John Robson is a vision scientist who has focused his career on how humans and other animals process visual information. This field has importance for understanding visual disorders and how visual perception can be exploited for use in effective communication. John’s pioneering methods have improved our understanding of visual processing.
His research includes measuring and analysing the ability of the eye to see sinusoidal gratings, which are repeating sequences of fuzzy dark and light bars. He proposed a new theory to suggest that the visual system contains a series of ‘filters’ that operate at the same time. John’s subsequent work further characterised these filters.
In collaboration with neuroscientist Denis Pelli, John devised a chart that is widely used in eye clinics to measure contrast sensitivity. He received the Friedenwald Award of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and the Tillyer Award of the Optical Society of America in 1996. John is currently a scientist at Cambridge Research Systems, a company that creates equipment for researching the function of the eye and brain.