Sight Enhancement Laboratory At Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley

Cortical adaptation and plasticity in response to vision loss.

Research at SELAB.
Research in our lab focuses on the understanding of how the visual system works in people with normal vision, as well as in people with uncorrectable subnormal vision (visual impairment). Uncorrectable sub-normal vision can occur as a result of an eye disease (e.g., age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of visual impairment in the US for people over the age of 65), or even in the absence of an eye disease (amblyopia, or "lazy eye").

In our lab, we combine various non-invasive techniques to study vision of people with normal or impaired vision. These techniques include standard (e.g., signal detection theory) and more contemporary psychophysical methods (e.g., reversed-correlation method), retinal imaging using Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope combined with psychophysical tasks, and functional magnetic brain imaging (fMRI).

The ultimate goals of our research program are to understand the various limiting factors on visual performance in people with visual impairment, and to devise methods, devices or rehabilitative strategies to improve the functional vision of these people, thereby improving their quality of life.

Keywords: Pattern vision; Visual impairment; Low vision rehabilitation.