Epidemiology of refractive error
An investigation into the prevalence and causes of refractive error in childhood and early adulthood is on-going. This work is funded by the College of Optometrists
Optics of the eye and accommodation
The optical properties of the lens are being investigated using ray tracing and fibre optic sensing to understand the contribution of the shape and tissue properties to accommodation and to its changes with age. Accommodation and the factors that influence its loss are being analysed. The work has been funded by Essilor International.
Paediatric Vision Research
Children’s vision also has a special place in the research of the Group, particularly the assessment & amelioration of accommodative problems in children with cerebral palsy and the underlying causes of visual impairment in Down syndrome. Epidemiology of refractive error is also a major research activity of the group. The Paediatric Vision Research Group’s webpages can be explored for further information.
Change with age to the lens and cornea of the eye is a major topic of interest to the group. This includes changes to the refractive index, curvature and underlying protein biochemistry of these structures. We also examine changes to the retinal ganglion cell mosaic with age, in particular the cells of the short-wavelength pathway.
The short wavelength sensitive system
This pathway of the visual system is served by the short-wavelength (blue) cones and its own particular ganglion cell type in the retina and displays functional characteristics which are very different from the other visual pathways. Our group seeks to psychophysically isolate this pathway to study its structure and function. This work is sponsored by the Wellcome Trust.
Imaging through cataracts
The complicated relationship between forward and back-scattered light is poorly understood and the visual imagery seen by a cataract sufferer cannot be ascertained from slit-lamp assessment. This study is concerned with trying to understand how the cataract sufferer sees the word and involves image scanning and analysis, ray tracing and modelling. This work is being undertaken in collaboration with the University of Warwick (Professor Green) and has been funded by the EPSRC.
Modelling Dynamic changes in the optical elements of the eye
The lens and cornea are being studied using eye models and modelling analysis tools. The work involves collaboration with The Wroclaw University of Technology (Prof Kasprzak) and with the Department of Computing and Information Engineering at The University of Ulster (Prof Scotney). The work is funded by Essilor International.
Several group members conduct research into the epidemiology, aetiology and amelioration of visual impairment including age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and myopia. This work is funded by the NI R+D Office and the Primary Care Development Fund, Causeway LHSCG
Cortical processing in spatial vision
Activities include the development and refinement of psychophysical techniques to measure the contribution of different stages of the visual system to the processing of spatial information, particularly in support of some of the Group’s other research areas, as well as computer modelling of neural interactions in the primary visual cortex.
The group has long-term interests in understanding the factors which limit the early stages of visual processing in peripheral as well as foveal vision. This includes the interactions between neural and optical factors for both chromatic and achromatic pathways. The work has particular relevance to the detection and monitoring of glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. In addition, the way the visual system combines the images from both eyes is of major interest to the Group. This work is funded by the BBSRC.