Eye Movement Laboratory
- Dr Larry Abel
- Ms. Elizabeth Bowman
- Ms. Marzieh Fadardi
- Ms. Andrea Phillipou
National & International Collaborators
- Professor Conrad Wall III, Harvard University and MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA
- Associate Professor Isla M Williams - Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
- Associate Professor Christian Lueck - Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
- Associate Professor Jacinta Douglas - Human Communication Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
The Eye Movement Laboratory is directed by Dr Larry A Abel, it addresses a range of problems relating to eye movement control in both clinical populations as well as in normal subjects. The major themes of the research are briefly described below, although other diverse studies have also been undertaken as part of Honours or Postgraduate student research.
Nystagmus & Other Ocular Oscillations
This has been a major component of my research for more than 25 years. Some of the themes include:
- discrimination between congenital and acquired nystagmus
- identification of specific forms of childhood nystagmus
- nystagmus and perceptual stability
- nystagmus severity, stress and visual effort
Eye Movements in Neurodegenerative Diseases
This has been a focus of collaborative activity for many years as well. Recent studies have examined saccadic eye movements in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, looking at the ways in which saccadic abnormalities could be used to gain insights into specific aspects of the disease processes. A collaboration with the Neuropsychiatry Centre has examined brain activity during volitional saccades in young people at very high risk of developing psychosis. Another collaboration with Neuropsychiatry has studied eye movements in Niemann-Pick Type C disease, looking at changes over time in treated and untreated patients.
Eye Movements & Ageing
Recent studies have identified for the first time a number of saccadic eye movement features which are severely impaired in some healthy elderly individuals, as well as others which appear to survive intact.
Eye Movements & Cognition
This broad descriptor includes studies which have examined visual memory, prediction and attention. Some recent examples of this have included ageing-related analyses as well, since early detection of elderly individuals showing potential signs of dementia will be of increasing importance as effective treatments for disorders such as Alzheimer's disease become available. Some projects have been:
- Optokinenetic nystagmus suppression as an assessment of divided attention
- Changes in how a scene is scanned when viewers are distracted by mobile phone conversation
- Identification of error types on the antisaccade and memory guided saccade tasks
Saccadic Eye Movements and Traumatic Brain Injury
In a study funded by the Victorian Neurotrauma Initiative, we are collaborating with A/Prof. Jacinta Douglas of La Trobe University on an investigation concerning whether the minority of children who have ongoing problems after suffering a mild head injury can be identified by performance on a battery of reflexively and volitionally controlled fast eye movement tasks.
Saccadic and Pupillary Iindicators of Fatigue
In a study supported by DSO National Laboratories, Singapore, we are looking at several eye movement and pupillary measures during simulated driving to evaluate whether some combination of these may be useful in detecting fatigue in drivers before it is severe enough to impair performance.
Selected Recent Publications
- Cham, K.M., Anderson, A.J. and Abel, L.A.: Task-induced Stress and Motivation Decrease Foveation Period Durations in Infantile Nystagmus Syndrome. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008; 49:2977-2984.
- Cham, K.M. Anderson, A.J. and Abel, L.A.: Factors Influencing the Experience of Oscillopsia in Infantile Nystagmus Syndrome. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008; 49: 3424-34231.
- Abel, L.A., Wang, Z.I. and Dell'Osso, L.F.: Wavelet Analysis in Infantile Nystagmus Syndrome: Limitations and Abilities. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008; 49:3413–3423.
- Nguyen, H.N.T., Mattingley, J.B. and Abel, L.A.: Extraversion Degrades Performance on the Antisaccade Task. Brain Res. 2008; 1231:81-85.
- Levy, D.L., Bowman, E. A., Abel L.A., Krastoshevsky, O., Krause, V., Mendell, N.R.: Does Performance on the Standard Antisaccade Task Meet the Co-familiality Criterion for an Endophenotype? Brain and Cognition, 2008; 68:462-475.
- Schiffmann, R., Harris, C., Fitzgibbon, E.J., DeVile, C., Davies, E.H., Abel, L, van Schaik, I.N., Benko, W, Timmons, M, Ries, M., Vellodi, A.: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Miglustat in Gaucher Disease Type 3. Ann Neurol., 2008, 64:514-522.
- Abel, L.A., Walterfang, M., Fietz, M., Bowman, E.A., Velakoulis,D.: Saccades in Adult Niemann-Pick Disease Type C Reflect Frontal, Brainstem & Biochemical Deficits. Neurology, 2009; 72:1083-1086.
- Ayton, L.N., Abel, L.A., Fricke, T.R., McBrien, N.A.: Developmental Eye Movement Test: What Is It Really Measuring? Optom. Vis. Sci., 2009; 86:722-730.
- Patterson, M.C., Vecchio, D., Jacklin, E., Abel, L., Chadha-Boreham, H., Luzy, C., Giorgino, R., Wraith, J.E.: Long-term Miglustat Therapy in Children with Niemann-Pick Disease Type C. J. Child Neurol. 2010; 25: 300-305.
- Walterfang, M.A., Fietz, M., Abel, L.A., Bowman, E.A., Mocellin, R., Dennis Velakoulis, D.: Gender Dimorphism in Siblings with Schizophrenia-like Psychosis in Niemann-Pick Disease Type C. J. Inherited Metabol. Dis., (in press).
- Rubinstein NJ and Abel LA: Optokinetic Nystagmus Suppression as an Index of the Allocation of Visual Attention. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010; 52:462-467
Walterfang, M., Fahey, M., Abel, L., Fieetz, M., Wood, A., Bowman, E., Reutens, D. Velakoulis, D.: Size and Shape of the Corpus Callosum in Adult Niemann-Pick Type C Reflects State and Trait Illness Variables. Amer. J. Neuroradiol. 2011 32:1340-1346