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Xiaohua Zhuang, PhD, FAAO

Associate Professor of Psychology





Why ICO?

ICO offers the best combination of didactic education, clinical training and research experience to its students. The diverse backgrounds of the faculty members provide rich environment for students to learn, to be challenged, and to be successful in the world of optometry.


Dr. Zhuang was trained in vision science for her doctorate degree at Rutgers University, and her postdoctoral training at University of Chicago and UIC. Her expertise is in early visual processing, visual psychophysics, and color vision. She enjoyed research, teaching, and making vision science interesting and relevant to our daily life. She has published many vision science articles in top vision research journals, including Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Journal of Vision, Vision Research, and Frontiers in Psychology.

Special Interests

Psychophysics, contrast sensitivity, color vision, disease and drug effects on visual processing.


2010 Rutgers University, PhD in Psychology

2009 Rutgers University, MS in Statistics

2003 Peking University, China, BS in Psychology


2013-2015 University of Chicago

2011-2013 University of Illinois at Chicago

Awards & Honors

2018 - Principle Investigator, American Academy of Optometry BSK Research Fellowship 

2018 - Principle Investigator, Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness Research Seed Grant 

2012 - Principle Investigator, Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness Research Seed Grant

Professional Organizations

Fellow, American Academy of Optometry (AAO)

Member, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 

Member, Vision Science Society (VSS) 

Member, International Colour Vision Society (ICVS)


Zhuang, X. #, Tran, T., Jin, D., Philip, R, & Wu, C. (Submitted). Aging on contrast sensitivity in visual pathways: a pilot study on the effect of flicker adaptation. 

Zhuang, X., Harthan, J.S., Block, S.S., & Eiden, S.B. (Submitted). Analysis of Corneal Tomography in Select Black and LatinX Children. 

Zhuang, X. #, & Cao, D. (2020) Chromatic discriminations along two cardinal axes share a common attentional resource. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 37(4): A55-A60. 

Harthan, J.S., Shorter, E., Nau, C,. Nau, A., Schornack, M.M., Zhuang, X., & Fogt, J. (2018). Scleral lens fitting and assessment strategies. Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, 18: 30851-8. doi: 10.1016/j.clae.2018.10.020.

Cao, D., Zhuang, X., Kang, P., Hong, S. W., & King, A. (2016). Alcohol promotes piecemeal percept during binocular rivalry. Frontiers in Psychology, 7: 489.


Zhuang, X., Kang, P., King, A., & Cao, D. (2015). Alcohol intoxication impairs mesopic rod and cone temporal processing in social drinkers. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 39: 1842–1849. doi: 10.1111/acer.12833 (Highlighted on the Public Interest page of the Journal)

Zhuang, X., & Shevell, S.K. (2015). Monocular and binocular mechanisms mediating flicker adaptation. Vision Research, 17:41-8.


Zhuang, X., & Papathomas, T.V. (2015). Prior entry for feature-based attention: Are objects of the attended color perceived earlier? International Journal of Behavioral Research & Psychology, 3(7), 140-146.


Zhuang, X., Pokorny, J., & Cao, D.* (2015). Flicker adaptation desensitizes the magnocellular but not the parvocellular pathway. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 56:1-8.


Zhuang, X., & Cao, D.  (2013). Contrast magnitude and polarity effects on color filling-in along cardinal axes. Journal of Vision, 13(7): 19, 1–14.


Zhuang, X., King, A.C., McNamara, P.J., Pokorny, J., & Cao, D. (2012). Differential effects of alcohol on contrast processing mediated by the magnocellular and parvocelluar pathways. Journal of Vision, 12(11): 16, 1-13.


Papathomas, T.V., Baker, N., Yeshua, A.S., Zhuang, X, & Ng, A. (2012). The ingenious Mr. Hughes: Combining forced, flat and reverse perspective all in one art piece to pit objects against surfaces. i-Perception, 3(3): 182-185.


Papathomas, T.V., de Heer, M., Zhuang, X., Grace, T., & Bunkin, R. (2012). “Exorcist illusion”: Twisting necks in the hollow-face and hollow-torso illusions. i-Perception, 3(10): 778–782.


Zhuang, X., & Papathomas, T.V. (2011). Cue-relevance effects in conjunctive visual search: cueing for location, color and orientation. Journal of Vision, 11(7).


Wang, L., MacCann, C., Zhuang, X., Liu, O.L., & Roberts, R.D. (2009). Assessing Teamwork and Collaborate in High School Students: A Multimethod Approach. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 24(2): 108-124.

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