Dr Neema Ghorbani Mojarrad
« Refractive error and visual development in the born in Bradford children cohort »
This project will investigate the visual development of the Born-in-Bradford (BiB) cohort (a cohort of up to 4,0001 children currently aged 11-12 that were born within the greater Bradford area, and whom have vision screening data previously collected at the ages of 4-5 years old) now that they are at an age when myopia (short-sightedness) typically develops.2 Myopia leads to the constant requirement for vision correction, and an increased risk of developing sight-threatening conditions such as retinal detachment and myopic maculopathy in adulthood.3 Myopia has a complex aetiology of genetic and environmental influences,4,5 and its development is not completely understood, including the differences in prevalence reported by large studies between children of different ethnicities6 (with genetic risk factors deemed fairly similar7).
Accessing the BiB cohort which has environmental, socioeconomic, and genetic data available for research use provides a powerful means for studying complex myopia aetiology and visual development at a critical period. Previous reports using the BiB cohort have found that there are a disproportionate number of children with astigmatism in the cohort, of which many children were uncorrected and warrants further study and monitoring. Although two large UK datasets with associated vision data exist, they either consist predominantly of Caucasian participants (over 90%), or do not have any genetic data available for analysis.2,6 In this study, we will collect vision data from the diverse BiB cohort,7 to allow us to examine whether national vision screening conducted at the ages of 4-5 is useful in predicting refractive errors (optical prescriptions) at this critical age, and explore the cohort for new genetic and environmental factors that may predispose to myopia within this population. In turn we hope that this project will contribute to the knowledge of myopia development and risk factors for childhood myopia development.
- To determine the prevalence of myopia and other refractive errors within the BiB cohort, and whether national vision screening is valuable in identifying children who go on to develop myopia or significant refractive errors
- To explore the genetic and environmental associations with myopia and other refractive errors within the BiB cohort, and determine their predictive utility within children
Dr Angelo ARLEO, l’Institut de la Vision
The “Rôle de l’intégration visuo-podale dans l’orientation spatiale et la mobilité au cours du vieillissement” (“The role of visuo-podal integration in spatial orientation and mobility during ageing”) project is part of the research conducted by the “Visual and Action Ageing” team at the Vision Institute. Through this project, the team – led by Angelo Arleo – is seeking to understand the development of our visio-spatial faculties throughout the normal and pathological ageing process. The research, at a crossroads between fundamental and clinical investigation, is based on a holistic approach. It aims to evaluate age-related changes in visual and cognitive performances as a whole in order to better grasp their impact on everyday activities. This understanding should allow for personalised care that would protect the autonomy of elderly individuals. The evaluation of age-related performances is performed in a setting that simulates an urban street with controllable, reproducible conditions. The platform, StreetLab, enables a precise behavioural analysis during tasks that call for locomotion and spatial orientation.
The aim of this SILMO Academy award-winning project is to generate new knowledge of visuo-podal reweighting of sensory input throughout the ageing process in terms of adaptive postural control for dynamic balance and spatial navigation. The characterisation of the relative influence of visual and plantar input in elderly people will make it possible to determine the perceptual-motor-cognitive profiles most at risk of losing autonomy or of falling. The work will therefore foster the use of this knowledge in developing earlier, better-suited preventive solutions to compensate for age-related balance disorders. The research will also contribute to the development of rehabilitative protocols and/or mobility services to reduce the confinement of elderly people and the social isolation that results from it. These are essential factors for maintaining “cognitive reserve”, which is the cerebral plasticity that offers resilience to change throughout the physiological and/or pathological ageing process.
SiVIEW is a French start-up founded in January 2016. With the support of an interdisciplinary team of specialists, it has developed an AI solution with a powerful algorithm making it possible to perform a step-by-step eye exam in a totally intuitive way.
By automatising this exam, SiVIEW makes it possible for the health professional to assign or carry out the task with no risk. It is now possible to provide an optimal glasses prescription (for distance vision and near vision in far-sighted and non-far-sighted people) in under 10 minutes. This prescription is accompanied by a detailed analysis of the results, as would be produced by an expert, enabling the practician to take a well-informed final decision.
Thanks to its patented system, SiVIEW is bringing about a true revolution, offering the practician a new approach in order to optimise the work and develop the business.
Our ambition is to address a public health challenge, and in particular to provide opticians with new optimisation solutions to deal with tomorrow’s demands and with the existing patient/client need for reliable, much more rapid care.
Binocular rivalry and interocular grouping characteristics in participants within the autism spectrum condition
Studies on binocular functions of individuals within the autism spectrum (AS) showed greater proportions of binocular vision disorders, e.g. higher prevalence of strabismus (‘squinting’), amblyopia (‘lazy eye’) as well as poorer depth perception compared to non-autistic populations. Our interdisciplinary project, integrating aspects of vision- and neuroscience, aims to investigate the binocularity of individuals within the AS. We will carry out a comprehensive set of optometric tests to examine whether AS participants have regular binocular vision and if so, investigate visual perception during both a binocular rivalry (i.e. interocular competition of perception) and an interocular grouping paradigm (i.e. interocular combination of perception). We will investigate visual suppression and various mixed as well as interocularly grouped perceptual states during those paradigms that are thought to be processed in binocular brain areas. This project will improve our understanding of binocular vision functions in the AS population and may serve to develop a clinical investigation and monitoring tool to assess the binocularity of individuals within the AS.
Samantha L. STRONG - School of Optometry and Vision Science, Université de Bradford
Vision can only be considered successful if we achieve a conscious percept of our visual environment which relies on successful cortical (neural) processing of the retinal signals in the brain.
The human brain processes visual information by means of separating out each aspect of the signal from the retina (i.e. colour, form, direction) and using specialised populations of neurons to interpret these individual features before combining the information to create a complete perception. This is called the ‘functional specialization’ of the visual cortex.
In humans, there is a vast network of areas within the brain that are responsible for processing moving objects in our visual field which not only enables successful manoeuvring of the self through the environment, but also has evolutionary advantages for alerting us to dynamic dangers.
The main aim of this project will be to investigate the bilateral differences between visual motion-sensitive areas in the human brain, focusing on an area called V5/MT+ and its smaller subdivisions (MT and MST) across both hemispheres. To investigate this, motion-sensitive areas within human participants will be identified in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. These data will then be analysed and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) will be applied to each motion-sensitive area. Application of TMS temporarily disrupts normal cortical functioning so if there is a behavioural consequence, it is possible to conclude that the targeted brain area is important for the designated task. If there are differences in disruption between brain areas or across hemispheres then this will help to determine how the brain is processing these visual signals.
- François DANIEL
- Arnaud FOISY
- Zoi KAPOULA