OSA | Living History

Lorrin A. Riggs

OSA Fellow Lorrin A. Riggs was born 11 June 1912 in Elaziğ, Turkey. His parents were American missionaries and he chose to pursue higher education in the United States. He attended Clark University and graduated in 1936. In 1938, he joined the psychology department at Brown University. He remained at Brown for the entirety of his 39-year career.

He focused on vision research and retired in 1977 as the L. Herbert Ballou University Professor and Edgar J. Marston Professor of Psychology. In 2001, he received an honorary degree from Brown for his accomplishments. He is most known for his work in developing the stabilized image technique which is critical in revealing how the eye sees and how the brain receives visual information.

Riggs was active in OSA, serving as a Board of Director and sitting on several committees.  OSA awarded him with the Edgar D. Tillyer Award and the Society's highest honor, the Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize "in recognition of a lifetime of pioneering in electrophysiological, psychophysical, and other studies of the visual process; his years of public service in the field of vision; and his genius for inspiring generations of students to create their own distinguished careers in vision."

He also served in leadership positions in ARVO: The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the Eastern Psychological Association, and AAAS. He was a member of numerous scientific organizations. He received the Howard Crosby Warren Medal, the highest award from the Society of Experimental Psychologists in 1957, held a distinguished visiting professorship at Cambridge University, UK in the late 1960s, and held a Guggenheim Fellowship for Social Sciences in addition to winning the Ives Medal.

He died on 8 April 2008 at the age of 95 in Hanover, NH, USA.



Document Created: 24 Apr 2018
Last Updated: 2 Jul 2019