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Béla Julesz (February 19, 1928–December 31, 2003) was a visual neuroscientist and experimental psychologist in the fields of visual and auditory perception.

Dr. Julesz was the originator of the Random dot stereogram technique which led to the creation of the autostereogram. He also was the first to study texture discrimination by constraining second-order statistics.

Biography Edit

Béla Julesz was born in Budapest, Hungary]], on February 19, 1928. He immigrated to the United States with his wife Margit after receiving his Ph.D. from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1956.

In 1956, Dr. Julesz joined the renowned Bell Laboratories, where he headed the Sensory and Perceptual Processes Department (1964-1982), then the Visual Perception Research Department (1983-1989). Much of his research focused on physiological psychology topics including depth perception and pattern recognition within the visual system.

In 1959, Dr. Julesz created the random-dot stereogram using pairs of slightly-different random dot patterns, which, when viewed as one fused image, would create the illusion of depth. Julesz reported that the brain constructed this 3-D image using the small differences in each image. Later, the random-dot stereogram evolved into the autostereogram, which creates the same effect using a single image instead of two.

At Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, Dr. Julesz started teaching in the Psychology department after retiring from Bell Labs in 1989. It was there that he established and directed the Laboratory of Vision Research, which was dedicated to investigating mechanisms of stereopsis, motion, binocular vision, texture perception and attention. The lab helped establish neuroscience as an important field of study at Rutgers. Julesz became professor emeritus in 1999, and remained the director of the lab until his death on December 31, 2003.


  • 1956 - Ph.D., Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • 1950 - Electrical Engineering, Budapest University of Technology and Economics ,Budapest

Publications Edit

Béla Julesz authored or collaborated on more than 200 publications, including Foundations of Cyclopean Perception (1971). This book is often considered a classic of psychophysics and cognitive science, and has recently been added to the Millennium Project list of the 100 most-influential cognitive science books in the 20th century. Thanks to the dedicated work of editors Thomas Papathomas and Flip Phillips, this book has been republished and is now available from the MIT press.


Dr. Julesz was a State of New Jersey Professor who received a variety of awards throughout his illustrious career, including a 1983 MacArthur Fellowship ("genius award") for his work in Experimental Psychology and Artificial Intelligence. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1987.



Book ChaptersEdit


External linksEdit

  • Flip Phillips' website. This site contains sample stereograms and supplemental images from Julesz' book, Foundations of Cylcopean Vision

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