Michael Loop headshot.

Associate Professor

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(205) 934-6751
Office location: HPB 436

Teaching/research interests: Visual psychophysics (human & animal) esp. color vision; reptiles, esp. snakes

Office hours: By appointment


  • BS, Florida State University, Psychology
  • MS, Florida State University, Psychology
  • PhD, Florida State University, Psychology

I am told I was born in Pittsburg, PA but lived on the PA/NY border until 1st grade. We then moved to Oak Ridge TN where I lived, save for one year in Mt Vernon, OH, through high school. College being the first opportunity to live where I wanted I went to Florida (FSU). I went for the snakes; and I was not misinformed.

Initially I was a marine biology major but quickly changed to psychology when the instructor said psychology is the study of behavior and he studied the behavior of lizards & turtles. And I said to myself…close enough (to snakes). Events unfolded (i.e. the story is longer than interesting) such that I got into visual psychophysics in graduate school and the rest is history. I am occasionally asked what the connection is between snakes and visual psychophysics and I reply…”c’est moi, c’est moi”

The results of subsequent endeavors can be devined from the, carefully selected, list of publications and attached curriculum vitae (CV). However, when it gets right down to it I am not afraid of three things that scare other people: snakes, color vision and speaking in public.

Download CV

Research interests:

To find meaningful simplicity in Nature’s confusing complexity (see CV for particular lines of attack)

Recent courses taught:

  • Psychophysical Measurement of Visual System Function (everything but color vision)
  • Visual Perception (color vision)

Select publications:

  • Loop, M. S. (1972) The "Don't Tread on Me" phenomenon. Proceedings of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Google: “The Don’t Tread On Me Phenomenon”
  • Hartline, P. H., L. Kass and M. S. Loop. (1978) Merging of modalities in the optic tectum: Infrared and visual integration in rattlesnakes. Science, 199: 1225-1229. (issue cover)
  • Loop, M. S. and L. L. Bruce. (1978) Cat color vision: The effect of stimulus size. Science, 199: 1221-1222.
  • Schwartz, S. H. and M. S. Loop (1982) Evidence for transient luminance and quasi-sustained color mechanisms. Vision Research, 22: 445-447.
  • Loop, M. S., C. L. Millican and S. R. Thomas. (1987) Photopic spectral sensitivity of the cat. Journal of Physiology, 382: 537-553.
  • Loop, M.S. and D. K. Crossman. (2000) High color vision sensitivity in macaque and humans. Visual Neuroscience, 17: 119-125.
  • Roberts, C. M. and M. S. Loop (2004) Goldfish color vision sensitivity is high under light adapted conditions. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 190: 993-999.
  • Baker, R.A., Gawne, T.J., Loop, M.S., & Pullman, S. (2007) Visual acuity of the midland banded water snake estimated from evoked telencephalic potentials. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 193: 865-870.
  • York, Y. C. & Loop, M.S. (2008) Red light increment threshold as a measure of deficient color vision. Optometry & Vision Science, 85: 106-111.

Blog: “Adventures of a Sawed-off Sportsman”