretinography of individual human cone photoreceptors. Optics Express, 28, 39326-39339, https://www.osapublishing.org/oe/fulltext.cfm?uri=oe-28-26-39326&id=444748.

McAdams, H., Kaiser, E. A., Igdalova, A., Haggerty, E. B.., Cucchiara, B., Brainard, D. H., Aguirre, G. K. (2020). Selective amplification of ipRGC signals accounts for interictal photophobia in migraine, PNAS, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2007402117Download PDF.

Pre-registered Experiments

A list of our preregistrations may be found here.