Professor Palmer's research and teaching focus is on visual perception, a topic closely related to his color photography. He is the author of Vision Science: Photons to Phenomenology, an advanced, interdisciplinary textbook on visual perception. He is currently working on a new book about color: Reversing the Rainbow: Reflections on Color and Consciousness.
He received his BA at Princeton and his PhD in Psychology at UCSD under the direction of Donald A. Norman. He then joined the faculty in Psychology at UC Berkeley, where he has remained ever since. He is currently a Professor of the Graduate School at Berkeley.