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Emeritus Faculty

Walt Makous

Walter Makous

  • Professor, Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Center for Visual Science

PhD, Brown University, 1964

wmakous@gmail.com

Office Hours: By appointment

Curriculum Vitae


Research Overview

Current research lies primarily in two disparate areas: (1) collaborations with others (e. g., David Williams and Daphne Bavelier) on visual processes, and (2) investigation into the relationship between science and the Judeo-Christian Bible.

Animated Demonstrations

Selected Publications

Adaptation and contrast gain control

  • Makous, W. (2009). Afterimage 986. In E. Bruce Goldstein, Encyclopedia of perception, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Fiser, J., Bex, P.J., & Makous, W.L. (2003). Contrast conservation in human vision. Vision Research, 43(25), 2637-2648. (PDF)
  • Makous, W.L. (1997). Fourier models and the loci of adaptation. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 14, 2323-2345. (PDF)
  • Yang, J., & Makous, W. (1997). Implicit masking constrained by spatial inhomogeneities. Vision Research, 37, 1917-1927.
  • MacLeod, D.I.A., Williams, D.R., & Makous, W. (1992). A visual nonlinearity fed by single cones. Vision Research, 32, 347-363.
  • Makous, W. (1990). Partitioning visual processes. Advances in Photoreception: Proceedings of a Symposium on Frontiers in Visual Science, pp. 78-102. Washington: National Academy Press.
  • Makous, W. (1987). Changes of illumination. Night Vision: Current Research and Future Directions, (pp. 57-75). Washington: National Academy Press.
  • Buck, S.L., Makous, W., & Piantanida, T. (1983). Background visibility and increment thresholds. Vision Research, 23, 1107-1113.
  • Clifton, L., & Makous, W. (1973). Iodate poisoning: Early effect on regeneration of rhodopsin and the ERG. Vision Research, 13, 919-924.
  • Wooten, B.R., & Makous, W. (1973). Test of Brindley's after-image hypothesis. Journal of the Optical Society of America, 63, 1268-1269.
  • Makous, W. (1965). Directional sensitivity in a compound eye (No. 65-2224): University Microfilms.

Binocular interactions

  • Makous, W., & Sanders, R.K. (1978). Suppressive interactions between fused patterns. In J.C. Armington, J. Krauskopf, & B.R. Wooten (Eds.), Visual Psychophysics and Physiology, (pp. 167-179). New York: Academic Press.
  • Makous, W., Teller, D., & Boothe, R. (1976). Binocular interaction in the dark. Vision Research, 16, 473-476.

Color

  • Makous, W. (2007). Comment on "Emergence of Novel Color Vision in Mice Engineered to Express a Human Cone Photopigment." Science, 318, 196b.
  • Makous, W., Carroll, J., Wolfing, J. I., Lin, J., Christie, N., & Williams, D. R. (2006). Retinal microscotomas revealed with adaptive-optics microflashes. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 47, 4160-4167.
  • Walkey, H.C., Barbur, J.L., Harlow, J.A., & Makous, W. (2001). Measurements of chromatic sensitivity in the mesopic range. Color Research and Application, 26, S36-S42.
  • Makous, W. (1966). Cutaneous color sensitivity: Explanation and demonstration. Psychological Review, 73, 280-294.

Complex and natural images

  • Fiser, J., Bex, P.J., & Makous, W.L. (2003). Contrast conservation in human vision. Vision Research, 43(25), 2637-2648. (PDF)
  • Bex, P.J., & Makous, W. (2002). Spatial frequency, phase and the contrast of natural images. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 19(6), 1096-1106.

