Vision is one of the most valuable sensory modalities. It is also the source of a rich array of research questions relating to how we see, how and why vision fails, and what can be done about it.
Investigators in Vision Science conduct human and animal research and modeling, yielding cutting-edge discoveries and applications in disciplines that include molecular genetics, clinical care, adaptive optics, neurobiology, cell biology, infectious disease, bioengineering, perception, and public health.
Biomedical optics is a fast-growing area of vision science. It has many facets including how best to correct refractive error or other optical defects and thereby improve a person’s vision, how to model and visualize optical structures in the eye such as the cornea and crystalline lens, and how to image fine detail in the retina to answer basic science questions and diagnose retinal disease. It also includes the developmental and evaluation of optical systems for the presentation of 3-dimensional information in various displays such as mobile devices and head-mounted virtual-reality setups.
Vision research projects in psychology and perception include investigations into visual sensitivity, assessment of retinal function in diabetics, low vision, infant vision, natural scene perception, form vision and attention, clinical psychophysics and basic aspects of human color vision, changes in vision with age, psychophysical methods and vision test design, texture, stereopsis, 3D vision, and object recognition.
Vision research projects in molecular and cell biology include investigations into gene therapy for inherited retinal degeneration, neurobiology of photoreceptors, infectious keratitis in contact lens wearers, pathogenesis of bacterial infection of the cornea, photochemistry of visual pigments and bacterial rhodopsin, epithelial function and regulation, membrane biophysics, corneal physiology, ocular disease processes, myopia, cataract, transplant rejection, ocular inflammation, dry eye, and eye growth regulation.
Current research projects in visual neuroscience include investigations into motion and space perception, signal transducing intermediates in the visual system, natural scene perception and form vision, source localization of evoked potentials, mammalian developmental visual neurobiology, neurophysiological investigations of circuitry in central visual pathways, electrophysiology of color vision and spatial vision, control of eye movements, pupil and accomodation, myopia, emmetropization, and eye growth regulation.
Research projects in computational vision include investigations into binocular vision, motion and space perception, computer aided corneal topographic modeling and visualization, computational neuroscience, spatial vision modeling, computational modeling of early vision, texture, stereopsis, 3D vision, object recognition, scanpath theory, telerobotics, virtual reality, ocular aberrations, and myopia.
Many of the Vision Science faculty are passionate in relating their work to the well being of clinical populations, be it people with normal vision or normal visual development, or people with special needs, including but not limited to the elderly, people with amblyopia, abnormal visual development, visual impairment or various kinds of eye diseases.