CVS mourns the passing of John Krauskopf

February 10, 2016

With great sadness I report that John Krauskopf passed away on Feb. 3, 2016 at the age of 87 following a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease.

John Krauskopf received a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1949 and a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in 1953 under the mentorship of M.E. Bitterman. From 1953 to 1955 he was a research psychologist (1st Lieutenant) in the U.S. Army Medical Research Lab in Ft. Knox, KY. In 1956, he joined Lorrin Riggs’ laboratory at Brown University as a postdoctoral fellow and then an assistant professor. In 1959, he assumed an assistant professorship at Rutgers University until 1962 at which point he became a research associate at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. In 1966 he joined Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, as a member of the technical staff, a position he held until 1986. In 1959 and 1967, John was a visiting professor at Bryn Mawr College. From 1974-1975, John was a visiting scholar in St. John's College, Cambridge. Beginning in 1983, he held an adjunct professorship in the Center for Visual Science at the University of Rochester, which he maintained until 2009. In 1986 he left Bell Labs and moved to New York University where he was research professor of Neural Science until 2003.

John received the 1999 Verriest Medal from the International Color Vision Society and was elected to the Society of Experimental Psychologists in 2000. That same year he became an Optical Society of America Fellow. He won the OSA Tillyer Award in 2004.

John made numerous and wide-ranging contributions to experimental psychology and visual science. Topics on which he made original contributions included figural aftereffects in audition, objective measurement of the optical quality of the eye, measurement of eye movements, the visual effects of stabilizing the retinal image, the temporal response of the visual system, and the appearance of small monochromatic flashes. He drove a series of papers that began with identifying cardinal axes of color space, followed shortly thereafter by arguably his most significant contribution, the analysis of cone inputs to chromatic channels in primate LGN. Follow on papers deployed this same framework to enhance our understanding of human color discrimination and the appearance of color-defined motion. John Mollon is planning an extended obituary that will assess his scientific contributions in depth.

We are also constructing a website in John's memory ( Please consider accessing the site to share images or videos of John you may have, as well as your personal thoughts and reminiscences:

John is survived by his first wife Barbara and their daughters Jill, Lynn, and Sara, and by his second wife Sharon and their son David.

David Williams
Center for Visual Science
University of Rochester