Joe Lappin

Education:  B.A., 1962, University of Cincinnati; Ph.D., 1966, University of Illinois, Experimental Psychology

Faculty Positions: Carnegie Institute of Technology, 1966-1968; Vanderbilt University, 1968-2005.  Co-founder and Senior Scientist, Discerning Technologies, LLC, 2010-2018.  Currently: Professor Emeritus & Research Professor, Vanderbilt University, Dept. of Psychology & Vanderbilt Vision Research Center.

Research Program:  My research program aims to identify the form and quantity of visually acquired information. The experimental and theoretical objectives are to identify optical patterns that carry information about the visual world and to measure perceptual resolution those patterns.  Specific research projects (> 100 publications) have investigated the structure and capacity of visual attention, the role of prior knowledge, motion perception, perception of surface shape from motion and stereopsis, perception of 3D space, visual resolution of coherent motion and binocular disparity, visual motion mechanisms, figure-ground segregation of moving patterns, peripheral motion perception in normal and low vision, and the speed of speed of responses to perceived information.  Theoretical principles that emerge from this research include (a) perceptual organization is based on the coherent phase structure of of dynamic retinal images; (b) this coherent phase structure constitutes high-resolution spatial information about the shapes of environmental surfaces; and (c) conscious perceptual awareness operates at a limited and quantifiable rate in parallel with other processes of vision and action.