Sigmund Exner is known for his work in comparative physiology and his studies of perception psychology from a physiological standpoint. He conducted important research on the localization of behavioral functionality in the brain, in particular studies on the functional architecture of the visual cortex. Exner investigated color contrast, hue adaptation, apparent motion, and the sensitivity of retinal regeneration. In 1899, he co-founded the Phonogrammarchiv in Vienna, an archive recording acoustic phenomena for scientific purposes.