John I. Yellott

Professor Emeritus, Cognitive Sciences
School of Social Sciences

PH.D., Stanford University, 1966

Phone: (949) 824-7278
Fax: (949) 824-2307

University of California, Irvine
3151 Social Sciences Plaza
Mail Code: 5100
Irvine, CA 92697

mathematical analysis of learning and perception

1966-68 Assistant Professor, Psychology Department, University
of Minnesota.

1968-71 Associate Professor, Psychology Department, University
of Minnesota

1970-71 Visiting Member, Institute for Advanced Study,

1971-79 Associate Professor, University of
California, Irvine.

1979- Professor, University of California,

1986-91 Founding Chair, Department of Cognitive Sciences
University of California, Irvine

1988- Member, Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Science,
University of California, Irvine

1995-99 Chair, Department of Cognitive Sciences, University of
California, Irvine

2002- Professor emeritus, Department of Cognitive Sciences,
University of California, Irvine
I've worked on a variety of topics, including retinal anatomy, texture perception, image processing, learning, reaction time, and choice and ranking. Currently I am studying the possibility of creating visual stimuli that are precorrected for the optical phase distortions (phase reversals, or "spurious resolution") that occur when a human eye is out of focus--e.g., when a person who needs reading glasses tries to read without them. Computer modeling shows that correcting spurious resolution can greatly improve the legibility of defocused text. In principle such an improvement can be achieved in advance, by reshaping printed letters in such a way that subsequent defocus in the eye restores them to their proper shapes. I am working on the mathematical theory that explains this improvement and establishes its quantitative parameters. The theory that has emerged provides a complete account of this type of phase-only deconvolution, and explains its characteristic properties and practical limitations.
Publications (l) Problems in Mathematical Learning Theory¬. John Wiley and
Sons, New York, l966. (W. H. Batchelder, R. A. Bjork and

(2) Probability matching. Psychometrika, l966, 3l, 43-69. (M.
F. Norman and Yellott).

(3) Influence of correlated visual cues on auditory signal
detection. Perception and Psychophysics, l966, l, 67-73.
(R. A. Kinchla, J. Townsend, Yellott and R. C. Atkinson).

(4) Correction for guessing in choice reaction time.
Psychonomic Science, l967, 8, 32l-322.

(5) Probability learning with noncontingent success. Journal of
Mathematical Psychology, l969, 6, 541-575.

(6) Second choices in a visual span of apprehension task.
Perception and Psychophysics, 1970, 7, 57-62. (Yellott and
P. Curnow).

(7) A cueing technique in choice reaction time. Perception and
Psychophysics, 1970, 1, 57-62. (D. LaBerge, P. Van Gelder,
and J. Yellott).

(8) Upgrading the cookbook. (Review of Gelbaum and March:
Mathematics for the Social and Behavioral Sciences),
Contemporary Psychology, 1970

(9) Correction for fast guessing and the speed-accuracy tradeoff
in choice reaction time. Journal of Mathematical
Psychology, 1971, 8, 2, 159-199.

(10) What's nu in math psych? (Review of Coombs, Dawes and
Tversky: Mathematical Psychology and Restle and Greeno:
Introduction to Mathematical Psychology). Contemporary
Psychology 1970.

(11) Review of B. Julesz: Foundations of Cyclopian Perception.
Behavioral Science 1972.

(12) Color properties of the contrast flash effect: monoptic vs.
dichoptic comparisons. Vision Research, 1976, 16, 1275-1280
(Yellott and B. Wandell).

(13) Problem P159. Aeq. Mathematica, 1976 14, 228 (J. Aczel and

(14) The relationship between Luce's choice axiom, Thurstone's
theory of comparative judgment, and the double exponential
distribution. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 1977, 15,
2, 109-144.

(15) On a functional equation related to Thurstone models.
Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 1978, 17, 3, 266-270.

(16) Translation of "L'equivalence des modeles du Thurstone" by
Z. Mosner, Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 1978,

(17) A note on equivalent Thurstone models. Journal of
Mathematical Psychology, 1979, 19, 65-71. (C. Rockwell and

(18) Depth inversion despite stereopsis: the appearance of random
dot stereograms on surfaces seen in reverse perspective.
Perception, 1979, 8, 135-142. (Yellott and J. Kaiwi).

(19) Generalized Thurstone models for ranking: Equivalence and
reversibility. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 1980,
22, 1, 48-69.

(20) Binocular depth inversion. Scientific American, 245, 1,
July l98l.

(21) Spectral analysis of spatial sampling by photoreceptors:
Topological disorder prevents aliasing. Vision Research,
1982, 22, 1205-1210.

(22) Spectral analysis of spatial sampling by photoreceptors.
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 1982, 22,
No. 3, p. 78. (abstract).

(23) Review of T. Caelli: Visual Perception, Journal of
Mathematical Psychology, 1982,25,2-6 (Yellott and A.

(24) Spectral consequences of photoreceptor sampling in
the rhesus retina. Science, 1983, 221, 382-385.