Conditioned hypoglycemia

  • Porte, D., Jr., Robertson, R.P., Halter, J.B., Kulkosky, P.J., Makous, W., & Woods, S. (1977). Neuroendocrine recognition of glucose: The gluco-receptor hypothesis and the diabetic syndrome. In Y. Katsuki, M. Sato, S. Takagi, & Y. Oomura (Eds.), Food Intake and Chemical Senses, (pp. 331-342). Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.
  • Woods, S., Hutton, R., & Makous, W. (1970). Conditioned insulin secretion in the albino rat. Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine, 133, 964-968.
  • Hutton, R., Woods, S., & Makous, W. (1970). Conditioned hypoglycemia: Pseudoconditioning controls. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 71, 198-201.
  • Woods, S., Hutton, R., & Makous, W. (1969). A neural influence over insulin release demon-strated by conditioned hypoglycemia. Diabetes, 18, 376.
  • Woods, S., Makous, W., & Hutton, R. (1969). Temporal parameters of conditioned hypoglycemia. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 69, 301-307.
  • Woods, S., Makous, W., & Hutton, R. (1968). A new technique for conditioned hypoglycemia. Psychonomic Science, 10, 389-390.

Displays

  • Makous, W., Kelly, E. F., Miller, M. E., & Silverstein, L. D. (2007) Visual displays, In. T. Albin (Ed.), Human factors engineering of computer workstations, Document #: ANSI/HFES 100-2007. Santa Monica: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
  • Naiman, A., & Makous, W. (1993). Information transmission for sub-pixel edge positioning. Journal of the Society for Information Display, 1, 437-447.
  • Naiman, A., & Makous, W. (1992). Spatial non-linearities of grayscale CRT pixels. SPIE Proceedings: Human Vision, Visual Processing, and Digital Display III, 1666, 41-56.
  • Gould, J.D., & Makous, W. (1968). Vision and lasers: Human factors of laser displays. Information Display, 5, 25-30.

Horseshoe crab

  • Makous, W. (1969). Conditioning in the horseshoe crab. Psychonomic Science, 14, 4-6.
  • Makous, W. (1965). Directional sensitivity in a compound eye (No. 65-2224): University Microfilms.
  • Makous, W. (1964). Photoreception in the horseshoe crab : IBM Research Report RC-1305.

Information

  • Naiman, A., & Makous, W. (1993). Information transmission for sub-pixel edge positioning. Journal of the Society for Information Display, 1, 437-447.
  • Hunt, E., & Makous, W. (1969). Some characteristics of human information processing. Advances in Information Systems Sciences, 2, 283-335.

Lower senses

  • Makous, W. (1966). Cutaneous color sensitivity: Explanation and demonstration. Psychological Review, 73, 280-294.
  • Makous, W. (1966). Dermoptical perception. Science, 152, 1109.
  • Makous, W., Nord, S., Oakley, B., & Pfaffmann, C. (1963). The gustatory relay in the medulla. In Y. Zotterman (Ed.), Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Olfaction and Taste, pp. 381-393. NYC: Pergamon Press.

Methods

  • Makous, W. (1998). Optics. In R.H.S. Carpenter & J.G. Robson (Eds.), Vision Research: A Practical Guide to Laboratory Methods, pp. 1-49. Oxford (England): Oxford University Press.
  • Naiman, A., & Makous, W. (1992). Spatial non-linearities of grayscale CRT pixels. SPIE Proceedings: Human Vision, Visual Processing, and Digital Display III, 1666, 41-56.
  • Teller, D.Y., Mayer, D.L., Makous, W.L., & Allen, J.L. (1982). Do preferential looking techniques underestimate infant visual acuity? Vision Research, 22, 1017-1024.
  • Buck, S.L., & Makous, W. (1982). Calibrating Maxwellian-view optical systems. Journal of the Optical Society of America, 72, 960-962.
  • Makous, W. (1974). Optimal patterns for alignment. Applied Optics, 13, 659-664.
  • Makous, W. (1971). Visual and optical factors in wafer-to-mask alignment. IBM Research Report, RC-3515.
  • Gould, J.D., & Makous, W. (1968). Vision and lasers: Human factors of laser displays. Information Display, 5, 25-30.

