Last week a long-standing member of our lab, Dr Nikki Rubinstein, graduated with her PhD. Here is a bit about the research Nikki conducted over 4 years (minus 15 minutes):
Eye diseases such as glaucoma affect peripheral vision (aka side vision), while leaving central vision (used for reading) largely intact. The integrity of a person’s peripheral vision is measured clinically using a visual field machine: observers stare into a bowl and respond each time they see a dim light presented. The order and brightness levels of the light presentations is determined by an algorithm.
During her PhD, Nikki developed new visual field algorithms in an attempt to reduce test time and test variability. One such algorithm, SWeLZ, reduced test times by approximately 25% in normally sighted observers. A variant of this algorithm has been implemented in the IMO head-mounted visual field machine in Japan.
Nikki also investigated the limitations of interpreting visual field test results. Different observers have varying criteria for how bright a light needs to be before they respond. Nikki showed that the effect of this variability in response criterion makes it difficult to directly link visual field test results to underlying physiological changes.
We wish Nikki all the best in her future endeavours!