Gordon E Legge

Photo of Gordon E Legge

Contact Me


N218 Elt H

75 E River Rd


I specialize in visual perception with a cognitive-neuroscience perspective. I am particularly interested in the role of vision in important real-world activities including reading, object recognition and wayfinding. Additional research interests include binocular vision and visual contrast coding.

A major focus of my research has been the application of  vision research to explain the difficulties encountered by people with impaired vision in everyday activities, especially reading. One practical outcome of this research is the recent development of the MNREAD Acuity Chart, a new eye chart for testing normal and impaired vision.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Harvard University, 1976.


  • cognitive science
  • human visual perception
  • neuroscience
  • vision and reading
  • vision and spatial navigation
  • vision and object recognition
  • low vision
  • binocular vision and stereopsis
  • contrast coding in vision
Courses Taught
  • Psy 4036 - Perceptual Issues in Visual Impairment
  • Psy 5031 - Visual Perception
  • Psy 5051 - The Psychology of Human-Machine Interaction
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Editorial Board, Vision Research: 1993 - 2004
  • Graduate Faculty Member in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Cognitive Science:
  • National Advisory Eye Council, NIH: 2000 - 2003
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Vision: 2001
  • Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Dept. of Psychology, University of Minnesota: 1996
  • Director, Center for Cognitive Sciences, University of Minnesota: 1999 - 2004
  • Director of the Minnesota Laboratory for Low-Vision Research:


  • Wayfinding technologies for people with visual impairments: Research and development of an integrated platform: National Institute for Disability Research and Rehabilitation, Dept. of Education research grant, 2001 - 2006
  • Interdisciplinary training program in cognitive science: Institute for Child Health and Human Development, NIH research grant, 2004 - 2009
  • Object recognition and navigation in normal and low vision: National Eye Institute, NIH research grant, 1999 - 2005
  • Psychophysics of reading. Normal and low vision: National Eye Institute, NIH research grant, 2002 - 2007
  • Legge, G.E. (2007). Psychophysics of Reading in Normal and Low Vision. Mahwah, NJ & London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN 0-8058-4328-0 Preface and Acknowledgments 1. Vision and Reading 2. Measuring Reading Speed 3. Visual Mechanisms in Reading 4. Displaying Text 5. The MNREAD Acuity Chart (Co-authored with J.S. Mansfield) Appendix: Print Size Definitions and Conversions (Co-authored with J.S. Mansfield) A compact disk accompanies the book and contains reprints of the 20 journal articles in the Psychophysics of Reading series and computer source code for analyzing MNREAD test data.
  • Legge, G.E., Cheung, S.-H., Yu, D., Chung, S.T.L., Lee, H.-W., & Owens, D.P. (2007). The case for the visual span as a sensory bottleneck in reading. Journal of Vision, 7(2):9,, 1-15. Link
  • Kalia, A.A., Legge, G.E. & Giudice, N.A. (2008). Learning building layouts with non-geometric visual information: The effects of visual impairment and age. Perception, 37, 1677-1699.
  • Legge G.E., Madison C., Vaughn B.N., Cheong A.M.Y. & Miller J.C. (2008). Retention of high tactile acuity throughout the lifespan in blindness. Perception and Psychophysics, 70, 1471-1488.
  • Cheung, S.-H., Fang, F., He, S. & Legge, G.E. (2009). Retinotopically-specific reorganization of visual cortex for tactile pattern recognition. Current Biology, 19, 596-601.
  • Kwon, M., Legge, G.E., Fang, F., Cheong, A.M.Y. & He, S. (2009). Adaptive changes in visual cortex following prolonged contrast reduction. Journal of Vision, 9)2):20, 1-16.
  • Legge, G.E., Yu, D., Kallie, C.S., Bochsler, T.M. & Gage, R. (2010). Visual accessibility of ramps and steps. Journal of vision, (10(11), 1-1-19. Link
  • Liu, T., Cheung, S.-H., Schuchard, R.A., Glielmi, C.B., Hu, X., He, S. & Legge, G.E. (2010). Incomplete cortical reorganization in macular degeneration. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science,
  • National Institute of Health Grant, 1987
  • MERIT Award, National Institutes of Health - National Eye Institute, 1987
  • Glenn A. Fry Award, American Academy of Optometry, 1990
  • Pisart Vision Award, The Lighthouse Inc., 1994
  • Distinguished Service Award, American Optometric Association, 1995
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1995
  • McKnight Distinguished University Professorship, University of Minnesota, 1996
  • Dean’s Medal, College of Liberal Arts, Univ. of Minnesota, 2003
  • Honorary Doctorate, Université de Montréal., 2006