Visual neuroscience

Improving our understanding of visual processes
Our research aims to improve our understanding of how the eye and brain process visual scenes.

About us

Our research group works towards improving our understanding of how the eye and the brain process visual scenes to perceive colour, form, and movement. 

By analysing the wiring diagram of the normal eye, we gain knowledge that can be used in clinical practice and treatment of eye disease.

What are the issues?

The way in which nerve cells (neurones) are connected to create vision is poorly understood.

Research highlights

We've helped to show that these aspects of visual performance depend on parallel nerve pathways, which transport visual signals from the eye to the brain. These parallel nerve pathways are specialised to transmit different kinds of signals.

Most recently, our research has focused on:

  • understanding whether parallel pathways in the retina are also present in the macular region. We discovered that central visual field contain neurones which are involved in visual pathways other than those of conscious visual perception
  • analysis of an interneuron (the secretagogin amacrine cell) in the retina revealed that this cell type may mediate spatial inhibition within the retina
  • analysis of the distribution of edge sensitivity of cells in central visual pathway, which revealed that edge sensitivity is widespread and is present in the visual relay nucleus (not just in the cerebral cortex as previously understood).

Save Sight Institute

  • South Block, Sydney Eye Hospital 8 Macquarie Street Sydney NSW 2000

Professor Paul Martin

Headshot of Paul Marting

Associate Professor Ulrike Grünert

Headshot of Ulrike Grunert