In November 2014, Jia Jia submitted her PhD thesis titled ‘Contrast processing in Ageing and Glaucoma’. Most clinical tests for glaucoma measure how well people can detect small white lights presented on uniform grey backgrounds. The natural visual world is much more complex. In addition to detecting targets (contrast detection), we also need to discriminate between objects of different contrasts. The visual system also needs to be able to perform optimally across the wide range of contrasts present in the visual world, which is enabled by contrast adaptation.
Because glaucoma generally affects older people, Jia Jia’s research focussed on the study of these contrast processes in older adults and in patients with glaucoma. The aim was to better understand the early effects of glaucoma on vision, which might lead to novel clinical tests, as well as a better understanding of the disease process. Some of the results of Jia Jia’s thesis have been published: http://www.iovs.org/content/55/5/3171.short, and Jia Jia is working on publishing the results of the rest of the study.
JiaJia holding her balloon and a copy of her thesis.