Martin Banks, PhD

Professor of Optometry and Vision Science


Affiliate Professor of Psychology and Bioengineering

Research Interests

Visual space perception and sensory combination

My research involves three topics: (1) the use of motion and stereoscopic information to determine the spatial layout of the visible environment and one's motion through that environment, (2) the combination of information from more than one sense modality (e.g., vision and touch), (3) the construction and evaluation of devices for creating useful virtual environments (e.g., vision, vestibular, and touch). In all cases, we are particularly interested in determining how efficiently human observers utilize the available stimulus information while performing perceptual tasks and also in applying the results to emerging technologies such as virtual reality.


Vision Science 218. Binocular Vision and Space Perception


Perception of space, direction, and distance; binocular retinal correspondence, horopters, differential magnification effects, and anomalies of binocular vision development; sensory vision, local stereopsis, static and dynamic stereopsis, binocular depth cues.

Vision A (C290A): Quantitative, Perceptual, and Physiological Aspects


Basic material on the retina and visual pathways, psychophysical measurements, visual sensitivity, color vision, and the estimation of disparity and motion; introduction to front-end visual processing in mammalian visual system; basic optics, anatomy, and phsyiology of retina, lateral geniculate nucleus, and primary visual cortex; psychophysics of color, light, and dark adaptation, spatial contrast sensitivity, spatial resolution, spatiotemporal contrast sensitivity, motion, and disparity measurement; connections between psychophysics and physiology; relevant modeling techniques, such as linear systems, signal detection theory, and information theory will be introduced and applied; accompanying laboratory.

Vision B (C290B): Quantitative, Perceptual, and Physiological Aspects

Contributing Instructor

Basic material on inferring 3D from visual information, including disparity, motion, texture, shading, and occlusion; introduction to the psychophysics, physiology, and mathematical analysis underlying the inference of 3D scene properties from 2D retinal images; psychophysics of various cues to 3D shape and spatial layout, such as texture, contour, shading, stereopsis, and structure from motion; geometrical analysis of these cues; probabilistic theory for optimal combination of cues and estimation of scene properties; relevant physiology of V1, V2, V4, and higher areas; accompanying laboratory.


506 Minor Addition
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 642-9341