Concordia University

Aaron Johnson, PhD

Associate Professor, Psychology

Office: L-SP 245-5 
Richard J. Renaud Science Complex,
7141 Sherbrooke W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2241
Website(s): Concordia Vision Labs


PHD (Glasgow)

Research interests

My research studies visual perception, focusing on how we view images of real world scenes (also termed natural scenes), and the factors that influence eye movements. By using photographs and video of natural scenes, my aim is to isolate what properties of an image do we use to recognize and classify the type of scene we are viewing, and how do changes in these properties alter our perception of the image. This research employed traditional techniques such as psychophysics and eye tracking, as well as new techniques such as computational neuroscience, gaze-contingent stimuli modifications, augmented virtual reality, as well as studying the underlying neural activity using EEG. My research  also focuses on how various visual (e.g., macular degeneration), cognitive  (e.g., stress, dual-tasking), and the loss of other senses (e.g., hearing loss) effect the visual system, and in particular, eye movements. This research is funded by NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC, FRQSC, FRQNT, FRQS, and the Office of Naval Research.

Teaching activities

PSYC363 Fundamentals of Sensation and Perception

PSYC460 Vision

PSYC452 Neurobiology of Sensation and Perception

PSYC727 Special Topics in Behavioural Neuroscience: Eye tracking theory and practice

Selected publications

(underline denotes student author)

Morrice, E., Johnson,A.P., Marinier, J-A.,& Wittich, W. (2017) Assessment of the Apple iPad as a low-vision reading aid. Eye 31(6), 865-871. doi: 10.1038/eye.2016.309

Johnson,A.P., Woods-Fry, H., &Wittich, W., (2017) Effects of Magnification on Emotion Perception in Patientswith Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Investigative Ophthalmology & VisualScience, 58, 2520-2526, DOI:10.1167/iovs.16-21349.

Gaspar, J.G., Ward, N., Neider, M.B., Crowell, J.,Carbonari, R., Kaczmarski, H., Ringer, R.V., Loschky, L.C., Johnson, A.P., & Kramer, A.F. (2016)Measuring the useful field of view during simulated driving withgaze-contingent displays. Human factors.58(4), 630-41. doi: 10.1177/0018720816642092.

Ringer, R.V., Throneburg, Z., Johnson, A.P., Kramer, A.F., & Loschky, L.C. (2016) Impairing the Useful Field of View in Natural Scenes: Tunnel Vision Versus General Interference. Journal of Vision: Special Issue on Scene Perception. 16, 7. doi:10.1167/16.2.7.

Hansen, B., Haun, A.A., Johnson, A.P., & Ellemberg, D. (2016) On the Differentiation of Foveal and PeripheralEarly Visual Evoked Potentials. Brain Topography, 29(4), 506-514. doi: 10.1007/s10548-016-0475-5.

Wittich, W., Southall, K., & Johnson, A.P. (2016) Usability of assistive listening devices by older adults with low vision. Disability and Rehabilitation: AssistiveTechnology, 2016 Oct;11(7):564-71. doi:10.3109/17483107.2015.1042076.

Richard, B., Johnson, A.P., Thompson, B., & Hansen, B.C. (2015) The effects of tDCS across the Spatial Frequencies and Orientations that comprisethe Contrast Sensitivity Function. Frontiersin Psychology: Perception Science. 6,

Hansen, B.C., Richard, B., Andres, K.,Johnson, A.P., Thompson, B., & Essock, E.A. (2015) A cortical locus for anisotropic overlay suppression of stimuli presented at fixation. Visual Neuroscience, 32, E023, doi: /10.1017/S0952523815000255.

Johnson, A.P., Nadon, C., Morrice, E., Marinier, J-A., Overbury, O., & Wittich, W. (2015) The Apple iPad asa low-vision rehabilitation reading aid: just how effective is it? Visibility 9(1), 12-14.

Johnson, A.P. (2015) Face processing within individuals with Macular Degeneration: a new eye movement stability measures that correlateswith task performance. Visibility 9(1),6-8.

Fraser, S., Johnson, A.P., Overbury,O., & Wittich, W. (2015) Identifying the critical success factors in making a positive personal choice towards low vision rehabilitation services: Adecision tree analysis. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 35(1), 81-9. doi: 10.1111/opo.12169.

Brand, J., & Johnson, A.P. (2014) Attention to local and global levels of hierarchal Navon figures affects rapid scene categorization. Frontiers in Psychology: Perception Science,5, 1274. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01274

Brand, J., Oriet, C., Johnson, A.P., & Wolfe, J., (2014) The effects of target foreknowledge on linearly- and nonlinearly-separable searchalong an irrelevant search dimension. Actas Psychology, 153, 129-138. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2014.10.002

Loschky, L.C., Ringer, R.V., Johnson, A.P., Larson, A.M., Neider,M., & Kramer, A. (2014).  Blur detection is unaffected by cognitive load. Visual Cognition. 22, 522-547. doi: 10.1080/13506285.2014.884203

Ringer, R.V., Johnson, A. P., Gaspar, J., Neider, M., Crowell, J., Kramer, A. F.,& Loschky, L. C. (2014). Creating a new dynamic measure of the Useful Field of View, p.59-66. In J. Mulligan (Ed.), Proceedingsof the 2014 Symposium on Eye TrackingResearch and Applications: ACM, NY. doi:10.1145/2578153.2578160

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