Application of Visual Neuroscience to Optometric Clinical Practice

   School of Psychology and Sport Science

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  Prof Peter Allen  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Research Group

Vision and Hearing Sciences Research Group

Proposed supervisory team

Prof Peter Allen

Dr Jarrod Hollis


Visual Attention and its role in Optometric Practice

Summary of the research project

The testing of sight is the preserve of the optometric domain, and the design and application of clinical procedure is something that optometric research considers at length. There is however a discrepancy between optometric application and the ultilisation of knowledge from the visual neuroscience domain.

One such topic is that of visual attention. Attention is an essential component to all aspects of the optometric routine examination, such as the measurement of vision, the subjective refraction, and procedures of visual field screening. Whilst there is a wealth of research about visual attention in neuroscience, little of this is applied to the optometric design. Optometric research tends to focus on behavioural evidence and psychometric performance. The interpretation of this data is however open to interpretation.

Triangulation of methodology is something that is beneficial to any research domain, and this project aims to utilise a triangulation of behavioural measures and neuro- physiological techniques to determine the impact of visual attention in the optometric testing routine.

Initially visual attention will be considered using behavioural and psychophysical techniques. The interpretation of the resulting data will be facilitated by the use of neuro-physiological methods which will enable the team to specific both the time course and the locus of any effects found.

The project will involve development of skills in intervention design, and potentially liaising with specialist participant groups, such as those with neuro-visual impairment. The evaluation will involve both case study and quantitative research methodologies. The software and facilities required for the project are available. Participants will be recruited via social media and from university clinics and local charities.

Where you'll study



This project is self-funded.

Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website as they become available.

Next steps

If you wish to be considered for this project, you will need to apply for our Optometry and Vision Sciences PhD. In the section of the application form entitled 'Outline research proposal', please quote the above title and include a research proposal.

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