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Karen Dobkins

Karen Dobkins

Department of Psychology

Contact Information

Phone: 858.534.5434

McGill Hall, Room 5117

Mailing Address:
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive #0109
La Jolla, CA 92093

Lab Website

Our primary research goal is to understand visual perception in terms of underlying neural mechanisms, with an emphasis on development and plasticity of visual perception. As a means of exploring the link between neural function and visual perception, we focus particularly on visual motion and color perception.

  • Development of Visual Perception.

This line of study involves conducting visual psychophysical experiments in both infants and adults, in order to understand how the developing perceptual system changes with time and experience, and how underlying neural mechanisms can account for the changes. In particular, we focus on the development of motion and color processing, which we investigate using behavioral techniques specially designed for infants (e.g., “Forced-Choice Preferential Looking” and “Directional Eye Movement Assessment”). These projects are supported by a 5-year NIH grant awarded to K. Dobkins.

Dobkins KR, Anderson CM & Lia B (1999). Infant temporal contrast sensitivity functions (tCSFs) mature earlier for luminance than for chromatic stimuli: Evidence for precocious magnocellular development? Vision Research, 39(19), 3223-3239.

Dobkins KR & Anderson CM (2002). Color-based motion processing is stronger in infants than in adults. Psychological Science, 13, 75 – 79.

Bosworth RG & Dobkins KR (1999). Left hemisphere dominance for motion processing in deaf signers. Psychological Science, 10 (3): 256-262.

Finney, E., Fine, I & Dobkins, KR (2001). Visual stimuli activate auditory cortex in the deaf. Nature Neuroscience, 4(12), 1171 - 1173.

Bosworth RG Wright CE, Bartlett MS, Corina DP, & Dobkins KR (2002). Characterization of the visual properties of spatial frequency and speed in ASL signs. TISLR Proceedings, Signum Press (in press).

Thiele A, Dobkins KR & Albright TD (2001). Neural correlates of chromatic motion processing. Neuron, 32, 1-20.

Dobkins, KR (2000). Moving Colors in the Lime Light. Neuron, 25, 15-18.

Thiele A, Rezec A and Dobkins KR (2002). Chromatic input to motion processing in the absence of attention. Vision Research, 42, 11, 1395- 1401.

Gunther KL & Dobkins KR (2002). Individual differences in chromatic (red/green) contrast sensitivity are constrained by the relative number of L- and M- cones in the eye. Vision Research, 42, 11, 1367-1378.