Personal profile


I graduated in Optometry from the University of New South Wales in Sydney (1979) and worked in private practise for two years as an optometric consultant to various towns and mining sites in the outback regions of Western Australia.

Returning to full-time study, I obtained an honours degree in psychology (1984) and a PhD in visual neuropsychology (1988) from the University of Western Australia. I was awarded a Fulbright post-doctoral Fellowship from The Australian-American Fulbright Foundation to continue my research in the optometry department at The University of California in Berkeley.

Following this I was appointed as the William Elgar Buck Scholar for medical research at St. John’s College, Cambridge, and worked in The Physiological Laboratory at Cambridge University for three years from 1988.

After Cambridge, I was appointed Lecturer in Optometry at Aston, where I remained for four years, and then Reader in Neuropsychology at Royal Holloway, University of London. In 2000 I moved back to Aston to take up the Chair in Optometry and Visual Neuroscience, with appointments as Director of the Neurosciences Research Institute (2001/05) and Head of Neurosciences (2005/10; 2012/14).

My other appointments include Visiting Research Professor of Neurosciences at both The Advanced Telecommunications Research (ATR) Institute International, Kyoto, Japan (2000 – 2015) and the Centre for Information and Neural Networks, Osaka, Japan (2017+), Honorary Clinical Research Fellow, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, University Hospital NHS Trust (2004/05), and Honorary Clinical Research Professor, Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, UK (2014/16). 

Research Interests

My current research areas include:

(i) studying the functional organization of the human brain using neuroimaging (MEG, fMRI) and psychophysical techniques;

(ii) The perception of polarised light in humans

(iii) clinical studies on amblyopia and age-related macular degeneration; and

(iv) cross-modal studies examining the way vision, motor activity and attentional processes interact in the human brain.

My research has been funded with grants from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, The Wellcome Trust, Fight for Sight, The Macular Disease Society, The Royal Society, London, The NHS Trust, UK, and The Wolfson Foundation.


2012/14 Head of Neurosciences, School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University

2005/10  Head of Neurosciences, School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University.

2005/10  Associate Director of Research for School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University.

2003/05  Acting Head of Audiology and Director of the undergraduate programme in Audiology.

2001/05  Director of the Neurosciences Research Institute, Aston University.

2000/01  Head of the Neuroimaging Research Group, Neurosciences Research Institute, Aston.

2/2000+  Professor of Optometry and Visual Neuroscience, Aston University.

1996/00  Reader in Psychology and undergraduate admissions tutor, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.

1991/95  Lecturer and post-graduate admissions tutor, Department of Vision Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.

1988/91  The William Elgar Buck Memorial Medical Research Scholar, St. John’s College, Cambridge. Attached to The Physiological Laboratory, Cambridge University, UK.

1987/8    Fulbright Post-doctoral Research Fellow, School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, USA.

1987      Teaching Assistant, Department of Psychology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia


BOptom from The University of New South Wales, School of Optometry (1979)

BSc (1st class Hons) from The University of Western Australia, Department of Psychology (1984)

PhD from The University of Western Australia, Department of Psychology (1988)

MCOptom from The College of Optometrists, London (1992)

Teaching Activity

Vision & Visual Perception (1st year) (Course leader)

Basic Investigative Techniques (1st year)

Medical Biology & Pathology (1st year)

Clinical Practice 2 (2nd year)

Professional, Occupational & Low Vision (Final year) (Course leader)

Elective Studies (Final year)

Advanced Visual Science (Ophthalmic Doctorate) (Course leader)

Membership of Professional Bodies

Member of The College of Optometrists, London, UK

PhD Supervision

David Berkow: A retrospective study looking at the effect of single vision spectacle lens correction versus single vision contact lens correction on the peripheral retinal refraction. 2017/21 Doctorate in Optometry, Aston University.

Jasmine Smith: The use of polarization pattern perception for early detection of age-related macular degeneration. 2018/21: Doctorate in Optometry, Aston University.

Rose Wright: Arresting myopia by application of the theory of relative peripheral hyperopia.  2017/19: MSc in Optometry, Aston University.

Annie Salmon:  Laser eye correction: effect on amblyopic patients. 2009/14: Doctorate in Optometry, Aston University.

Sally Blakemore: Optimal typography for reading with peripheral vision. 2009/14: Doctorate in Optometry, Aston University.

Louise James: Effect of low vision rehabilitation on quality of life in macular disease patients. 2009/15: Doctorate in Optometry, Aston University.

Jennifer B. Swettenham: Functional neuroimaging and behavioural studies on global form processing in the human visual system. 2001/05: PhD, Aston University.

Frances A. Maratos: Behavioural and neuroimaging investigations of the relationship between visual attention, affordance and action. 2001/05: PhD, Aston University.

Jan Mitchell: Survey of people’s experiences of macular disease and impact on quality of life. 1998/02: PhD, Royal Holloway, University of London (co-supervisor with C. Bradley)

Inka Steffens: The integration of local motion signals in the human brain. 1997/2000: MSc, Royal Holloway, University of London (co-supervisor with A. Smith)

Alexandra Willis: Parvocellular contribution to human motion perception inferred from psychophysical adaptation studies: Implications for glaucoma research. 1993/97: PhD, Royal Holloway, University of London.

Catherine Suttle: Development of visual evoked responses to tritan, red-green and luminance stimuli in human infants. 1994/97: PhD, Aston University (co-supervisor with G. Harding)

Professional/editorial offices

Appointed Section Editor of the journal VISION (ISSN 2411-5150; in 2016.

Contact Details

Tel: +44 (0) 121 204-3879

Fax: +44 (0) 121 359-4498

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

External positions

Visiting Research Professor, Centre for Information and Neural Networks, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Osaka

2017 → …

External Examiner, Technological University Dublin


Editorial Board Memeber for the journal: , VISION

2016 → …

Honorary Clinical Research Professor, Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust


External Examiner, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom


External Examiner, University of Bradford


Honorary Clinical Research Fellow


External Examiner, City University


Visiting Research Professor, Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, Kyoto, Japan.



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