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Fellows Directory

John Mollon

John Mollon

Professor John Mollon FRS


Elected: 1999


John Mollon combines psychophysical and neurobiological techniques to uncover how individuals perceive colour. His studies have demonstrated that the eye — and how it reacts to light — has evolved in relation to environmental stimuli, and that some species develop specialist visual abilities to help them survive.

He tests the sensory responses of individuals to visual stimuli, comparing these responses with genetic and microscopic structural studies of the eye across various species in order to distinguish variations within specific environments. Consequently, John’s work is unveiling how we see colour, motion, form and depth.

John was the principal developer of the Cambridge Colour Test, which enables screening for colour deficiencies in vision, more commonly known as colour blindness. He also supervised the collection of the Cambridge database of natural spectra, which stores colour information from rainforest fruits and leaves so that scientists can easily model and compare the visual responses of human and animals to standard biological targets.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences
    • Experimental psychology
  • Other
    • History of science
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