Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Blake, Randolph
Location Vanderbilt University
Primary Field Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
Secondary Field Systems Neuroscience
 Election Citation
Blake's influential work artfully blends psychophysics, comparative psychology, neural modeling and brain imaging to study important aspects of perception including binocular vision, motion perception, visual grouping, multisensory integration and synesthesia. Besides advancing our understanding of perception and its neural bases, his work bears on clinical conditions including autism and schizophrenia.
 Research Interests
Throughout his career, Randolph Blake has maintained an enduring interest in human visual perception and its neural concomitants. Together with lab members and colleagues, he has studied perception using complementary techniques including psychophysics, neural modeling and brain imaging. Early in his career, Blake published a series of papers on vision in the cat that established close links between cat spatial vision and anatomical and physiological properties of neurons within the cat's retina and brain. Blake's later work on human motion perception established clear links between binocular stereopsis and structure from motion, culminating in a neural model integrating these two aspects of 3D vision. More recently he has expanded that line of work to include studies in which psychophysical and brain imaging techniques are used to identify neural mechanisms involved in perception of biological motion (the term referring to the kinematic information uniquely specifying the identity and activity of humans and other animate creatures). Most notably, Blake has intensively studied human binocular vision, publishing empircal and theoretical papers on binocular summation, stereopsis and binocular rivalry. His Psychological Review paper on rivalry, a widely cited theoretical paper on that phenomenon, stimulated intense interest in rivalry within cognitive neuroscience and neurophysiology. Blake has also devised novel psychoanatomical strategies for identifying neural sites of action within human vision, and he now supplements those strategies with brain imaging techniques including fMRI. In collaboration with others, Blake has expanded the focus of his work to include studies of visual perception in individuals diagnosed with autism and with schizophrenia.

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