COLOR AWARD 2017 to Walter Gerbino

The 2017 Color Award is bestowed upon Walter Gerbino for his research, educational, and editorial activities in the field of visual perception.

Born in Trieste, the city where he resides and where he has spent much of his academic career, Walter Gerbino has, over three decades as a full professor, taught courses in general psychology, psychophysics, vision science, and cognitive ergonomics. His research contributions span from visual and multisensory illusions to the cognitive penetrability of perception, with a particular focus on the intricate interplay between seeing and “seeing as,” a characteristic feature of the boundary between perception and recognition.

In 1983, he published the volume ‘La Percezione’ with Il Mulino, systematically addressing phenomena of organization related to two macro-areas (“color and illumination” and “space and movement”), contrasting the Gestalt theory with the emerging ecological approach to perception. His interest in perceptual organization serves as the guiding thread in his research, both fundamental and applied to ergonomics. This is evident in two chapters of the recent Oxford Handbook on Perceptual Organization, published in 2015, to which he contributed as a member of the scientific committee. He authored the chapter on achromatic transparency, and collaborated with Rob van Lier on the chapter on perceptual completions. His experimental contributions directly related to the domain of color include models of phenomenal transparency, surface color properties attributable to amodal completion, and the role of spectral composition in guiding visual attention.