[visionlist] Robert Fox, in memoriam

editor at visionscience.com editor at visionscience.com
Mon Dec 17 10:42:48 -05 2018

Robert Fox, Professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt University for more than half a century, died Wednesday, December 12, 2018, after a short illness. He was 86.

A Cincinnati native, Fox received his PhD from the University of Cincinnati in 1963; his dissertation advisor was William Dember. The summer of that year, Bob began his long association with Vanderbilt where studied and taught visual perception for his entire career. He retired in 2012, and in recognition of his enduring contributions he was awarded the title of professor emeritus. He maintained an on-campus office and research laboratory until his death. Within vision science, Bob is recognized for his landmark studies of animal vision and human vision, both infant and adult. He is perhaps best known for his foundational work on binocular rivalry, with a series of landmark papers in the 60’s and 70’s that sparked interest in rivalry within our field. Bob enjoyed decades of continuous grant funding, and his papers were published in the very best journals in our field including Nature, Science, Journal of Experimental Psychology, and Vision Research. He was an elected fellow of the American Psychological Association, a charter fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a founding member of the Vanderbilt Vision Research Center. Over the decades he trained a host of graduate students who themselves went on to enjoy productive careers. Bob also played an essential role in guiding decades of vibrant growth by the Vanderbilt Psychology Department, and in 2013 the Department honored his legacy by establishing and endowing an award in his name given annually to a post-graduate researcher within the Department.

In addition to his many contributions as a vision scientist, Bob was a loving father and doting grandfather. He is survived by a daughter, Jenny Wells of Narberth, PA and a son, Dean of Lebanon, TN, a long-time close friend, Dona Tapp, of Nashville, and five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.



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