Colloquium Cognitive Systems

Color vision: from pixels to objects

Prof. Dr. Karl Gegenfurtner (Giessen University)


Abstract:  The study of color vision in humans has been a successful enterprise for more than 100 years. In particular, the establishment of colorimetry by the CIE in 1931 has brought forward tremendous advances in the study of color in business, science, and industry (Judd 1952). During the past 50 years, the processing of color information at the first stages of the visual system—in the cone photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells—has been detailed at unprecedented levels of accuracy. Has color vision been solved?

Bio: Karl Gegenfurtner studied Psychology at Regensburg University. Subsequently he obtained a Ph.D. degree from New York University, where he also spent his first PostDoc. In 1993 he moved to the Max-Planck-Institute for biological cybernetics in Tübingen, where he obtained his Habilitation in 1998 and a Heisenberg-Fellowship in the same year. In 2000 he moved to the University of Magdeburg and in 2001 to Giessen University, where he since then holds a full professorship for Psychology. The emphasis of Karl Gegenfurtner’s research is on information processing in the visual system. Specifically, he is concerned with the relationship between low level sensory processes, higher level visual cognition, and sensorimotor integration.
Karl Gegenfurtner is the head of the DFG Collaborative Research Center TRR 135 on the “Cardinal mechanisms of perception”. He was elected into the National Academy of Science Leopoldina in 2015, received the Wilhelm-Wundt medal of the German Psychological Association (DGPS) in 2016 and an ERC Advanced Grant on color vision in 2020.