Perceptual Neuroscience Laboratory

Qasim Zaidi, PhD

SUNY Distinguished Professor

Qasim Zaidi


Ph.D., 1984
Behavioral Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.  (Color vision, Behavioral decision theory)

B.S., 1973
Mathematics, Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi, Ankara, Turkey. (Probabilty, Measure theory)

Curriculum Vitae

Graduate Center for Vision Research, 
SUNY College of Optometry
33 West 42nd Street New York, NY 10036
Phone: +1 212 938-5542; Lab: +1 212 938-5756; 
Fax: +1 212 938-5537

Research Interests

I went to college to study economics, but shifted to mathematics (probability and measure theory).   In graduate school at the University of Chicago I did research on the retinal and pre-retinal processes of color vision, and in my post-doc at Bell Labs I worked on cortical mechanisms of color induction. Since then my interests have shifted to the cues and strategies used in visual inferences, and to neural decoding problems. At present, I have two main research projects each funded by an NEI grant. The first concerns the perception of three-dimensional shapes, and includes work on heuristics, prior assumptions, and the physical information contained in contour, texture and motion cues. The second concerns color perception in natural settings, and includes work on heuristics-based algorithms for color constancy, and on the geometrical structure of color representation. I also work on motion perception in complex configurations.

Teaching Interests

A good deal of my teaching has been on the neural analysis of psychological issues. At Columbia University I used to teach an undergraduate lecture class on the neural mechanisms of perception, learning, memory and motor control. I have taught graduate seminars on computational approaches to visual perception, both at Columbia and at SUNY. Lately, I have been thinking about putting a class together on visual imagination. I have been reading intensely about, and collecting case studies on, successful uses of visual (geometric) imagination to solve mathematical and scientific problems.