- Dr Frank Giorlando (PhD candidate)
- Ms Adela Park (PhD candidate)
- Mr Mohammadreza Moniritilaki (MSc candidate)
National & International Collaborators
- Professor RHS Carpenter - The Physiological Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
- Assoc. Prof. Peter Brotchie, Clinical School, St. Vincent's Hospital
- Dr Ruth Hogg - Centre for Vision & Vascular Science, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast
- Dr Chris A Johnson - Department of Ophthalmology, University of Iowa, USA
The Optological Laboratory non-invasively investigates how the human eye and brain function, both in normal observers and those with eye disease. Although our understanding of neuroscience has been greatly enhanced through electrophysiological recordings from individual neurons and through computer imaging of gross neural activity across the brain, such information only tells us part of how the brain and eye work. Ultimately we also need to understand how the eye and brain behave in response to various forms of information, and to ascertain what functional limits exist in processing such information. Only by combining results from a range of different studies – including electrophysiological, imaging and behavioural studies – can a more complete understanding of neuroscience be achieved.
Our laboratory uses a range of techniques to determine how the eye and brain behave, many of which can be classed under the general heading of psychophysical methods. Sometimes our investigations involve visual targets used in clinical tests of vision, allowing us to better understand how such tests work and allowing more effective clinical tests to be developed. Other investigations use customised visual stimuli and special experimental protocols to examine how the eye transmits information to the brain, and also how the brain processes this information in order to make decisions. The laboratory is well equipped to undertake a wide range of behavioural experiments and so can address a broad range of behavioural questions, both in the clinical and basic sciences.
- ARC Future Fellowship
Anderson AJ (2012-2016). Understanding progressive vision loss in the eye disease glaucoma.
- ARC Project Grant DP120100651
Anderson AJ, Carpenter RHS, Brotchie P (2012-2014). Getting back on track after the unexpected happens: decision making in predictable and unpredictable environments.
Recent Clinical Publications
- Stainer MJ, Anderson AJ, Denniss J (2015). Examination strategies of experienced and novice clinicians viewing the retina. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt [PubMed]
Experienced clinicians use holistic image information, if available, when inspecting the ocular fundus. These holistic processing benefits were only present in experts' free-viewing fundus photographs; the limited field of view from the slit lamp disrupts such global image benefits.
Recent Investigations of Ocular Disease
- Anderson AJ (2015). Estimating the true distribution of visual field progression rates in glaucoma. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 56(3):1603-8. [PubMed]
Computer simulations suggest that the underlying distribution of glaucomatous visual field progression rates for the population is likely to be narrower, and less symmetric, than that predicted from empirical studies.
- Anderson AJ, Stainer MJ (2014). A Control Experiment for Studies that Show Improved Visual Sensitivity with Intraocular Pressure Lowering in Glaucoma. Ophthalmology. [PubMed]
Reducing elevated IOP in eyes without glaucoma does not improve perimetric sensitivity, suggesting previous studies showing improvement with IOP reduction in glaucoma demonstrate glaucoma-induced dysfunction rather than simply a general relationship between IOP and sensitivity.
- Anderson AJ, Johnson CA (2013). How useful is population data for informing visual field progression rate estimation? Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 54: 2198-2206. [PubMed]
Bayesian estimators allow the frequency of visual field progression rates in the population (the prior distribution) to constrain rate estimates for individuals. We examined the benefits of a prior distribution accounting for one of progression's major risk factors - whether intraocular pressure is treated or not.
- Anderson AJ, Johnson CA, Werner JS (2011). Measuring visual function in age-related macular degeneration with frequency-doubling (Matrix) perimetry. Optometry & Vision Science 88: 806-815. [PubMed]
The Matrix 10-2 test quantifies the spatial extent of significant depression of the central visual fields in AMD in a manner similar to the HFA 10-2. The spatial extent and depth of central visual field loss in AMD are only modestly predicted by visual acuity measurements, however.
- Hackett DA, Anderson AJ (2011). Determining mechanisms of visual loss in glaucoma using Rarebit perimetry. Optometry & Vision Science 88: 48-55. [PubMed]
We investigated the response of the eye to very small spots of light, and show that human glaucoma likely results in both ganglion cell death and ganglion cell dysfunction.
Recent Investigations of the Normal Visual System
- Anderson AJ, Johnston AW (2014). Test/retest and inter-test agreement of color aptitude measures. COLOR Research and Application. [Abstract]
The test/retest performance of colour aptitude tests is generally poor, explaining why inter-test agreement is also poor as no test can agree more with another than it agrees with itself.
- Anderson AJ, Wassnig SE (2012). The role of local separation in spatial frequency discrimination. Vision Research 53: 15-20. [PubMed]
Spatial frequency discrimination is undistinguishable from width discrimination for regular sine wave stimuli. However, when spatial distortion makes local measures of spatial width unreliable, spatial pooling of information is both possible and results in clear performance benefits.
Recent Investigations of Decision-Making Processes in the Brain
- Anderson AJ, Stainer MJ, Brotchie P, Carpenter RH (2014). Target direction rather than position determines oculomotor expectation in repeating sequences. Exp Brain Res 232:2187-2195. [PubMed]
Saccadic latencies are elevated when learnt oculomotor sequences are interrupted principally because the expected direction of the required response changes, and not because target position changes per se.
- Anderson AJ, Carpenter RH (2010). Saccadic latency in deterministic environments: getting back on track after the unexpected happens. Journal of Vision 10: 12. [PubMed]
We investigated a simple eye-movement model for the habitual sequences of actions commonly performed in daily life, which, when disrupted, require the engagement of a higher level problem-solving strategy to return us to our previous automated sequence as quickly as possible.
Dr Andrew J Anderson (aaj@ unimelb.edu.au). Ph: +61 3 9349 7403