Models and modeling

  • Carney, T., Klein, S.A., Beutter, B., Norcia, A., Chen, C.-C., Tyler, C.W., Makous, W., Watson, A., Cropper, S.J., Popple, A.V., Robertson, K., Manahilov, V., Simpson, B., & Wenzel, K. (2002). Extending the modelfest image/threshold database into the spatio-temporal domain. Proceedings of the SPIE: Human Vision and Electronic Imaging VII, 4662, 138-148.
  • Carney, T., Tyler, C.W., Watson, A.B., Makous, W., Beutter, B., Chen, C.-C., Norcia, A.M., & Klein, S.A. (2000). Modelfest: Year one results and plans for future years. Proceedings of the SPIE, 3959, 140-151.
  • Carney, T., Klein, S.A., Tyler, C.W., Silverstein, A.D., Beutter, B., Levi, D., Watson, A.B., Reeves, A.J., Norcia, A.M., Chen, C.-C., Makous, W., & Eckstein, M.P. (1999). The development of an image/threshold database for designing and testing human vision models. Proceedings of the SPIE, 3644, 542-51.
  • Makous, W.L. (1997). Fourier models and the loci of adaptation. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 14, 2323-2345. (PDF)
  • Yang, J., Qi, X., & Makous, W. (1995). Zero frequency masking and a model of contrast sensitivity. Vision Research, 35, 1965-1978.
  • Yang, J., & Makous, W. (1995). Modeling pedestal experiments with amplitude instead of contrast. Vision Research, 35, 1979-1989.
  • Yang, J., & Makous, W. (1994). Spatiotemporal separability in contrast sensitivity. Vision Research, 34, 2569-2575.
  • Naiman, A., & Makous, W. (1993). Undetected gray strips displace perceived edges nonlinearly. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 10, 794-803.

Motion

  • Rainville, S. J. M., Makous, W. L., & Scott-Samuel, N. E. (2005). Opponent-motion mechanisms are self-normalizing. Vision Research, 45(9), 1115-1127.
  • Rainville, S.J.M., Scott-Samuel, N.E., & Makous, W.L. (2002). The spatial properties of opponent-motion normalization. Vision Research, 42(14), 1727-1738.
  • Bex, P.J., Metha, A.B., & Makous, W. (1999). Enhanced motion aftereffect for complex motions. Vision Research, 39, 2229-38.
  • Bex, P.J., Metha, A.B., & Makous, W. (1998). Psychophysical evidence for a functional hierarchy of motion processing mechanisms. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 15, 769-776. (PDF)
  • Bex, P.J., & Makous, W. (1997). Radial motion looks faster. Vision Research, 37, 3399-3405.

Neuropharmacology

  • Lai, H., Makous, W., Horita, A., & Leung, H. (1979). Effects of ethanol on turnover and function of striatal dopamine. Psychopharmacology, 61, 1-9.
  • Lai, H., Quock, R.M., Makous, W., Horita, A., & Jen, L.S. (1978). Methylazoxymethanol acetate: Effect of postnatal injection on brain amines and behavior. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 8, 251-257.
  • Lai, H., Makous, W., Quock, R.M., & Horita, A. (1978). Visual deprivation affects serotonin levels in the visual system. Journal of Neurochemistry, 30, 1187-1189.
  • Porte, D., Jr., Robertson, R.P., Halter, J.B., Kulkosky, P.J., Makous, W., & Woods, S. (1977). Neuroendocrine recognition of glucose: The gluco-receptor hypothesis and the diabetic syndrome. In Y. Katsuki, M. Sato, S. Takagi, & Y. Oomura (Eds.), Food Intake and Chemical Senses, (pp. 331-342). Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.
  • Woods, S., Hutton, R., & Makous, W. (1970). Conditioned insulin secretion in the albino rat. Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine, 133, 964-968.

