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Billy R. Wooten Professor Emeritus of Psychology

Dr. Wooten received his PhD in Psychology from Brown University in 1970. His postdoctoral training was
as a Research Fellow at Harvard in the Department of Biology from 1970-72 and the Department of Ophthalmology
in 1972. He came to Brown in 1973 and has been Professor of Psychology since 1985. He served as Chair of the
Psychology Department from 1994-99.

Research Areas

scholarly work

Hammond, B.R., Wooten,. B.R. and Smollon, W. (2006). Assessment of the validity of in vivo methods of measuring human macular pigment optical density: Response to Gellerman and Bernstein. Optometry and Vision Science. 83 (4), 256-259.

Hammond, B.R., Wooten, B.R. and Smollon, B. (2005). Assessment of the Validity of in Vivo Methods of Measuring Human Macular Pigment Optical Density. Optometry and Vision Science, 82(5), 387-404.

Wooten, B.R., Hammond, B.R. and Smollon, B. (2005). Assessment of the validity of heterochromatic flicker photometry for measuring macular pigment optical density in normal subjects. Optometry and Vision Science. 82 (5), 378-386.

Hammond, B.R., and Wooten, B.R. (2005) Resonance Raman spectroscopic measurement of carotenoids in the skin and retina. Journal of Biomedical Optics. 10(5), 054002-054014.

Hammond, B.R. and Wooten, B.R. (2004). Validity issues with the in vivo measurement of skin carotenoids using Raman spectroscopy. Investigative Dermatology, 122, 544-546.

Hammond, B.R., and Wooten, B.R. (2003). Noninvasive assessment of the macular carotenoids. In Ciulla, T.A., Regillo, C.D. and Harris A. (Eds.). Retina and Optic Nerve Imaging. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Delaware, 231-43.

Wooten, B.R. and Hammond, B.R. (2002). Macular Pigment: Influences on visual acuity and visibility. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, 21, 225-240.

Hammond, B.R., Wooten, B.R. and Curran-Celentano. (2001). Carotenoids in the retina and lens: Possible acute and chronic effects on human visual performance. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 385, 41-46.

Wooten,B.R., Hammond, B.R., Land, R.L., and Snodderly, D.M. (1999). A Practical Method for Measuring Macular Pigment Optical Density. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., 40, 2481-2489.

Hammond, B.R., Wooten, B.R. and Snodderly, D.M. (1998). Preservation of visual sensitivity of older subjects: association with macular pigment density Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., 39, 397-406.

Hammond, B.R., Wooten, B.R. and Snodderly, D.M. (1997). Individual variations in the spatial profile of human macular pigment. Journal of the Optical Society of America, 14(6), 1187-1196.

Hammond, B.R., Wooten, B.R. and Snodderly, D.M. (1997). Density of the human crystalline lens is related to the macular pigment carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. Optometry and Vision Science, 74(7), 1-6.

Hammond, B.R., Curran-Celentano, J., Judd, S. Fuld, K., Krinsky, N.I., Wooten, B.R., and Snodderly, D.M. (1996). Sex differences in macular pigment optical density: relation to plasma carotenoid concentrations and dietary patterns. Vision Research, 36(13), 2001-2012.

Dalby, T.A., Saillant, M.L., and Wooten, B.R. (1995). The relation of lightness and stereoscopic depth in a simple viewing situation. Perception and Psychophysics, 57, 318-332.

research overview

My research is concerned with several aspects of vision and visual perception.

research statement

Physiological Optics

The retinal image is determined not only by the physical stimulus, but also by the properties of the eye. Research in my laboratory, using psychophysical techniques, has examined such optical properties of the eye as intra-ocular scatter, lens absorption, and macular pigmentation.

Achromatic Perception

The lightness, or gray tone of an achromatic stimulus, is influenced by many factors in addition to simple reflectance. My research group has studied a number of factors in order to assess how they affect lightness: illumination level, adaptation state, retinal disparity, and contour complexity.

Color Vision

Besides wavelength, many factors determine a stimulus' color. We have explored how color appearance is affected by luminance level, chromatic adaptation, spatial contrast, and temporal factors. We have also conducted experiments in the areas of color blindness, peripheral vision, and the relation between language and hue.

funded research

National Eye Institute, 1975-78.
National Eye Institute, 1977-80 (Co-Principal Investigator with L.A. Riggs).
National Eye Institute, 1978-81.
National Science Foundation, Macular Pigment: Relationship to Acuity and Visibility, $127,000, 2004-present.
Two grant applications are currently under review:
one to the National Eye Institute
one to the National Science Foundation