Thomas Albright, professor and director of the Vision Center Laboratory, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Election to the Academy recognizes distinguished and continuing achievements in original research and is considered one of the highest honors accorded U.S. scientists.
Throughout his career, Albright has sought new avenues to identify how sensory signals in the brain become "integrated" to form neuronal representations of the objects that populate our visual environment and form our conscious experiences of the world. Albright provided the first systematic evidence that humans' perception of motion does not depend on the physical characteristics such as brightness, color or texture of the object that is moving, a feature known as "form cue invariance." He found that single neurons in a brain area specialized for processing motion exhibited robust formcue invariance, a discovery that came as a surprise at the time.