Martin Banks is a vision scientist known for his work on basic and applied aspects of biological vision. He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and grew up there and in the San Francisco Bay Area. He graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a Bachelor?s degree in Psychology. Upon graduation, he moved to Germany where he was a school teacher. He returned to the US to obtain a Master’s degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of California, San Diego and a PhD in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota. He joined the Psychology faculty at the University of Texas at Austin in 1976. He moved to the School of Optometry at the University of California, Berkeley in 1985. He has received the McCandless Award from the American Psychological Association, Koffka Medal from Giessen University, Prentice Award from the American Academy of Optometry, Schade Prize from the Society for Information Display, and Tillyer Award from the Optical Society of America. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Optical Society, and the American Academy of Optometry. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Martin Banks has been interested in basic and applied research on human visual development, visual space perception, multi-sensory integration, depth perception, and the development and evaluation of advanced displays. In development, he examined several aspects of infant vision including contrast sensitivity, visual acuity, visual preferences, and accommodation. In multi-sensory integration, he and his students investigated how sensory systems integrate information across the senses: e.g., from the eye and hand and from the eye and vestibular system. They showed that the integration is essentially statistically optimal, leading to more accurate and precise sensory estimates. In depth perception, he and his students have examined how binocular signals are integrated to produce fine depth discrimination, how binocular signals are combined to form a coherent single image, and how other signals (blur, occlusion, perspective) are combined with binocular signals to form depth percepts. He and his students have also worked with industry to determine specifications required to produce displays that enable high performance while maintaining visual comfort.

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Primary Section

Section 52: Psychological and Cognitive Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 28: Systems Neuroscience