Vision Science is an area of study that is based on facts and theories from a wide array of sources such as anatomy and physiology, physics and optics, cognitive neuroscience and psychology, and biochemistry and genetics. The study of Sensation and Perception is the oldest sub-discipline within Psychology and the visual system is one of the best worked out neurological systems in the body. Nonetheless, Vision Science remains a dynamic and growing area of interdisciplinary study. The Vision Sciences track within the department of Psychology encompasses this breadth and focus with faculty that concentrate on the sensory, perceptual, and cognitive aspects of the field. Our goal is to train students for careers in teaching, research and/or industry.

Core Vision Sciences Faculty:

Dr. James M. Brown studies visual perception, perceptual organization, and attention. Research in the Visual Perception Laboratory is aimed at trying to understand how we organize, perceive, and attend to our visual world. Our general research approach could be described as a combination of cognitive psychophysics and visual neuroscience. We use psychophysical methods to explore the relationship between the physical stimulus and what is perceived (i.e., cognitive psychophysics) while at the same time seeking to understand these perceptual experiences based on current knowledge about the neural machinery of the visual brain (i.e., visual neuroscience). An example of this approach includes recent studies of figure-ground perception from the perspective of activity within and between the dorsal and ventral visual streams. Other examples of topics of study include illusions, objects, and scenes. Recent collaborative research has expanded this approach to eye movement behavior.

Laboratory: Visual Perception Laboratory

 

Dr. Randy Hammond studies all aspects of the human visual system. This extends from basic studies of the cornea, lens and retina to applied studies of visual processing within the brain. A primary focus of his laboratory has been the investigation of how lifestyle, primarily dietary, influences both the development of degenerative disease and the normal function of the central nervous system. For example, psychophysical methods are used to measure the concentration of the dietary carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin within the fovea (termed macular pigment or the macula lutea) and have related those pigments to various aspects of retinal and brain function.

Laboratory: Vision Sciences Laboratory

 

Dr. Lisa Renzi-Hammond is adjunct faculty in the department and studies the ways in which visual function can serve as a biomarker for central nervous system health and function across the lifespan. She is faculty in the College of Public Health and retains strong ties to the UGA Psychology Department through both teaching activities and research collaboration.

Laboratory: Vision Sciences Laboratory