Accessibility statement

Alex Wade



University of Cambridge: BA in Natural Sciences

University College London: PhD in Neuroscience


Graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1994 with a BA in Natural Sciences. After completing a PhD in Neuroscience at University College London he moved to Stanford University to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in human brain imaging specializing in the neural computations underlying our perception of colour. Continued this research as a Principle Investigator at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco until moving to York in 2011. Current research interests include visual attention, the representation of colour and contrast in the human brain and the way in which these processes are affected by neurological diseases.


Stanford University: Postdoc

Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute: Senior Scientist




Research group(s)


Available PhD research projects



Selected publications

Full publications list

 Peer-Reviewed Publications.
  1. Webster MA, Wade AR, Mollon JD. (1996) Colour in natural images and its implications for visual adaptation. Proc. SPIE, 2657: 144-152.
  2. Wade AR, Fitzke FW. (1998) In vivo imaging of the human cone photoreceptor mosaic using a confocal LSO. Lasers and Light in Ophthalmology, 8: 129-136.
  3. Wade AR, Fitzke FW. (1998) A fast, robust pattern recognition system for low light level image registration and its application to retinal imaging. Optics Express, 3: 190-7.
  4. Press WA, Brewer A, Dougherty RF, Wade AR, Wandell BA. (2001) Visual Areas and Spatial Summation in Human Visual Cortex. Vision Research, 41(10-11): 1321-32.
  5. Wade AR, Brewer AA, Rieger JW, Wandell BA. (2002) Functional measurements of human ventral occipital cortex: retinotopy and color. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci., 357: 963-72.
  6. Wade AR, Wandell BA. (2002) Chromatic light adaptation measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Journal of Neuroscience, 22: 8148-57.
  7. Fine I, Wade AR, Brewer AA, May MG, Goodman DF, Boynton GM, Wandell BA, MacLeod DIA. (2003) The effects of long-term deprivation on visual perception and visual cortex. Nature Neurosci., 6(9): 915-
  8. Wandell BA, Wade AR. (2003) Functional imaging of the visual pathways. Neurologic Clinics North America, 1: 417-43.
  9. Tyler CW, Baseler HA, Kontsevich LL, Likova LT, Wade AR, Wandell BA. (2005) Predominantly extra-retinotopic cortical response to pattern symmetry. Neuroimage, 15: 306-14.
  10. Brewer AA, Liu J, Wade AR, Wandell BA. (2005) Visual field maps and stimulus selectivity in human ventral occipital cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 8: 1102-9.
  11. Tyler CW, Likova LT, Kontsevich LL, Schira M, Wade AR. (2005) Enhanced concepts of occipital retinotopy. Current Medical Imaging Reviews, 1(3): 319-30.
  12. Tyler CW, Likova LT, Kontsevich LL, Wade AR. (2006) The specificity of cortical region KO to depth structure. Neuroimage, 30: 228-38.
  13. Cornelissen FW, Wade AR, Vladusich T, Dougherty RF, Wandell BA. (2006) No fMRI evidence for brightness and color filling-in in early human visual cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 26(14): 3634-41.
  14. Lee KM, Wade AR, Lee BT. (2006) Differential correlation of frontal and parietal activity with the number of alternatives for cued choice saccades. Neuroimage, 33: 307-15.
  15. Appelbaum LG, Wade AR, Vildavski VY, Pettet MW, Norcia AM. (2006) Cue-invariant networks for figure and background processing in human visual cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 26(45): 11695-708.
  16. Heinen SJ, Rowland J, Lee BT, Wade AR, (2007) An Oculomotor Decision Process Revealed by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Journal of Neuroscience, 26: 13515-22.
  17. Winawer J, Witthoft N, Frank MC, Wu L, Wade AR, Boroditsky L. (2007) The Russian Blues: Effects of language on color discrimination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(19): 7780-5.
  18. Schira MM, Wade AR, Tyler CW. (2007) Two-dimensional mapping of the central and parafoveal visual field to human visual cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology, 97(6): 4284-95.
  19. Wade AR, Augath M, Logothetis N, Wandell BA (2008) fMRI measurements of color in human and macaque. Journal of Vision 8(10): 6, 1-19
  20. Appelbaum LG, Wade AR, Pettet MW, Vildavski VY, Norcia AM (2008) Figure-ground interaction in the human visual cortex. Journal of Vision 8(9):8 1-819
  21. Wade AR. (2009) Long-range suppressive interactions between S-cone and luminance channels, Vision Research, 49(12): 1554-62
  22. Busse L, Wade AR, Carandini M, (2009) Representation of concurrent stimuli by population activity in visual cortex Neuron 64(6): 931-42
  23. Wade AR, Rowland J, (2010) Early suppressive mechanisms and the negative BOLD response in human visual cortex Journal of Neuroscience 30(14):5008-5019
  24. Xiao B & Wade AR,  (2010). Neural correlates of long-range suppressive interactions in S-cone and luminance pathways. Journal of Vision 10(13):10
  25. Lauritzen TZ, Ales J & Wade AR, (2010) The effects of visuospatial attention measured across visual cortex using source-imaged, steady-state EEG. Journal of Vision 10(14)39: 1 - 17 
  26. Tsai J, Norcia AM, Ales J. & Wade AR, (2011) Contrast gain control abnormalities in idiopathic generalized epilepsy Annals of Neurology (in press)
  27. Wang J, & Wade AR (2011). Differential attentional modulation of cortical responses to S-cone and luminance stimuli. Journal of Vision 11(6): 1-15 
  28. Song JH, Rowland J, McPeek RM & Wade AR, (2011) Attentional modulation of fMRI responses in human V1 is consistent with distinct spatial maps for chromatically defined orientation and contrast, Journal of Neuroscience 31(36):12900-12905
  29. Kane A, Wade AR, Ma-Wyatt A, (2011) Delays in using chromatic and luminance information to correct rapid reaches, Journal of Vision 7;11(10)


