Steven Shevell, Professor of Psychology and of Ophthalmology & Visual Science at the University of Chicago and a leading researcher in human vision specializing in color vision, has been elected President of the Vision Sciences Society.
He is the founding associate editor of the Journal of Vision, senior editor of Vision Research and the editor of the Optical Society of America’s most recent edition of The Science of Color.
The Vision Sciences Society (VSS) is an international organization devoted to understanding how people see. While the eye is an essential part of the visual system, many basic visual functions, such as depth perception, tracking a moving object, discriminating different shapes, or recognizing faces, depend on neural processes in the brain, researchers point out.
The Vision Sciences Society brings together scientists from a broad range of disciplines and experimental approaches to advance and integrate knowledge of the neural systems in eye and brain that give the sense of vision. The society’s annual meeting includes over 1,000 presentations of original research and attracts scientists from more than 35 countries.
“The unusual strength of VSS is the scope of both the interests and scientific methods that coalesce around seeing,” Shevell said.
The society includes physiologists who measure the responses of individual neurons, neuroscientists who track activity within different regions of the brain while people carry out visual tasks, psychologists who infer the characteristics of neural processes from perception and computational neuroscientists who construct models to understand interactions among millions of neurons.
“The society engenders a unique enthusiasm for integrating knowledge across a wide range of scientific disciplines,” Shevell added. “This spirit extends to even the annual keynote address. Instead of a lecture by one of the members, the society invites an expert in an allied field not represented at the meeting.”
Shevell joined the Chicago faculty in 1978, received an A.B. in Psychology and M.S. in Engineering from Stanford University in 1973; an M.A. in Statistics from the University of Michigan in 1975; and a Ph.D. in Psychology (mathematical psychology area) from the University of Michigan in 1977. He currently serves as chair of the Psychology Department’s graduate program in Integrative Neuroscience.