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Team members

Research groups

Collaborators

Oxford

Dr Beata Godlewska , Dept. Psychiatry

International

Dennis Levi, University of California, Berkeley, USA

Jun-Yun Zhang, Peking University, Peking, China

Generously funded by

logo of The Royal Society, MRC and Fight for Sight

Betina Ip

DPhil


Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow

  • Principal Investigator
  • Hugh Price Fellow, Jesus College

Our research

How do we learn to see with two eyes?

Understanding the neural basis of binocular vision matters, because impaired binocular vision due to amblyopia, also known as ‘lazy eye’, is the most common vision problem in children. While the clinical dogma has been that amblyopia can only be treated in early childhood, we now know that adults with amblyopia can still improve their vision. We do not know how the brain supports this plasticity. If we can better understand how the brain combines images from two eyes, then we can  use this knowledge to better treat amblyopia for more people.

My lab investigates the neural basis of binocular vision, from  acquisition in early childhood to binocular vision in adulthood. We use perceptual tests and virtual reality to measure and train how well the two eyes work together. These measures are combined with advanced non-invasive brain imaging data, especially MR Spectroscopy, to establish the fundamental structure, function and neurochemistry of binocular vision in the human brain.

About me

I read for my DPhil on attentional modulation of binocular vision at St John’s College, Oxford. I then worked on fine-scale representations of binocular disparity in the human brain at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics as a postdoc. Subsequently, I switched the focus of my research to neurochemistry during basic visual processing, prompting me to connect it to our binocular vision and the cortical signals that support it. In 2020, I was awarded a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowship to pursue these links. I moved to the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, where my research group studies binocular vision plasticity in normally and abnormally sighted populations.

Positive Research Culture

Positive research culture has made a huge difference to my career as a female scientist with caregiving responsibilities and from a diverse cultural background. To contribute, I mentor for the BIPOC STEM network, supporting ethnically diverse students at the University; I plan and provide content for women’s career advancement as part of the Women in Clinical Neurosciences committee, and I have co-led the WIN Centre's Early Career Researcher's group from 2020-2022, organizing workshops and training to enhance researchers' careers.

Current students

Lucy Starling, Doctoral training project student 2024

Po-Chun Tseng, MSc Clinical and Therapeutic Neuroscience 2024

Rebecca Willis, WIN-NDCN (DPhil student) 2023

Sylvana Vilca-Melendez, Dept. Psychiatry (DPhil student, co-supervisor) 2022

Lab alumni

Kathleen Tracey, FHS student 2021/22, Wadham College

Research opportunities

Unversity of Oxford project students

Medical / Biomedical Sciences undergraduate students at Oxford University are welcome to email me about possible FHS projects. Oxford MSc/DPhil graduate students are also welcome to get in touch about graduate rotation projects.

Student projects can range from analysing brain and behaviour data to using virtual reality to train vision.

Prospective national and international DPhil students

I would be pleased to hear from prospective graduates. Please send me your CV, information about your research interests and motivation. Further information on the DPhil in Clinical Neurosciences can be found here.

Postdoctoral and research assistant positions will be advertised here and on the University's job website.