James R. Pomerantz


James R. Pomerantz is a cognitive psychologist with a specialty in human visual perception and attention. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction and high honors in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 1968, and following two years at Bell Telephone Laboratories, earned his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1974.

He began his teaching career at Yale in 1973, moving to the Johns Hopkins University as Assistant Professor of Psychology in 1974. In 1977, he was appointed Associate Professor and subsequently Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he remained until he joined the faculty of Rice University in 1988, as the Elma W. Schneider Professor of Psychology and Dean of Social Sciences.

Pomerantz moved to Brown University in 1995, as Provost and Professor of Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences.  During the 1997-98 academic year, he served as Provost and as Acting President of Brown.  In 1998-9, he was on sabbatical leave as Visiting Professor of Psychology at Rice University.  In 2000, he returned to Rice University as Professor of Psychology and Director of Neurosciences.  From 2001-2006 he also served as Director of Scientia and of the De Lange Conference.

Pomerantz is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and the Society of Experimental Psychologists.  He serves as Past President of the FABBS Foundation, a Washington DC-based non-profit serving the behavioral, psychological, cognitive, and brain sciences; and as President of Disability 101, a Houston, Texas-based non-profit serving individuals with disabling chronic disease

Pomerantz's research focuses on human visual perception with an emphasis on the perception of form and of structure in visual patterns, Gestalt psychology, and on the role of attention in perceptual organization.  He has also published on motion perception, color perception, texture perception, visual imagery, and theoretical approaches to perception.

Pomerantz is married to Mary B. McIntire, Ph.D., who is Dean of the School of Continuing Studies at Rice University.  He has two children: Andrew E. Pomerantz (a Yale graduate and Stanford PhD now working as a physical chemist for Schlumberger in Cambridge, MA) and William J. Pomerantz (a Harvard graduate with a Masters from International Space University in Strasburg, France now Senior Director of Space Prizes at the X-Prize Foundation in Playa Vista, CA).  His pastimes center on travel, photography, and running.