Vision Science

University of California, Berkeley

Overview

Vision is one of the most valuable sensory modalities. It is also the source of a rich array of research questions relating to how we see, how and why vision fails, and what can be done about it. Investigators in Vision Science conduct human and animal research and modeling, yielding cutting-edge discoveries and applications in disciplines that include molecular genetics, clinical care, adaptive optics, neurobiology, cell biology, infectious disease, bioengineering, perception, and public health.

This PhD program emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of vision science research through broad exposure to the basic concepts and techniques used in specialized fields. Engaged in both laboratory-based and clinical research, our students are working with faculty advisers whose research matches their own interests. Current research topics include Biomedical Optics, Perception and Visual Cognition, Molecular and Cell Biology, Neuroscience, Computational Vision, Genetics, Immunology, Microbiology, and Clinical Science.

Vision Science alumni are represented on the faculty of world-class universities — in medical schools, schools of optometry, and a wide range of other disciplines spanning psychology, physiology, bioengineering, and ophthalmology. Many others hold research positions in private institutes and federally sponsored agencies, including NASA and the NIH. Even more can be found in the research and development divisions of industry. Ophthalmic and biotechnology companies are among the major recruiters of our graduates.

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, we accept students with various backgrounds including psychology, optometry, engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry, biophysics, neuroscience, mathematics, molecular and cell biology, and integrative biology. Because this program is designed to develop research scientists, it is also important that applicants are familiar with an experimental lab setting.

Undergraduate Program

There is no undergraduate program in Vision Science.

Graduate Program

Vision Science: PhD

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Courses

Vision Science

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

Martin S. Banks, Professor. Stereopsis, virtual reality, optometry, multisensory interactions, self-motion perception, vision, depth perception, displays, picture perception, visual ergonomics.
Research Profile

Lisa F. Barcellos, Associate Professor. Public health, genetic epidemiology, human genetics, autoimmune diseases, multiple schlerosis, lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, epigenetics, genomics, computational biology.
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Sonia Bishop, Professor.

Lu Chen, Professor. Corneal Inflammation, Lymph/Blood Vascular Biology, Immunology, Transplantation.
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Susana Chung, Professor. Optometry, low vision, vision science, pattern vision, reading.
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Yang Dan, Professor. Neuronal circuits, mammalian visual system, electrophysiological, psychophysical and computational techniques, visual cortical circuits, visual neurons.
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John Flanagan, Professor. Glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, neurscience and neurobiology.
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John Flannery, Professor. Neurobiology, optometry, vision science, cell and molecular biology of the retina in normal and diseased states.
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Suzanne Fleiszig, Professor. Immunology, eye, microbiology, infectious disease, corneal physiology, tear film physiology, bacterial pathogenesis, contact lenses, pseudomonas aeruginosa, epithelial cell biology, innate immunity.
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Jack L. Gallant, Professor. Vision science, form vision, attention, fMRI, computational neuroscience, natural scene perception, brain encoding, brain decoding.
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Xiaohua Gong, Professor. Optometry, vision science, eye development and diseases, lens development.
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Karsten Gronert, Professor. Inflammatory diseases, innate immune responses, lipid mediators, lipidomics, leukocytes, inflammatory resolution, eicosanoids, fish oils, omega-3 PUFA, Dry Eye, Keratitis, wound healing, lipxoygenase, cycloooxygenase, resolution pharmacology.
Research Profile

Na Ji, Associate Professor. Physics, molecular and cell biology.

Stanley A. Klein, Professor. Optometry, vision science, spatial vision modeling, psychophysical methods and vision test design, corneal topography and contact lens design, source localization of evoked potentials, fMRI, amblyopia.
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Richard H. Kramer, Professor. Cells, synaptic transmission, chemical signaling between neurons, ion channels, electrical signals, chemical reagents, synapses.
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Dennis Levi, Professor. Optometry, vision science, pattern vision, abnormal visual development.
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Meng Lin, Associate Professor. Contact lenses, vision, clinical trials (phase I - Phase IV), clinical trial designs, tear film, biomedical devices, ocular surface.
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Maria Liu, Assistant Professor. Epidemiology, optometry, vision science, myopia, refractive errors, accommodation, eye growth, contact lens, optical myopia control, pharmacological myopia control, aberration, bifocal, emmetropization, multifocal, orthokeratology, pediatric vision exam, RGP, clinical trials.
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Jitendra Malik, Professor. Artificial Intelligence (AI); Biosystems & Computational Biology (BIO); Control, Intelligent Systems, and Robotics (CIR); Graphics (GR); Human-Computer Interaction (HCI); Signal Processing (SP).
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Nancy McNamara, Associate Professor. Pathogenesis of autoimmune-mediated eye disease, Sjögren’s International Collaborative Clinical Alliance (SICCA).
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James O'Brien, Professor. Computer graphics, fluid dynamics, computer simulation, physically based animation, finite element simulation, human perception, image forensics, video forensics, computer animation, special effects for film, video game technology, motion capture.
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Bruno Olshausen, Professor. Visual perception, computational neuroscience, computational vision.
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Deborah A. Orel-Bixler, Professor. Optometry, vision science, visual abilities in infants, children and special-needs population, visual evoked potentials, vision screening, photorefraction.
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Teresa Puthussery, Assistant Professor. Retinal Neurobiology and Neurophysiology.
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+ Clayton J. Radke, Professor. Surface and colloid science technology.
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Austin John Roorda, Professor. Adaptive optics, eye, vision, ophthalmoscopy, scanning laser ophthalmoscope, ophthalmology.
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Michael Silver, Associate Professor. Cognitive neuroscience, pharmacology, learning, attention, visual perception, neuroimaging.
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W. Rowland Taylor, Professor. Retinal circuit function, neural architecture, immunohisochemical studies.
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Wayne Verdon, Professor. Optometry, clinical electrophysiology, color vision.
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David Whitney, Professor. Cognitive neuroscience, cognition, attention, visual perception, vision, visually guided action.
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Christine Wildsoet, Professor. Optometry, vision science, myopia, refractive errors, accommodation, aberrations, eye growth, ocular therapeutics, optical myopia control, pharmacological myopia control, ocular tissue engineering, ocular stem cells.
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Emeritus Faculty

Anthony J. Adams, Professor Emeritus. Vision in diabetes, retinal function.
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Ian L. Bailey, Professor Emeritus. Low vision, visual ergonomics, clinical optics, optometry.
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Ralph D. Freeman, Professor Emeritus. Vision science, organization of central visual pathways.
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Robert B. Mandell, Professor Emeritus. Contact lenses, structure, growth, and physiology of the cornea.
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Kenneth A. Polse, Professor Emeritus. Optometry, vision science, tear mixing, epithelial barrier function, contact lens extended wear.
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Lynn C. Robertson, Professor Emeritus. Cognitive neuroscience, attention, psychology, representations of objects and space, visual search, binding mechanisms, perceptual organization in normal and neurological populations, functional hemisphere asymmetries, spatial deficits.
Research Profile

Clifton M. Schor, Professor Emeritus. Stereopsis, optometry, vision science, binocular vision, ocular motility, strabismus, accommodation, presbyopia.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Student Services

Admissions and Student Affairs Office

380 Minor Hall

Phone: 510-642-9537

ccaloud@berkeley.edu

Program Chair

Karsten Gronert, PhD

594 Minor Hall

Phone: 510-642-1076

kgronert@berkeley.edu

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