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We use brain imaging techniques to investigate the human visual system, both in its normal state and in disease and disorder.

Using MR spectroscopy to measure inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in the visual cortex. Depriving one eye of vision leads to both a change in eye dominance and GAB concentration.

The vision group at FMRIB uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look at the structure, function and connectivity of the human visual system. We are interested in the functioning of the visual system in its ‘normal’ state in sighted individuals, the changes that occur in people who have disorders of the visual system such as visual impairment or binocular dysfunction and the effects of damage or disease. We use multi-modal MRI, including structural, functional and diffusion MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the human brain to investigate the relationship with visual function. 

One aspect of our research involves investigating how the brain determines the function of a specific region of the brain. In the case of blind subjects who are anophthalmic, in whom the eyes never developed, we are interested in how the visual pathway is recruited by other neural functions. For those who lose visual function later in life, through trauma or a stroke (hemianopia), we have several projects designed to understand the residual function and any re-organisation that occurs to minimise visual deficits (Hannah Willis). Jasleen Jolly and Aislin Sheldon are investigating  the structure, function and neurochemistry of the visual cortex in people with inherited retinal disease, to determine the consequences of degeneration on the brain. 

Dr Betina Ip holds a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship and an MRC grant with Professor Bridge to investigate the role of GABA in binocular vision perception, dysfunction and development. 

Our team

Selected publications

Current Research Projects

Seeing in 3D

Understanding the neurochemistry of binocular vision using MR Spectroscopy

Oxford Rehabilitation in Stroke Study

The capacity for visual training to improve visual loss after stroke

Reorganisation and rehabilitation in Hemianopia

What determines the nature of residual visual function in hemianopia and can it be boosted with training and electrical stimulation?