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Steven Dakin

Short CV

1989-1994 Department of Psychology, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK Ph.D. "The visual representation of texture", supervised by Prof. Roger Watt.
1986-1989 Department of Psychology, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK B.Sc. (1st class), Combined Honours Computer Science & Psychology ACADEMIC POSITIONS
1989-1994 Department of Psychology, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK As a Research Assistant I investigated face recognition, and symmetry perception. I taught on the MSc course in Neural Computation, and ran tutorials and practicals for psychology undergraduates.
1996-1998 McGill Vision Research Unit, McGill University, Montreal, Canada I worked as a post-doctoral research fellow with Prof. Robert Hess where my research focused on contour integration, symmetry, second-order vision, motion, and crowding.
10/1998-1/2001 Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, UK I moved to London to work as a senior post-doctoral research fellow funded by a Career Development award from the Wellcome Trust. My research was concerned with low-level visual processing in skilled reading. I established novel psychophysical techniques for measuring reading speed and the effect of basic typography and word-shape distortions on reading speed. This work led to a series of collaborative projects investigating visual crowding and dyslexia.
1/2001-present I was appointed as a lecturer at the Institute of Ophthalmology in January of 2001, was promoted to the position of senior lecturer in 2003, and reader in 2007. I work predominantly with Dr Peter Bex in the Dept. of Visual Rehabilitation (looking at motion perception, visual crowding and contour integration). Dr. Isabelle Mareschal joined my lab in February 2003 as a postdoctoral research fellow. I maintain research links with Prof. Robert Hess examining strabismic amblyopia and using fMRI to look at vision with natural scenes. I also work with Dr. Patricia Carlin at the Institute of Psychiatry (KCL) on abnormal visual processing in chronic schizophrenia, and Prof. Uta Frith examining the vision of people with autism. Within the Institute of Ophthalmology I collaborate with Prof. Glen Jeffrey on the study of motion perception in people with albinism, and with Dr Francesca Cordeiro on both imaging of apoptosis in glaucoma, and on psychophysical estimation of motion perception in glaucoma. Finally I am presently engaged in a joint study with Prof. Geraint Rees and Dr Elaine Anderson, at the Functional Imaging Lab (UCL) imaging the cortical and sub-cortical areas involved in brightness perception.


CV of Steven Dakin [pdf]

Steven Dakin
Steven Dakin

Research Group


[more information]


University College London

UCL Institute of Ophthalmology
11-43 Bath Street
EC1V 9EL London
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)207 608 6988



Scientifc Interest

Because neurons in the retina respond to small parts of images, the eye delivers the brain a fragmented world-view. The research in my lab focuses on integration: how the brain turns a patchwork of local neural activity into a coherent global percept.


  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)
  • Vision Sciences Society
  • Optical Society of America

Key Publications

  1. 2010. Watt, R.J. and Dakin, S.C.
    The utility of image descriptions in the initial stages of vision: a case study of printed text.
    British Journal of Psychology, 101, 1-26.    
  2. 2010 Goffaux, V & Dakin, S.C.
    Horizontal information drives the specific signatures of face processing,
    Frontiers in Perception Science, 1:143, 1-14.
  3. 2009 Kane, D., Bex, P.J. and Dakin, S.C.
    The “aperture problem” in contoured stimuli
    Journal of Vision, 9(10):13, 1-17.    
  4. 2010 Dakin, S.C., Apthorp, A., and Alais, D.
    Anisotropies in judging the direction of moving natural scenes,
    Journal of Vision, 10(11):5, 1-19.
  5. 2009    Bex, P.J., Solomon, S.G. and Dakin, S.C.
    Contrast sensitivity in natural scenes depends on edge as well as spatial frequency structure
    Journal of Vision, 9(10):1, 1-19.    
  6. 2010.    Dakin, S.C., Greenwood, J.A., Bex, P.J. and Cass, J.R.
    Probabilistic, positional averaging predicts object-level crowding effects with letter-like stimuli,
    Journal of Vision, 10(10):14, 1-16.
  7. 2009    Greenwood, J.A., Bex, P.J. and Dakin, S.C.
    Positional averaging explains crowding with letter-like stimuli,
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, 106, 13130-5.    
  8. 2010.    Greenwood, J.A., Bex, P.J. and Dakin, S.C.
    Crowding changes appearance,
    Current Biology , 20, 496-501.
  9. 2009.Dakin, S.C., Bex, P.J., Cass, J. and Watt, R.J.
    Dissociable effects of attention and crowding on orientation averaging
    Journal of Vision, 9(11):1, 1-28.    
  10. 2009.    Anderson, E., Dakin, S.C. and Rees, G.
    Monocular signals in human lateral geniculate nucleus support brightness filling-in,
    Journal of Vision, 9(12):14, 1-18.

Research Groups