Nonlinearities and interferometry

  • DeVries, S., Qi, X., Smith, R., Makous, W., & Sterling, P. (2002). Electrical coupling between mammalian cones. Current Biology, 12, 1900-1907.
  • Chen, B., Makous, W., & Williams, D.R. (1993). Serial spatial filters in vision. Vision Research, 33, 413-27.
  • Naiman, A., & Makous, W. (1993). Undetected gray strips displace perceived edges nonlinearly. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 10, 794-803.
  • MacLeod, D.I.A., Williams, D.R., & Makous, W. (1992). A visual nonlinearity fed by single cones. Vision Research, 32, 347-363.
  • Makous, W. (1990). Partitioning visual processes, Advances in photoreception. Proceedings of a Symposium on Frontiers in Visual Science, pp. 78-102. Washington: National Academy Press.

Optics

  • Makous, W. (1998). Optics. In R.H.S. Carpenter & J.G. Robson (Eds.), Vision Research: A Practical Guide to Laboratory Methods, pp. 1-49. Oxford (England): Oxford University Press.
  • Chen, B., & Makous, W. (1989). Light capture by human cones. Journal of Physiology (London), 414, 89-109.
  • Buck, S.L., & Makous, W. (1982). Calibrating Maxwellian-view optical systems. Journal of the Optical Society of America, 72, 960-962.
  • Makous, W. (1974). Optimal patterns for alignment. Applied Optics, 13, 659-664.
  • Makous, W. (1971). Visual and optical factors in wafer-to-mask alignment. IBM Research Report, RC-3515.
  • Makous, W., & Gould, J.D. (1968). Effects of lasers on the human eye. IBM Journal of Research and Development, 12, 257-271.

Philosophy of science

  • Makous, W. (2000). Limits to our knowledge. Science, 287(5457), 1399.
  • Makous, W.L. (1997). Fourier models and the loci of adaptation. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 14, 2323-2345. (PDF)

Rods, cones, and their interactions

  • Makous, W. (2004). Scotopic vision. In J.S. Werner & L.M. Chalupa (Eds.), The Visual Neurosciences, pp. 838-850. Boston: MIT Press.
  • Buck, S.L., & Makous, W. (1981). Rod-cone interaction on large and small backgrounds. Vision Research, 21, 1181-1187.
  • Buck, S.L., Peeples, D.R., & Makous, W. (1979). Spatial patterns of rod-cone interaction. Vision Research, 19, 775-782.
  • Makous, W., & Peeples, D.R. (1979). Rod-cone interaction: Reconciliation with Flamant and Stiles. Vision Research, 19, 695-698.
  • Makous, W., & Boothe, R. (1974). Cones block signals from rods. Vision Research, 14, 285-294.

Sensitivity

  • Makous, W. (1990). Absolute sensitivity. In R.F. Hess & K. Nordby (Eds.), Night Vision: Basic, Clinical and Applied Aspects, pp. 146-176. Cambridge (England): Cambridge University Press.
  • Makous, W. (1987). Overview. Night Vision: Current Research and Future Directions, pp. 305-312. Washington: National Academy Press.
  • Pulos, E., & Makous, W. (1982). Changes of visual sensitivity caused by on- and off-transients. Vision Research, 22, 879-887.
  • Pulos, E., Raymond, J.E., & Makous, W. (1980). Transient sensitization by a contrast flash. Vision Research, 20, 281-288.
  • Makous, W. (1966). Cutaneous color sensitivity: Explanation and demonstration. Psychological Review, 73, 280-294.