(25) Reduction of display artifacts by random sampling.
Proceedings of the SPIE, 1983, 432, 216-221: Applications
of Digital Image Processing. (Ahumada, Nagel, Watson and

(26) Nonhomogeneous Poisson disks model the photoreceptor mosaic.
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 1983, 24,
No. 3, p. 145. (abstract).

(27) The Beginnings of Visual Perception: The Retinal Image and
Its Initial Encoding. Handbook of Physiology, Section 1:
The Nervous System, Vol. III, Part 2. I. Darian-Smith, Ed.,
American Physiological Society Publisher, 1984. (Yellott,
B. Wandell, and T. Cornsweet).

(28) Image sampling properties of photoreceptors: a reply to
Miller and Bernard. Vision Research, 1984, 24, 281-282.

(29) Mach bands without inhibition. Investigative
Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 1984, 25, No. 3, p. 53
(T. Cornsweet and J. Yellott). (abstract)

(30) Teaching learning theory. (Review of T. Wickens: Models for
Behavior.) Contemporary Psychology, 1984, 29, 486-487.
(Yellott and C. Lofgren)

(31) Intensity dependent spatial summation. Journal of the
Optical Society of America-A, 1985, 2, 1769-1786 (T.
Cornsweet and Yellott).

(32) Intensity dependent spatial summation and lateral
inhibition. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science,
1985, 26, No. 3, p. 138 (Yellott, T. Cornsweet, and S.
Reuman) (abstract).

(33) A model for foveal photoreceptor placement.
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 1985, 26,
No. 3, p. 11 (A. Ahumada and Yellott) (abstract).

(34) Intensity dependent spatial summation and photon noise.
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 1986, 27,
No. 3, p. 342 (Yellott, S. Reuman, K. Schindler) (abstract).

(35) Photon noise and constant volume operators. Journal of the
Optical Society of America-A, 1987, 4, No. 12, 2418-2446.

(36) Consequences of spatially irregular sampling for
reconstruction of photon noisy images, Investigative
Ophthalmology and Visual Science,1987, 28, No.3 (abstract).

(37) A connectionist model for learning receptor positions.
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 1988, 29,
p.58 (A. Ahumada and Yellott) (abstract).

(38) Constant volume operators and lateral inhibition. Journal
of Mathematical Psychology, 1989, 33, No. 1, 1-35.

(39) Reconstructing irregularly sampled images by neural networks
in Human Vision, Visual Processing, and Digital Display, B.
Rogowitz, Ed. Proceedings of the SPIE, 1989, Vol. 1077,
228-235. (A. Ahumada and Yellott).

(40) The photoreceptor mosaic as an image sampling device. In
Advances in Photoreception: Proceedings of a Symposium on
Frontiers of Visual Science, National Academy Press,
Washington, 1990.

(41) Triple correlation and texture discrimination.
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 1990, 31,
no. 4, p. 561. (Yellott and G. Iverson) (abstract)

(42) Triple correlation and texture discrimination. In From
Learning Theory to Connectionism: Essays in Honor of William
K. Estes, S. Kosslyn, A. Healy, and R. Shiffren, Eds.,
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1992.

(43) Uniqueness properties of higher-order autocorrelation
functions. Journal of the Optical Society of America A,
1992, 5, 388-404. (Yellott and G. Iverson).

(44) Implications of triple correlation uniqueness for texture
statistics and the Julesz conjecture. Journal of the
Optical Society of America A 1993, 5, 777-793.

(45) Preference models and irreversibility. In Choice, Decision,
and Measurement: Essays in Honor of R. Duncan Luce, A.A.J.
Marley (Ed.), Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997.

(46) Every discrete finite image is uniquely determined by its
dipole histogram (C.F. Chubb and Yellott). Vision Research,
2000, 40, 485-492.

(47) Luce's Choice Axiom. Article in the International
Encycopedia of the Social and Behavioral
Sciences, N.Smelser and P.B. Bates (Eds.), Pergamon, 2001.

(48) Dipole statistics of discrete finite images: Two visually
motivated representation theorems. (C.F. Chubb and Yellott).
¬Journal of the Optical Society of America A 2002, 5, 825-828.

(49) Correcting spurious resolution. Journal of Vision,5(12)
97a, 2005 (abstract).

(50) Correcting spurious resolution in defocused images. J.I.
Yellott & J.W. Yellott, in Human Vision and Electronic
Imaging XII, B.E. Rogowitz, T.N.Pappas, S.J. Daly (Eds.),
Proceedings of SPIE-IS&T Electronic Imaging, SPIE Vol.
6492, article no.6492O, 2007.

(51) A unified formula for light adapted pupil size. (A.B. Watson
and Yellott) Journal of Vision, 2012, 12(10):12, 1-16.
Optical Society of America (Fellow)
Association for Psychological Science (Fellow)
Vision Sciences Society
Research Center Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Science
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Last updated 10/30/2012