The Vision Science Research Group
The Vision Science Research Group at the University of Ulster was established in 1996 and has grown to a multidisciplinary unit that includes research in basic sciences: physical, biological and biomedical; clinical and psychophysical studies. Professor Tara Moore is the head of the Vision Science Research Group.
Our members, most of whom have professional as well as academic qualifications, conduct studies on a diverse range of topics in sight and vision, including clinical studies on development ageing and disease, laboratory work investigating cell growth, protein structure and function, ocular disease and dry eye, psychophysics of vision and the higher cortical processing, optical studies using ray tracing, mathematical modelling and biomechanics of the ocular tissues..
Members of the group have and continue to be supported by grants from Research Councils, industrial sources and charities as well as providing professional services as consultants on a wide range of topics. We welcome approaches from individuals, industry, governmental bodies and fellow academics.
Vision Science was a full participant in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise submission by the School of Biomedical Sciences (UoA 11, graded 4*).
Synopsis of selected research projects
Optics of the anterior eye: optical properties of the lens and cornea and alterations with age and pathology and post-operatively;
Biomechanics of the eye: rheological properties of the ocular coats; elasticity of the lens and functional changes with age;
Biochemistry of the anterior eye: studies in the proteins of the lens, ocular biomarkers, corneal physiology in normal and diseased states;
Functional characteristics of the short-wavelength system: psychophysical studies on the blue cone system and changes with glaucoma;
Electrophysiology of vision;
Mathematical modelling of ocular function: finite element analysis of the optics and biomechanics of vision;
Nutrition and the eye: ocular blood-flow associated with nutritional deficiencies;
Psychophysics: assessment of the cortical contribution to spatial vision;
Development of refractive errors: investigations of myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism in Northern Irish school children;
Development and low vision: studies of visual development in Down’s Syndrome and cerebral palsy;
Healthcare ethics and medical law: development of ethical principles in primary care; evolving issues in medical law
Members of the group have established clinical research links with the University of Ulster Optometry Clinic and the Ophthalmology Departments at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, Moorfields Eye Hospital and Dundee & Liverpool University, basic science research links with Universities of Cambridge, Aston, Warwick, Queens Belfast, Loughborough and Bradford. International collaborations exist between groups in The Republic of Ireland, Bulgaria, Poland, Australia, Austria, Germany, France, India and the USA.