2022 Ken Nakayama Medal for Excellence in Vision Science – Norma Graham

Monday, May 16, 2022, 12:30 – 1:45 pm EDT, Talk Room 2

The Vision Sciences Society is honored to present Norma Graham with the 2022 Ken Nakayama Medal for Excellence in Vision Science.

The Ken Nakayama Medal is in honor of Professor Ken Nakayama’s contributions to the Vision Sciences Society, as well as his innovations and excellence to the domain of vision sciences.

The winner of the Ken Nakayama Medal receives this honor for high-impact work that has made a lasting contribution in vision science in the broadest sense. The nature of this work can be fundamental, clinical or applied.

Norma Graham

Centennial Professor of Psychology, Columbia University

Dr. Graham is known for groundbreaking research integrating visual psychophysics, mathematical modeling and relating these to physiological measurements to uncover the workings of the early cortical stages of visual processing. Graham was an early and leading proponent of theories based on multiple spatial channels that have become the foundation of contemporary models of the early visual system. This work also involved the crystallization of the notion that probability summation across channels mediates stimulus detection, the idea that the observer’s knowledge of the stimulus is an important determinant of detection, and later that the outputs of early filters are combined in a non-linear fashion to mediate the perception of higher-order patterns such as textures. Graham’s seminal book “Vision Pattern Analyzers” integrated a vast body of empirical work within a rigorous computational framework that continues to inform the interpretation of psychophysical measurements and their relationship to underlying neural processes. Graham’s thinking in these areas has become so deeply ingrained in the conceptual toolkit of modern vision science that it has in many cases transcended the need for citation.

Norma Graham completed her B.S. in Mathematics at Stanford University in 1966 and her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1970. Following her Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Rockefeller University between 1970 and 1972. Norma then joined the faculty of Psychology at Columbia University, where she has been the William B. Ransford Professor of Psychology (2009-2012) and the Centennial Professor of Psychology (2013-present). Graham was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1998, to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1993 and to the Society of Experimental Psychologists in 1983. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, of the Optical Society of America (now Optica) and of the American Psychological Association.

Breaking the visual stimulus into parts …and then?

Dr. Graham will speak during the Awards session.