Spatial vision

  • Li, R., Polat, U., Makous, W., and Bavelier, D. (2009) Enhancing the contrast sensitivity function through action video game training, Nature Neuroscience, 12, 549-51.
  • Makous, W., Carroll, J., Wolfing, J. I., Lin, J., Christie, N., & Williams, D. R. (2006). Retinal microscotomas revealed with adaptive-optics microflashes. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 47, 4160-4167.
  • Makous, W. (2003). Threshold and suprathreshold spatiotemporal contrast sensitivity. In R.G. Driggers (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Optical Engineering (pp. 2828-2850). New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.
  • Bex, P.J., & Makous, W. (2002). Spatial frequency, phase and the contrast of natural images. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 19(6), 1096-1106. (PDF)
  • DeVries, S., Qi, X., Smith, R., Makous, W., & Sterling, P. (2002). Electrical coupling between mammalian cones. Current Biology, 12, 1900-1907.
  • O'Brien, H.L., Tetewsky, S.J., Avery, L.M., Cushman, L.A., Makous, W., & J.Duffy, C. (2001). Visual mechanisms of spatial disorientation in Alzheimer's disease. Cerebral Cortex, 11, 1083-1092. (PDF)
  • Makous, W.L. (1997). Fourier models and the loci of adaptation. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 14, 2323-2345. (PDF)
  • Yang, J., & Makous, W. (1997). Implicit masking constrained by spatial inhomogeneities. Vision Research, 37, 1917-1927.
  • Yang, J., Qi, X., & Makous, W. (1995). Zero frequency masking and a model of contrast sensitivity. Vision Research, 35, 1965-1978.
  • Yang, J., & Makous, W. (1995). Modeling pedestal experiments with amplitude instead of contrast. Vision Research, 35, 1979-1989.
  • Yang, J., & Makous, W. (1994). Spatiotemporal separability in contrast sensitivity. Vision Research, 34, 2569-2575.
  • Naiman, A., & Makous, W. (1993). Undetected gray strips displace perceived edges nonlinearly. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 10, 794-803.
  • Chen, B., Makous, W., & Williams, D.R. (1993). Serial spatial filters in vision. Vision Research, 33, 413-27.
  • MacLeod, D.I.A., Williams, D.R., & Makous, W. (1992). A visual nonlinearity fed by single cones. Vision Research, 32, 347-363.
  • Buck, S.L., Makous, W., & Piantanida, T. (1983). Background visibility and increment thresholds. Vision Research, 23, 1107-1113.
  • Buck, S.L., & Makous, W. (1981). Rod-cone interaction on large and small backgrounds. Vision Research, 21, 1181-1187.
  • Buck, S.L., Peeples, D.R., & Makous, W. (1979). Spatial patterns of rod-cone interaction. Vision Research, 19, 775-782.
  • Makous, W. (1974). Optimal patterns for alignment. Applied Optics, 13, 659-664.

Stiles-Crawford effect

  • Chen, B., & Makous, W. (1989). Light capture by human cones. Journal of Physiology (London), 414, 89-109.
  • Makous, W. (1968). Transient Stiles-Crawford effect. Vision Research, 8, 1271-1284.
  • Makous, W. (1965). Directional sensitivity in a compound eye (No. 65-2224): University Microfilms.

Temporal vision

  • Makous, W. (2003). Threshold and suprathreshold spatiotemporal contrast sensitivity. In R.G. Driggers (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Optical Engineering (pp. 2828-2850). New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.
  • Makous, W.L. (1997). Fourier models and the loci of adaptation. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 14, 2323-2345. (PDF)
  • Mandler, M.B., & Makous, W. (1984). A three channel model of temporal frequency perception. Vision Research, 24, 1881-1887.
  • Pulos, E., & Makous, W. (1982). Changes of visual sensitivity caused by on- and off-transients. Vision Research, 22, 879-887.
  • Pulos, E., Raymond, J.E., & Makous, W. (1980). Transient sensitization by a contrast flash. Vision Research, 20, 281-288.
  • Makous, W. (1968). Transient Stiles-Crawford effect. Vision Research, 8, 1271-1284.

Research Support

This research was supported by the National Eye Institute continuously from 1968 to 2003.