Geoffrey Boynton

Image of Geoffrey Boynton

Geoffrey Boynton, Ph.D.

(206) 685-6493
Advising: Accepting new graduate students in 2024-2025.
Interests: Visual perception and its neural basis


My lab works closely with the labs of Ione Fine and Scott Murray. We use a combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), ERP and behavioral measurements to study the relationship between neuronal responses in the visual cortex of the brain and our conscious visual experience.

A major goal of my research is on attention, and specifically how and why some visual stimuli get past the attentional bottleneck and some don’t. I am also interested in the relationship, across individuals, between performance on a variety of perceptual tasks and the corresponding neural responses in cortical areas that represent the stimuli for those tasks.


University of California, Santa Barbara (PhD) (1994)

  • Fine, I., & Boynton, G. M. (2023). Pulse trains to percepts: A virtual patient describing the perceptual effects of human visual cortical stimulation. bioRxiv.
  • Johnson, M., Palmer, J., Moore, C. M., & Boynton, G. M. (2023). Evidence from partially valid cueing that words are processed serially. Psychon Bull Rev, 30(4), 1539-1548.
  • Meier, K., Tarczy-Hornoch, K., Boynton, G. M., & Fine, I. (2023). Characterizing amblyopic perception under non-rivalrous viewing conditions. Sci Rep, 13(1), 7993.
  • Popovkina, D. V., Palmer, J., Moore, C. M., & Boynton, G. M. (2023). Testing hemifield independence for divided attention in visual object tasks. J Vis, 23(13), 3.
  • Yucel, E. I., Sadeghi, R., Kartha, A., Montezuma, S. R., Dagnelie, G., Rokem, A., Boynton, G. M., Fine, I., & Beyeler, M. (2022). Factors affecting two-point discrimination in Argus II patients. Front Neurosci, 16, 901337.
  • Esquenazi, R. B., Meier, K., Beyeler, M., Boynton, G. M., & Fine, I. (2021). Learning to see again: Perceptual learning of simulated abnormal on- off-cell population responses in sighted individuals. J Vis, 21(13), 10.
  • Moreland, J. C., Palmer, J., & Boynton, G. M. (2021). A major role for retrieval and/or comparison in the set-size effects of change detection. J Vis, 21(13), 2.
  • Popovkina, D. V., Palmer, J., Moore, C. M., & Boynton, G. M. (2021). Is there a serial bottleneck in visual object recognition? J Vis, 21(3), 15.
  • Johnson, M. L., Palmer, J., Moore, C. M., & Boynton, G. M. (2020). Endogenous cueing effects for detection can be accounted for by a decision model of selective attention. Psychon Bull Rev, 27(2), 315-321.
  • White, A. L., Palmer, J., & Boynton, G. M. (2020). Visual word recognition: Evidence for a serial bottleneck in lexical access. Atten Percept Psychophys, 82(4), 2000-2017.
  • Beyeler, M., Boynton, G. M., Fine, I., & Rokem, A. (2019). Model-Based Recommendations for Optimal Surgical Placement of Epiretinal Implants. Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv, 11768, 394-402.
  • Beyeler, M., Nanduri, D., Weiland, J. D., Rokem, A., Boynton, G. M., & Fine, I. (2019). A model of ganglion axon pathways accounts for percepts elicited by retinal implants. Sci Rep, 9(1), 9199.
  • Sprague, T. C., Boynton, G. M., & Serences, J. T. (2019). The Importance of Considering Model Choices When Interpreting Results in Computational Neuroimaging. eNeuro, 6(6).
  • White, A. L., Boynton, G. M., & Yeatman, J. D. (2019). The link between reading ability and visual spatial attention across development. Cortex, 121, 44-59.
  • White, A. L., Boynton, G. M., & Yeatman, J. D. (2019). You Can't Recognize Two Words Simultaneously. Trends Cogn Sci, 23(10), 812-814.
