Jon Erichsen

Professor of Visual Neuroscience

School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University

I have long-standing research interests in all aspects of the control of visuomotor behaviour, including eye movements, with the goal of achieving a better understanding of the interaction between sensory and motor mechanisms within the visual system.

Nearly twenty years ago, I established the Cardiff Research Unit for Nystagmus (RUN) to conduct studies of eye movement disorders in people with infantile nystagmus in order to better understand the impact of the continuous oscillatory eye movements on their vision and everyday life. We are fortunate to have been able to recruit a large cohort of volunteers with this condition, and we remain very grateful for their support. Our experiments have demonstrated the effect of environmental influences, such as stress or visual demand, on the intensity of the nystagmus oscillations. Importantly, however, our results demonstrate that the most commonly used measure of visual performance, visual acuity, is not significantly affected by changes in the eye movements of a given individual. We are currently exploring other aspects of vision that might be better clinical outcome measures for treatments such as surgery or medicines.

Our team has several dedicated eye tracking facilities that include both non-invasive infra-red eye tracking systems and large high-performance stimulus display systems. Our research is currently supported by grants from the College of Optometrists and Nystagmus Network.