VSS Board Candidates

Election to the VSS Board of Directors

Two positions on the Board of Directors are to be filled by this election. Bill Geisler is the only Board member stepping down this year.  

Each newly elected Director will serve a 4-year term on the VSS Board of Directors. Responsibilities of the Board include scheduling the Annual Meeting, implementing and monitoring VSS policies and budget, fundraising, and other VSS-related activities.  

The four candidates were selected by an independent Nominating Committee from all the candidates nominated by VSS members.

Log in to cast your vote. Voting will close on April 26, 2010 (11:59 pm latest time zone on earth). See below for a list of the current board members.

Candidates for Position One

Miguel Eckstein

University of California, Santa Barbara, US

Miguel Eckstein is a Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He arrived from Buenos Aires in 1987 and on his first day in California somehow managed to get all his belongings stolen from the back of the super shuttle on the way from San Francisco airport to Berkeley. Things have looked a little brighter since then. He earned a BS in Physics and Psychology at UC Berkeley and a PhD in Psychology at UCLA. He then worked at the Department of Medical Physics and Imaging, Cedars Sinai Medical Center and with the infamous NASA Ames Vision group before joining UC Santa Barbara as a faculty member in 2000.

Intellectually raised on spatial vision, motion energy models and reading Barlow and Tanner, he is best known for his work on visual search, attention, eye movements, perceptual learning, spatial vision and medical image perception. His work has been recognized through a number of awards including the Optical Society of America Young Investigator Award, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and the National Academy of Sciences, Troland Award.  He has served as a chair of the Optical Society/Fall Vision Meeting, the International Workshop on Visual Attention, on program committees of the SPIE Human Vision & Electronic Imaging Conference and the European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP), and as a member on National Institute of Health study section panels for over 8 years. He is currently on the editorial board of Journal of Vision, the Vision Editor of the Journal of the Optical Society of America A, and Vice-director of UC Santa Barbara's Sage Center for the Study of the Mind.

Website and CV: http://www.psych.ucsb.edu/people/faculty/eckstein/index.php

Jeff Schall

Vanderbilt University, US

Jeff Schall is the E. Bronson Ingram Professor of Neuroscience at Vanderbilt University.  He earned his Ph.D. in 1986 from the University of Utah and completed postdoctoral training in the Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences at MIT.  Schall's current research, supported by grants from the National Eye Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, focuses on how the visual system guides and controls eye movements.  His research accomplishments have been recognized by awards from the Alfred P. Sloan foundation, the James S. McDonnell foundation and the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience.  In 1998 Schall received the Troland Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences.  He is a fellow of the Association of Psychological Science.

In administrative and service roles, Schall has directed the Vanderbilt Vision Research Center for over 10 years, serving as PI of the NEI Core grant and NEI Training grant.  He has also directed the Vanderbilt Center for Integrative & Cognitive Neuroscience.  Schall has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Neurophysiology, Journal of Neuroscience and is on the Advisory Board for Faculty of 1000 Biology Reports.  He served on the Central Visual Processing Study Section from 2005-2009, chairing it for two years.  In 2003 he served on the Advisory Panel for the 5 year Strategic Plan for Strabismus, Amblyopia and Visual Processing, National Eye Institute and has served on the VSS Abstract Review Committee since 2001.

Website and CV: http://www.psy.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/schall/

Candidates for Position Two

Peter Thompson

University of York, UK

Peter Thompson is senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of York.  He received his PhD (on the perception of motion) from the University of Cambridge in 1976.  He then moved to the University of Pennsylvania to work with Jack Nachmias, supported by a Harkness Fellowship until he took up a lectureship at York in 1978.  In 1990, supported as a Senior Research Associate by the National Research Council, he worked in the vision group at NASA�s Ames Research Center.  Thompson is an Executive Editor of the journal Perception and i-Perception, its on-line sister journal launched this year.  He has attended every VSS meeting and was an early supporter of �Demo night� which was sponsored by his viperlib website.  In 2006 he was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the UK Higher Education Academy. He is author (with Tom Troscianko and Bob Snowden) of the acclaimed textbook �Basic Vision�.

Although his main interest is in motion perception, Thompson achieved some notoriety with the �Margaret Thatcher illusion�.  He has along standing interest in aftereffects and illusions and was the Master of Ceremonies at last year�s �Best illusion of the Year Contest� at VSS. A contest that this year he intends to win.

Website and CV: http://www-users.york.ac.uk/~pt2/html/cv.html


Frans Verstraten

University of Utrecht, The Netherlands

Frans Verstraten studied Experimental Psychology in Nijmegen (Netherlands) and Trieste (Italy). He received his PhD from Utrecht University in 1994. Subsequently he enjoyed post-doctoral life in the Vision Research Unit at McGill, the Vision Sciences Lab at Harvard, and the Human Information Processing labs of ATR in Japan. After a visiting professorship at the University of Toronto, he took up the chair of Experimental Psychology at Utrecht University in 2000. From 2001 to 2010 he was the head of the Experimental Psychology division. In the mean time, he also was the coordinator of the organizing committee of the successful European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP) 2008 in Utrecht. Currently he serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Helmholtz Institute. Frans is mostly known for his work on motion perception, adaptation, attention and binocular vision. He was 3 times the recipient of the teacher of the year award in Psychology at Utrecht University.

He is member of the editorial boards of (i-)Perception, Psychological Science, and Frontiers in Perception Science. Frans is also known for bringing science to the general audience: He is a frequent guest in scientific programs on national TV and has columns in national newspapers and journals.

His way of life: Life is what you make it; work hard, but don�t forget to celebrate!

Website and CV:


Current Board of Directors

The names, term-end dates and areas of expertise are listed below (terms end immediately after the VSS meeting of the year listed).

Board Member

Term Ends


Marisa Carrasco


Visual attention, visual search, perceptual learning, spatial vision; psychophysics and neuroimaging

Barbara Dosher


Visual memory, visual attention, perceptual learning; psychophysics and computational modeling

Karl Gegenfurtner


Color vision, eye movements, perception and action, natural scenes, visual cognition; psychophysics and computational modeling 

Wilson Geisler


Spatial vision; natural scenes; visual search; psychophysics and computational modeling

Zoe Kourtzi


Shape processing, object recognition, perceptual learning, brain imaging

Pascal Mamassian


3D perception; binocular vision; motion; ambiguous and rivalrous perception; multisensory perception; perception and action; psychophysics and computational modeling

Tony Movshon


Neural mechanisms; motion perception; spatial vision; visual development; neurophysiology, psychophysics, animal behavior