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The International Colour Vision Society (ICVS) is pleased to announce that the 2015 Verriest Medal will be awarded to Professor John S. Werner at this symposium. This award was established in 1991 in memory of the founding member of the Society, Dr. Guy Verriest, and honors outstanding contributions in the field of color vision.

2015 Verriest Medalist - John S. Werner

Professor Werner received his Ph.D. from Brown University under the supervision of Professor Billy Wooten in the Walter S. Hunter Laboratory of Psychology. He conducted postdoctoral research with Professor Jan Walraven at the Institute for Perception - TNO in Soesterberg, The Netherlands. He was a member of the Psychology faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder and is presently a Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of California Davis where also holds appointments in Vision Science, and Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior.

An active member of ICVS and of it predecessor, IRGCVD, he is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Psychological Association, American Psychological Society, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the Gerontological Society of America and the Optical Society of America. He received the Pisart Vision Award from Lighthouse International and he presented the University of Colorado, Boulder distinguished research lecture and the Optical Society of America Robert M. Boynton lecture.

He has made important contributions to our knowledge of the development and aging of color mechanisms using psychophysics, VEP's and most recently optical imaging techniques, OCT and adaptive optics. He has contributed to our understanding of the processes of aging in perception particularly as they relate to plasticity and potential clinical applications. Throughout his career he has maintained an active interest in opponent color mechanisms, color in art and color illusions.

A generation of vision scientists has enjoyed the benefits of reading the many books he has coedited. These include, Visual Perception: The Neurophysiological Foundations, Color Vision: Perspectives from Different Disciplines, The Visual Neurosciences , and The New Visual Neurosciences, which like Professor Werner's own research have brought together discoveries from anatomy, physiology and psychophysics to illuminate fundamental mechanisms underlying human perception.

July 4th (Sat) 17:15-18:30 Verriest Lecture

Surprising Observations about Aging Human S-Cone Pathways

Abstract: It is widely believed that the structural and functional declines in S-cone pathways associated with normal aging are more rapid than those for M- and L-cone pathways. This would explain celebrated results by Verriest and others demonstrating that the largest age-related color discrimination losses occur for stimuli on a tritan axis. Here, we challenge convention, arguing from functional and preliminary structural data that selective S-cone losses do not cause declines in color discrimination. We show substantial declines in chromatic detection and discrimination, as well as in temporal and spatial vision tasks, that are mediated by S-cone pathways. These functional losses are not, however, unique to S-cone pathways. Finally, despite reduced photon capture by S-cones, made worse by lenticular senescence, S-cone pathways provide essential signals for the visual system to renormalize itself, slowly and possibly cortically, to maintain nearly stable color perception across the life span.

Verriest Medalists

  • 2013. Françoise Viénot
  • 2011. Steven K. Shevell
  • 2009. Gerald H. Jacobs
  • 2007. Barry B. Lee
  • 2005. John Mollon
  • 2003. André Roth
  • 2001. Donald I. Macleod
  • 1999. John Krauskopf
  • 1997. Jack Moreland
  • 1995. Vivianne C. Smith and Joel Pokorny
  • 1993. Marrion Marré
  • 1991. Harry Sperling

© ICVS 2015 Organizing Committee, 2014. All Rights Reserved.