Department Chair:  Ilan Benjamin Department Manager:  Derek DeMarco
Graduate Adviser: Karen Meece Administrative Assistant: Katie Cramton
Undergraduate Adviser:  Marla Hesselink Undergraduate Adviser: Rexton Lynn
Instructional Lab Manager:  Lori Etow
Department Office:  (831) 459-4002 Adminstrative Office:  PSB, Room 230
Eugene Switkes

Summary of Expertise

Quantum theory applied to problems in chemistry and biochemistry; visual information processing, spatial vision, color vision

Research Interests

Eugene Switkes is a theoretical chemist working in two diverse research areas: applications of basic quantum mechanical theory to problems in organic chemistry and biochemistry, and information processing by the visual system.

His current work in chemistry includes theoretical calculations of the electronic structure of large molecules and formal characterization of nonlinear systems. His research in the area of vision involves experminental and modeling studies of how the human visual system process spatial and chromatic information.
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He received UCSC's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1986, the Excellence in Teaching Award from Phi Beta Kappa's Northern California Association in 1983, and the UCSC Committee on Teaching Excellence in Teaching Award in 2003. Switkes is also a member of the Vision Sciences group at UC Berkeley.

Current research areas:
In the human visual system, both chromatic and spatial information are processed by multiple, multi-stage, mechanisms. In addition, patterns defined by color and luminance are, at some levels, processed by differing mechanisms. Switkes's recent research investigates the nature of spatial and chromatic visual processing and the segregation and integration of information across stages and among mechanisms selective for various chromatic dimensions.

Biography, Education and Training

B.A., Oberlin College
Ph.D., Harvard University
Post-Doctoral, Edinburgh University, Cambridge University

Selected Publications

  • E. Switkes "Contrast salience across three-dimensional chromoluminance space" Vision Res 48, 1812-1819 (2008).
  • J. A. Wilson and E. Switkes. "Integration of differing chromaticities in early and midlevel spatial vision", J. Opt. Soc. Am. A, 22, 2161-2181, 2005.
  • J.A. Wilson, E. Switkes, and R. L. DeValois, "Glass pattern studies of local and global processing of contrast variations", Vision Res 44, 2629-2641, 2004.
  • E. Switkes and M. A. Crognale, "Comparison of Color and Luminance Contrast, Apples vs. Oranges?" Vision Res 39, 1823-1831, 1999.
  • M. E. Schneck, B. Fortune, E. Switkes, M. Crognale, and H.J. Adams, "Acute Effects of Blood Glucose on Chromatic Visually Evoked Potentials in Persons with Diabetes and in Normal Persons," Invest. Ophthalmol. and Vis. Science 38, 800-810, 1997.
  • M. A. Crognale, E. Switkes, and A. J. Adams, "Temporal Response Characteristics of the Spatiochromatic Visually Evoked Potentials: Non-Linearities and Departures from Psychophysics," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 10, 1-13, 1997.
  • R. L. De Valois, K. K. De Valois, E. Switkes, and L. Mahon, "Hue Scaling of Isoluminant and Cone-specific Lights," Vision Res. 37 885-897, 1997.
  • J. Rabin, E. Switkes, M. A. Crognale, M. E. Schneck, and A. J. Adams, "Visual Evoked Potentials in Three-Dimensional Color Space: Correlates of Spatio-Chromatic Processing," Vis. Res. 34, 2657, 1994.
  • M. A. Crognale, E. Switkes, J. Rabin, M. E. Schneck, G. Haegerstršm-Portnoy, and A. J. Adams, "Application of the Spatiochromatic Visual Evoked Potential to Detection of Congenital and Acquired Color-Vision Deficiencies," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A10, 1818, 1993.
  • M. A. Crognale, J. Rabin, E. Switkes, and A. J. Adams, "Selective Loss of S-pathway Sensitivity in Central Serous Choroidopathy Revealed by Spatio-chromatic Evoked Cortical Potentials (VECP)," in Colour Vision Deficiencies XI: Proceedings of the Eleventh Symposium of the International Research Group on Colour Vision Deficiencies, ed. by B. Drum (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 1993), p. 229.

Teaching Interests

general chemistry
quantum chemistry
neuroscience of vision