A near-native of California, but one who keeps returning to the Midwest, Prof. Gunther has taught at Wabash College since 2007. Her primary research focuses on color vision – although we have known for 200 years that color vision begins with three different cone types in the retina, we still don’t know exactly how the retina and brain process the neural signals from the cones. The type of research she conducts, called psychophysics, is at the intersection of psychology, biology, and neuroscience - human behavioral responses to visual stimuli are used to elucidate the underlying neural mechanisms. She has taken students to conferences to present their research, both regional undergraduate conferences and national professional conferences.
Another recent line of research is a Study of Teaching and Learning, examining the use of non-fiction novels as the textbooks for teaching Sensation & Perception, to give the students more of a story line on which to hang the facts presented in class lectures.
In her free time, Professor Gunther quilts, cooks, reads, spends time with her husband (the Sensation & Perception professor at Denison University in Ohio), and plays with her cats (Hippocampus, Sushi, and Sashimi).
Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Medical College of Wisconsin,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2002-2006
Topic: molecular genetics of color vision
PhD, Cognitive Science Interdisciplinary Program
primary field: Psychology
secondary field: Neuroscience
UC San Diego, 2002
Dissertation topic: color vision
UC San Diego, 1996
Thesis topic: music perception
Oberlin, OH, 1992
PSY232 – Sensation & Perception & PSY332 – Research in Sensation
PSY235 – Cognitive Neuropsychology
PSY104 – Introduction to Neuroscience
Psychology core courses:
PSY101 – Introductory Psychology
PSY201/202 – Research Methods and Statistics
PSY301 – Literature Review
PSY495/496 – Senior Capstone Research Experience
Freshman Tutorials (Interdisciplinary Color and Science and Pseudoscience)
Cultures & Traditions
Non-cardinal mechanism visual search performance parallels cardinal mechanism performance across the retina, but may be weaker in the non-isoluminant planes of color space.
- International Colour Vision Society, Winchester, England, July 2013
- Vision Sciences Society, Naples, FL, May 2013
What Where's Waldo can tell us about visual anatomy
- Division III Colloquium Series, Wabash College, September 2012
- Psychology Department, University of Nevada, Reno, May 2012
- Psychology Department, DePauw University, October 2011
Red/green color naming declines in the periphery. "Blue"/"yellow" does not. What happens in visual search?
- International Colour Vision Society, Kongsberg, Norway, July 2011
(Rob Dalhaus W'11's capstone project)
Dalhaus, R.N., III (W ’11) & Gunther, K.L. (2012). Random or selective peripheral retinal wiring? Visual search says random for red/green, selective for tritan. The Journal of Optical Society of America A, 29(2), A298-A305.
Gunther, K.L. (2011). The use of “non-fiction novels” in a sensation and perception course. The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education,10(1), A14-A23.
Gunther, K.L., Neitz, J., & Neitz, M. (2008). Nucleotide polymorphisms upstream of the X-chromosome opsin gene array tune L:M cone ratio. Visual Neuroscience, 25(3), 265-271.
Baraas, R.C., Carroll, J., Gunther, K.L., Chung, M., Williams, D.R., Foster, D.H., & Neitz, M. (2007). Adaptive-optics retinal imaging reveals S-cone dystrophy in tritan color vision deficiency. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 24(5), 1438-1447.
Gunther, K.L., Neitz, J., & Neitz, M. (2006). A novel mutation in the short-wavelength sensitive cone pigment gene associated with a tritan color vision defect. Visual Neuroscience, 23(3-4), 403-409.