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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Paper co-authored by Pitt-Bradford professor published in vision journal

PAPER CO-AUTHORED BY PITT-BRADFORD PROFESSOR
PUBLISHED IN VISION JOURNAL


BRADFORD, Pa. – A paper co-authored by Dr. David Merwine, program director and assistant professor of biology at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, has been published in the Journal of Vision.

The paper, titled “Dependence of the retinal ganglion cell’s responses on local textures of natural scenes,” describes experiments that investigate how the eye responds to images encountered in nature.

Traditionally, vision has been studied using non-natural stimuli, such as flashing spots, because they are easy to understand and manipulate. However, natural images have complex characteristics that could influence retinal responses. The paper describes cell responses to real-world stimuli, particularly those with local intensity variations or visual texture.

“Perhaps the most interesting thing about this study is that the results were predictable, but after decades of research, nobody had predicted them,” Merwine said.

The work was performed in collaboration with researchers at the University of Southern California.

Merwine came to Pitt-Bradford in 2007 from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California, where he was a research assistant professor. Prior to that, he was a research associate at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco. He earned his doctorate in physiological optics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he was a graduate fellow.

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