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Strabismus, Amblyopia, and Visual Processing

The NEI supports a broad range of basic and clinical research to:

  • Improve understanding of the roles of neuronal activity and molecular events in the formation of central visual circuits during development
  • Improve understanding of cortical and subcortical circuit interactions in the processing of visual information
  • Discover the local circuit algorithms that form spatial/temporal representations and incorporate attentional or memory operations
  • Develop new neural imaging technology and methods for combining imaging and electrophysiological data in order to improve spatial and temporal resolution
  • Discover the mechanisms responsible for perceptual and motor stability during eye movements and develop strategies for using visual and oculomotor methods for diagnosing and treating visual symptoms associated with neurological disorders
  • Study genetic factors underlying the biology of diseases of the visual system
  • Develop and test pharmacological and behavioral methods for induction and improvement of plasticity in adults, as related to strabismus, amblyopia, and other disorders involving central visual processes
  • Evaluate the efficacy of potential treatments for delaying the onset or for slowing the progression of myopia, such as lenses that alter peripheral defocus, pharmaceutical approaches, or behavioral methods that harness the beneficial effects of more time outdoors



This topic spans several of the scientific programs of the NEI. Research in this area has been organized into a single overarching grant portfolio:

  • Investigate the biochemical pathways that regulate eye growth

  • Characterize the etiology of refractive errors

  • Identify the genes and environmental factors that contribute to the development of refractive errors

  • Develop new technologies for assessing or treating refractive errors

Program Directors

Central Visual Processing
Martha C. Flanders, Ph.D.

Development and Regeneration
Thomas N. Greenwell, Ph.D.

Myopia and Refractive Error
Cheri L. Wiggs, Ph.D.

Oculomotor Systems
Houmam Araj, Ph.D.

Perception and Psychophysics
Cheri L. Wiggs, Ph.D.

Strabismus and Amblyopia
Houmam Araj, Ph.D.

Last updated: August 3, 2021