Martin J. Steinbach

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Martin J. Steinbach
Martin J. Steinbach
Born (1941-10-23)October 23, 1941
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died June 24, 2017(2017-06-24) (aged 75)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Occupation Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology
Board member of Smith Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco
Academic background
Education Connecticut College
Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Academic work
Institutions York University, University of Toronto, Krembil Research Institute

Martin J. Steinbach was a Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at York University.[1] He received a Master's Degree from Connecticut College in 1965 and a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1968.

Professional life[edit]

In 1968, Steinbach was hired at York University by Ian P. Howard as his first postdoctoral fellow, as a Research Associate and as a Special Lecturer. In 1970 he became an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1973. From 1981 until 2002, Steinbach served as a Professor of Psychology and Biology at Atkinson College and the Faculty of Science. He became a Distinguished Research Professor (lifetime award) in 2000.[2] Steinbach is a founding member of the Centre for Vision Research (CVR), York University.[3]

Steinbach was Director of Research and Promotions, Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, University of Toronto, director of the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute (2006-2013), Senior Scientist in the Krembil Research Institute,[4] Professor of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at University of Toronto[5] and Senior Scientist in the Department of Ophthalmology The Hospital for Sick Children.[6]

In 1988, Steinbach along with Jean Real Brunette formed the Vision Health Research Council of Canada[7] whose mission is to unify Canadian vision research and to advocate for vision research funding. He had an important impact on eye research and vision health in Canada.

Steinbach’s many awards and distinctions include: the Carl Kupfer Award, from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, “For promoting vision research in Canada”,[8][9] the Chair’s Award, Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, University of Toronto, Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences' Faculty Research Day Lecture named, in perpetuity, in his honour.

Steinbach wrote a bi-monthly invited column in the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology[10] called Cyclops: Update on progress in vision science, from 2005 to 2017.


Steinbach areas of research interests included eye movements, eye muscle proprioception, spatial and motion perception, stereoscopic vision, central vision loss, and visual illusions.

His research in eye movements included owls, which is significant because, contrary to the general belief that the owl’s eyes do not move, Steinbach found that they do. In humans, his studies of eye movement control included normal and pathological populations.

While studying the ocular motor function of patients treated for strabismus, Steinbach found that pre and post-surgical measures of visual direction provided insights as to the sources of information of the position of the eyes in orbit used by the brain. This information eventually led to the discovery of the Palisade Endings in humans.[11][12][13]

In comparing the effects of the total visual deprivation from enucleation with the partial deprivation from amblyopia and normal monocular vision, his research found enhanced perception of contrast-defined stimuli and mild impairments in motion perception as a function of monocular eye enucleation.[14] He also examined visual direction and egocentre location in enucleated and strabismic children and adults and studied the cyclops effect.

In studying the central vision loss produced by diseases such as age-related macular degeneration his research had been directed toward the design of effective techniques to measure residual visual acuity[15] and improve reading.[16][17]

Pubmed: MJ Steinbach


  1. ^ "Faculty of Health". Faculty Directory. York University. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Active & Emeritus Distinguished Research Professors". York University. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Centre for Vision Research". York University. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  4. ^ "UHN Toronto Western Hospital". UHN. 
  5. ^ "Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, University of Toronto". U of T. Retrieved June 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Neuroscience, University of Toronto". University of Toronto. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Vision Health Research Council". VHRC. Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
  8. ^ "ARVO 2009 Award Recipients". Sep 4, 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "ARVO Awards Recipients". ARVO. 
  10. ^ "Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology". CJO. Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
  11. ^ Steinbach, MJ. "The palisade ending: An afferent source for eye position information in humans". In G. Lennerstrand, J. Ygge. Advances In Strabismus Research: Basic and Clinical Aspects. London: Portland Press. pp. 33–42. 
  12. ^ Steinbach MJ. "Tendon end organs play an important role in supplying eye position information". In L. Harris, M. Jenkin. Levels of Perception: A Festschrift for Ian Howard. Springer Verlag. pp. 271–276. 
  13. ^ Niechwiej-Szwedo E, Steinbach MJ. "Afferent and efferent contributions to knowledge of eye position.". In RJ Leigh, MW Devereaux. Advances in Understanding Mechanisms and Treatment of Infantile Forms of Nystagmus (a tribute to Louis F. Dell'Osso). London: Oxford University Press. 
  14. ^ Steinbach MJ, González EG. (2006). "Visual development with one eye". In M. R. M. Jenkin and L. R. Harris. On Seeing Spatial Form. Toronto: Oxford University Press. pp. 385–404. 
  15. ^ "Test for Visual Acuity Could Aid Detection, Rehabilitation of AMD". Oct 30, 2007. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  16. ^ Tarita-Nistor, L., González, E. G., Markowitz, S. M., & Steinbach, M. J. (2009) Plasticity of Fixation in Patients with Central Vision Loss. Visual Neuroscience 26, 487-494.
  17. ^ Tarita-Nistor, L., Brent, M. H., Steinbach, M. J., Markowitz, S. N., & González, E. G. (2014). Reading training with threshold stimui in people with central vision loss. Optometry and Vision Science, 91, 86-96.