  • White, A. L., Palmer, J., Boynton, G. M., & Yeatman, J. D. (2019). Parallel spatial channels converge at a bottleneck in anterior word-selective cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 116(20), 10087-10096.
  • White, A. L., Palmer, J., & Boynton, G. M. (2018). Evidence of Serial Processing in Visual Word Recognition. Psychol Sci, 29(7), 1062-1071.
  • Beyeler, M., Rokem, A., Boynton, G. M., & Fine, I. (2017). Learning to see again: biological constraints on cortical plasticity and the implications for sight restoration technologies. J Neural Eng, 14(5), 051003.
  • Chang, K. H., Thomas, J. M., Boynton, G. M., & Fine, I. (2017). Reconstructing Tone Sequences from Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Blood-Oxygen Level Dependent Responses within Human Primary Auditory Cortex. Front Psychol, 8, 1983.
  • Moreland, J. C., & Boynton, G. M. (2017). A neurophysiological explanation for biases in visual localization. Atten Percept Psychophys, 79(2), 553-562.
  • White, A. L., Runeson, E., Palmer, J., Ernst, Z. R., & Boynton, G. M. (2017). Evidence for unlimited capacity processing of simple features in visual cortex. J Vis, 17(6), 19.
  • Jiang, F., Stecker, G. C., Boynton, G. M., & Fine, I. (2016). Early Blindness Results in Developmental Plasticity for Auditory Motion Processing within Auditory and Occipital Cortex. Front Hum Neurosci, 10, 324.
  • Fine I. and Boynton G.M. (2015). Pulse trains to percepts: the challenge of creating a perceptually intelligible world with sight recovery technologies. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 370(1677), 20140208.
  • Huber E., Webster J.M., Brewer A.A., MacLeod D.I., Wandell B.A., Boynton G.M., Wade A.R. and Fine I. (2015). A lack of experience-dependent plasticity after more than a decade of recovered sight. Psychol Sci, 26(4), 393-401.
  • Hubert-Wallander B. and Boynton G.M. (2015). Not all summary statistics are made equal: Evidence from extracting summaries across time. J Vis, 15, 5.
  • Thomas J.M., Huber E., Stecker G.C., Boynton G.M., Saenz M. and Fine I. (2015). Population receptive field estimates of human auditory cortex. Neuroimage, 105, 428-39.
  • Binda, P., Thomas, J.M., Boynton, G.M., and Fine, I. (2013) Minimizing Biases in Estimating the Reorganization of Human Visual Areas with BOLD Retinotopic Mapping (Journal of Vision)
  • Ernst, Z.R., Boynton, G.M., and Jazayeri, M. (2013) The Spread of Attention across Features of a Surface (J.Neurophysiol.)
  • Runeson E., Boynton G.M. and Murray S.O. (2013). Effects of task and attentional selection on responses in human visual cortex. J Neurophysiol, 109(10), 2606-17.
  • Ernst, Z. R., Palmer, J., & Boynton, G. M. (2012). Dividing attention between two transparent motion surfaces results in a failure of selective attention. J Vis, 12(12)
  • Joo, S. J., Boynton, G. M., & Murray, S. O. (2012). Long-range, pattern-dependent contextual effects in early human visual cortex. Curr Biol, 22(9), 781-786.
  • Lin, J.Y, Hubert-Wallander, B., Murray, S.O. and Boynton, G.M. (2011). “Rapid and reflexive feature-based attention”, J. Vision 1112):12, 1-9
  • Lin, J. Y., Murray, S. O., & Boynton, G. M. (2009). Capture of attention to threatening stimuli without perceptual awareness. Curr Biol, 19(13), 1118-1122.
  • Lin, J. Y., Pype, A. D., Murray, S. O., & Boynton, G. M. (2010). Enhanced memory for scenes presented at behaviorally relevant points in time. PLoS Biol, 8(3)
  • Boynton, G. M. (2009). A framework for describing the effects of attention on visual responses. Vision Res, 49(10)
  • Serences, J. T., & Boynton, G. M. (2007). Feature-based attentional modulations in the absence of direct visual stimulation. Neuron, 55(2), 301-312.