Faculty of ScienceDepartment of Optometry & Vision Sciences

Clinical Psychophysics Unit
CPU Lab 2011

Research Team

National & International Collaborators

Our research aims to better understand normal visual processing and damage due to disease. The laboratory has specific interests in the study of glaucoma, migraine, and the process of normal aging. We are also interested in how the brain combines information from multiple senses (for example, vision and hearing) and how aging and sensory damage influence these processes. Our applied aims include developing better clinical tests for the assessment of vision loss (in particular perimetry and ocular imaging), and improving understanding of the consequences of vision loss on performance in natural visual environments and day-to-day tasks.

Our recent publications (2010-2012)

Current projects

Jonathan Denniss (Postdoctoral researcher)

My research is centred on relationships between structural damage and loss of visual function in glaucoma. In collaboration with Heidelberg Engineering (Germany) we aim to better characterise visual loss in individual glaucoma patients through improved understanding of its causes, and to use our findings to develop better clinical tests for this globally important eye disease.

Shonraj Ballae (PhD student)

Visual field assessment is important in glaucoma diagnosis and monitoring of the progression of vision loss. My project aims to improve perimetric testing strategies by using individual structural optic nerve damage data to customize and direct visual field assessment.

Luke Chong (PhD student)

Previous studies have shown that there are a number of significant limitations in automated perimetry, in particular high test-retest variability and low accuracy in regions of moderate to advanced visual loss. My research seeks to address these issues by exploiting spatial relationships between locations on the hill of vision in order to improve current perimetric algorithms.

Bao Nguyen (PhD student)

In between migraine attacks, people with migraine often show abnormal performance on visual tests. My research aims to identify whether this abnormal performance is related to abnormal electrical signals from the visual centre of the brain and/or the eye. I am also interested in using visual tests to indirectly study how people with migraine respond differently to visual stimulation, which may provide clues as to why people are susceptible to migraines in the first place.

Jia Jia Lek (PhD student)

My project focuses on early neural abnormalities present in glaucoma, in particular how contrast is processed differently. By using psychophysical and electrophysiological methods, behavioural performance and physiological function will be studied.

Cassandra Brooks (MPhil Student)

My project investigates the degree to which conflicting temporal information from light and sound are combined by the brain into a single percept in younger and older adults. This research aims to further understanding of the effect of aging on combined auditory and visual processing.

Janet Chan (PhD student)

My project looks at how the aging brain combines and segregates light and sound signals. We hope to better understand why older people often find it difficult to follow a conversation in crowded environments.

Recently completed projects

Nikki Rubenstein (MPhil Student)

My thesis investigated the affect of both healthy ageing and vision loss from glaucoma on how people visually localize and point towards targets of interest. The work provides insights into how vision controls our actions, which will inform how touch-driven interfaces can best accommodate older and visually impaired persons.

Fleur O’Hare (MPhil Student)

My thesis explored auditory and visual neural processing function in individuals with open angle glaucoma (OAG). A range of temporal (timing) processing tasks were assessed to explore the hypothesis that some individuals with OAG have an increased susceptibility to broader sensory impairment outside the visual pathways.

Renee Karas (PhD student)

My thesis investigated how normal ageing alters suprathreshold centre-surround contrast processing. The appearance of objects varies depending on the context in which they are displayed. These types of contextual processes are altered due to healthy normal ageing.

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