Technology & Vision
We are currently supported by grants from:
- Auckland Allied Health Alliance (AAHA): Using Eyetracking to objectively measure ocular deviations.
- NZOVRF: Virtual Reality based Perimetry.
We have available projects at PhD level
Tracking involuntary eye movements
We currently have a number of projects using eye tracking to measure visual function. Using carefully constructed stimuli, we look for the presence of an involuntary eye movement called optokinetic nystagmus (OKN). This can be used to measure visual function, or to monitor changes in vision in conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Dakin, S. C. and Turnbull, P. R. K. Similar contrast sensitivity functions measured using psychophysics and optokinetic nystagmus. Sci. Rep 6, 34514; doi: 10.1038/srep34514 (2016)
Investigating neural physiology
We can also use eye tracking to investigate neural physiology. By monitoring subtle changes in pupil size (hippus) before and after the installation of either stimulating, or antagonising drugs, we were able to determine the tonus of the parasympathetic nervous system.
Philip R. K. Turnbull, Nouzar Irani, Nicky Lim, John R. Phillips; Origins of Pupillary Hippus in the Autonomic Nervous System. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci.2017;58(1):197-203. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-20785
The safety of virtual reality
As optometrists, we see an increasing number of patients who are using virtual reality – especially children, who are using this technology at schools. Surprisingly, very little is known about the saftey of VR and the eyes. We are also investigating the usefullness of VR headsets in the detection and treatment of many different ocular conditions.
Turnbull, Philip RK, and John R. Phillips. “Ocular effects of virtual reality headset wear in young adults.” Scientific reports7, no. 1 (2017): 16172.
Objective measurement of eye alignment using eye tracking
Strabismus (“squint” or an “eye turn”) is a condition where the two eyes are not aligned. It affects about 1 in 20 children. Some patients with strabismus need surgery to align their eyes. Surgical success depends on having good measurements of strabismus angle, eye...