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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)

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, PDF.

Brainard, D. H. (2019). Color, pattern, and the retinal cone mosaic. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 30:41–47, Download PDF.

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. Preprint available at

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,

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.

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. Erratum: Biomed. Opt. Express, 2018, 9, 1842,

Pre-registered Experiments