This event is a collaboration between the School of Health Sciences and the School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering in honour of Janet and Peter Wolf.
In this talk John S. Werner will explore the art and science of colour vision across the life span in the form of a biography; the biography of the eye of Claude Monet and that of his fellow Impressionists. Neural pathways subserving colour vision change continuously throughout life. Concurrently, the lens loses its transparency; it becomes brown, thereby decreasing portions of the short-wave spectrum reaching the retina. It is often thought that colour perception will be altered owing to brunescence of the aging lens. This expectation is reasonable, but wrong. Instead, colour perception is relatively stable (save for cataract) due to active processes of renormalization of colour mechanisms across the life span.
About the speaker:
John S. Werner is an American scientist who studies human vision and its changes across the life span. He is a Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Davis in the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science, and Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behaviour.
His research is concerned with the transformations of signals, quantified psychophysically, from photoreceptors to postreceptoral processes, and colour perception. This work demonstrates changes in sensitivity of all three cone pathways from infancy to old age. His laboratory has also developed methods for imaging the living human retina in three dimensions, studies of diseases of the retina and for quantifying functional responses of the retina and choroid. He has made important discoveries demonstrating that despite large changes in early stages of processing over the life span, colour appearance is relatively stable, implying mechanisms of compensation, presumed to occur in cortex.
John Werner has taught a variety of courses from introductory psychology to more advanced vision science courses for undergraduates, graduate students and medical residents. He has mentored PhD students at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the University of California, Davis, who now hold tenured positions in Asia, Europe, and North America. Werner has been a visiting professor at the University of Freiburg, University of Potsdam, University of Regensburg and University College London.
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