at the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science
University of California, Berkeley.
The ocular motor system is a beautiful model to study the brain. It contains examples of highly compartmentalized functions like the vestibular ocular reflex but also widespread networks that collaborate to decide where to look next or follow a moving target. We are interested in understanding how we move our eyes and why we do it the way we do it.
If we could record a video of what our eyes see while we move around in the world, we would see an image that continuously moves, rotate, and jumps from place to place. Despite all that motion our perception of the world around us is stable. In the lab we are interested in understanding how our brain achieves this by studying visual perception in the presence of eye and head rotations around their three axes: yaw, pitch, and roll.
Precisely and accurately measuring eye movements is critical for many fields of research, for clinical diagnosis, and more recently also for consumer applications. We are interested in developing new methods to measure and analyze all aspects of eye movements, for example, torsional eye position. We also want to understand the biases, artifacts, and limitations of current devices and methods to record eye position.
Disorders affecting vision, cognition, motor control, or our balance sensation will cause some abnormality in the eye movements of the patient. Eye movement recording capabilities are becoming ubiquitous on smartphones or headsets for virtual or augmented reality. This presents a huge opportunity to help diagnose or triage patients wherever they are. We want to combine our knowledge of ocular motor control and eye movement recording methods to best define what tests and features can help us diagnose the different disorders.