Thomas V. Papathomas

Thomas Papathomas

Professor Emeritus

Biomedical Engineering

Office:152 Frelinghuysen Road, A127 Psychology Annex
Office Hours: By appointment
Website: Thomas V. Papathomas


PhD, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Columbia University, 1977
MS, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Columbia University, 1972
BS, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Columbia University, 1971

Research Interests

My laboratory investigates vision and the brain. Studies mainly involve psychophysical experiments with human observers. Current projects include the role of cognitive mechanisms in the recovery of three-dimensional shape from monocular or binocular 2-D retinal projections, diagnostic and assessment tools based on perceptual differences between schizophrenia patients and controls, and the development of biologically relevant computational models of human brain function.

Selected Publications


  1. Re-published Bela Julesz’s classic Foundations of Cyclopean Perception, MIT Press, May 2006, with Prof. F. Phillips (Skidmore). The book was out of print, and it was a high demand, with used copies going for up to $400. The book was included in the top 100 most influential books in Cognitive Science in the 20th century in a recent poll of the University of Minnesota Center for Cognitive Sciences. As a reviewer put it, “There is no book quite like it. I'd put it in the same general category as Helmholtz's book of optics.”
  2. Papathomas, T.V., Editor-in-chief, Early Vision and Beyond, (associate editors: C. Chubb, A. Gorea, E. Kowler), MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1995. The volume received favorable reviews in 6 journals, including a very strong review in Science. [ View webpage ]
  3. Papathomas, T.V. and Bod, M.L. Solution manual for J. Millman's Microelectronics: Digital and analog circuits and systems, McGraw-Hill, New York, 190 pages, 1979.


  1. Nguyen, J., Papathomas, T. V., Ravaliya, J. H., Torres, E. B. Methods to Explore the Influence of Top-down Visual Processes on Motor Behavior. J. Vis. Exp. (), e51422, doi:10.3791/51422 (2014).
  2. Dobias JJ & Papathomas TV (2013) "Recovering 3-D shape: Roles of absolute and relative disparity, retinal size, and viewing distance as studied with reverse-perspective stimuli," Perception, 42(4):430-446.
  3. Silverstein SM, Keane BP, Wang Y, Mikkilineni D, Paterno D, Papathomas TV, Keith Feigenson K (2013) "Effects of Short-Term Inpatient Treatment on Sensitivity to a Size Contrast Illusion in First-Episode Psychosis and Multiple-Episode Schizophrenia", Frontiers in Psychopathology, 4:466, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00466. eCollection 2013.
  4. Keane B. P., Silverstein, S. M., Wang, Y., Papathomas T. V., (2013) "Reduced depth inversion illusions in schizophrenia are state-specific and occur for multiple object types and viewing conditions," Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 122(2), 506-512.
  5. Keane BP, Lu H, Papathomas TV, Silverstein SM, Kellman PJ (2013) Reinterpreting Behavioral Receptive Fields: Lightness Induction Alters Visually Completed Shape. PLoS ONE 8(6): e62505. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062505
  6. Keane B. P., Kellman P. J., Lu H., & Papathomas T. V., & Silverstein, S. M. "Is interpolation cognitively encapsulated? Measuring the effects of belief on Kanizsa shape discrimination and illusory contour formation," Cognition 2012, 123, 404-418.
  7. Papathomas T V, de Heer M, Zhuang X, Grace T, Bunkin R, 2012, "'Exorcist illusion': Twisting necks in the hollow-face and hollow-torso illusions" i-Perception 3(10) 778-782.
  8. Papathomas. T. V., Baker, N., Yeshua, A. S., Zhuang, X., Ng, A. (2012). The ingenious Mr. Hughes: Combining forced, flat and reverse perspective all in one art piece to pit objects against surfaces. i-Perception 3(3), 182-185.