Rowland J and Wade AR Decoding chromatically-tuned suppressive fields in early visual cortex (in revision – Cerebral Cortex)

Mannion D, Tsai J and Wade AR, The source of overlay masking in the human visual system (in review – Journal of Neuroscience)


Book Chapters

Podoleanu AG, Seeger M, Dobre GM, Webb DJ, Jackson DA, Fitzke FW, Wade AR. (1998) Digital signal processing for fast OCT imaging. In: Applied Optics and Optoelectronics, Grattan KTV (ed.), 140-4.

Wade AR, Wandell BA, Glover G, Burg TS. (2000) MR Image visualization and signal processing methods. In: Signal Processing for Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy. Yan H (ed.) Marcel Dekker, Inc., NY; 189-207.




External activities


  • Optical Society of America
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Society for Cognitive Neuroscience
  • International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine

Editorial duties

 I have created and maintain websites ( , ) that offer online simulations of color blindness, distance and infant vision free of charge. The color blindness correction algorithm is also available at .  This service has been mentioned in numerous reports on human factors ‘best practices’ and has been recommended by several Federal agencies including the National Oceanic and tmospheric Administration, the United States Geological Survey and ‘’

Invited talks and conferences

  • ARVO Special Interest Group 05.1998  "A magnifying attachment to a scanning laser ophthalmoscope and its application to high resolution retinal imaging"  
  • Moorfield’s Eye Hospital, Glaucoma Group 10.1998  “High resolution in vivo imaging of the cone photoreceptor mosaic using a scanning laser ophthalmoscope”
  • NASA Ames, Vision Group 04.1999  “High resolution in vivo imaging of the cone photoreceptor mosaic using a scanning laser ophthalmoscope”
  • Stanford Psychology Dept 06.1999  “Imaging the cone photoreceptors in the living eye”
  • SKERI, San Francisco 09.2002  “fMRI of human visual pathways”
  • Lighthouse, San Francisco 11.2002  “An evening with Mike May”
  • Cambridge University, Craik Club 07.2003  “fMRI of color pathways in humans and macaques”
  • MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge 07.2003  “fMRI of color pathways in humans and macaques”
  • UCSF Dynamic Imaging Laboratory 03.2003  “Retinotopic mapping of human visual areas using fMRI”
  • CPMC ‘Jampolsky Day’, 03.2004  “The man who learned to see”
  • Stanford Neuroscience Colloquium 07.2004  “Imaging the color pathways in humans and macaques”
  • ECVP, Budapest 08.2004  "Colour constancy and colour pathways in human and macaque”
  • Institute of Ophthalmology, UK 09.2004  “Imaging the color pathways in humans and macaques”
  • Rochester Center for Vision Science 10.2004  “fMRI in humans and macaques”
  • Oxford University fMRIB 06.2006  “Imaging surround suppression with high density EEG”
  • UCSF Cognitive Neuroscience Colloquium 05.2007  “High density EEG measurements of early visual processing”
  • York University UK, 06.2008  “Multimodal imaging of gain control mechanisms in human visual cortex”
  • Stanford University, 04.2009  “The Negative BOLD response – contrast gain not blood drain”
  • Medical College of Wisconsin 06.2009  “Studying normalization processes in the human visual system using fMRI and source-imaged EEG”
  • University of South Australia, Adelaide 01.2010  “Computational mechanisms of gain control measured with EEG and fMRI”
  • Australian Neuroscience Society, Satellite Vision 2010 Meeting 01.2010  "Neural computations underlying the Negative BOLD response”
  • Mount Lofty Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Workshop, Adelaide 12.2010  "Multimodal imaging of normal and abnormal gain control in the human brain”

Media coverage

I have made several appearances in the media in relation to my work with recovered sight patient Mike May:
  • Dateline Discovery Documentary (08.2001) “Mike May”
  • BBC Documentary (04.2002) “The man who learned to see”
  • Der Spiegel (German TV) Documentary (10.2004) “Mike May”
  • Esquire Magazine (06.2005) “Blind but now he sees”

Contact details

Alex Wade
Department of Psychology
Room PS/B103

Tel: 01904 323171, Mobile 07427 432364