Functional assessment of individual photoreceptors in the human eye

Project Details

A PhD project exists to develop improve understanding of the cellular-level workings of the human neuro-retina by stimulating individual photoreceptor cells, whilst simultaneously recording changes in their appearance and the perceptual consequences of stimulation. The successful PhD candidate will use novel high-resolution imaging technology; experiments will determine how information from individual photoreceptors is integrated within neuronal circuits to account for the reliability of elicited visual perceptions. This will be correlated with simultaneous measures of electrical activity from the retina, completing the picture of how visual functions arise from the elemental connections of photoreceptors to retinal neurons, leading to the brain. This project would suit PhD candidates who enjoy the hands-on challenge of marrying technical and theoretical aspects of computational and sensory neuroscience.

Adaptive optics image from our system showing human foveal cone photoreceptors

Adaptive optics image from our system showing human foveal cone photoreceptors.
Overlaid circles depict the size of some visual stimuli and the influence of blur and eye movements. Largest target: The "Gold Standard" target for measurement of visual field, the Goldmann-III, is 128 μm in diameter under perfect optical conditions (white). However the target becomes smeared across the retina with typical levels of optical blur (light grey), and further smeared by the addition of typical eye movements during a 200 ms presentation window (dark grey). Mid-sized target: The smallest size available with Goldmann visual field testing (nominally 32 μm in diameter). The influence of blur and eye movements are depicted as above. Smallest target: Brief, point stimuli corrected by adaptive optics fall on a single, known cell (white dot) in an area determined by fixation stability (white circle).

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Group

Imaging Retinal Cells Human Unit

Faculty Research Themes


Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Optometry and Vision Sciences