Vision and Accessibility Lab (VISA)

Director: Dr. Quan Lei 

Research in the VISA lab investigates both basic and applied aspects of visual processing. On the basic side, we are broadly interested in how people pay attention to visual stimuli/events, perceive space and form, and store visual information in memory. We are also interested in understanding how these visual processes are disrupted in a variety of visual disorders.    

On the applied side, we are interested in applying the fundamental principles of visual processing to the design of everyday environment and products. One emphasis of our applied research is on visually accessible design, aimed to address the accessibility issues experienced by people with visual impairment. We also conduct research to investigate the kind of visual factors involved in safe driving and their implications for the design of safety features in vehicles, particularly with an eye to the coming era of autonomous driving.  

      Gray and white dot picture

Answer: There are 100 white disks and 100 gray disks. However, almost everyone reports seeing many more gray disks than white ones. This is an illusion!! I discovered this illusion and termed it “the weak conquer the strong”.   

  blurry staircase

The same staircase under directional lighting results in drastically different perception in observers of normal vision (left) and low vision (right). As the perception of the space is distorted for low vision, the accessibility of the space is also compromised. This example highlights the visual accessibility issue experienced by people with low vision.


We are looking for motivated graduate and undergraduate students to join the lab. Please email Dr. Quan Lei to enquire about the opportunities.  

Dr. Quan Lei 
Office Location: Jabara Hall Room 435
Office Number: (316) 978-3822