Visual Function Section

Ophthalmic Genetics and Visual Function Branch

The Visual Function Section within the Ophthalmic Genetics and Visual Function Branch provides expertise and technical support in electrophysiology and psychophysics to the ophthalmology clinical program at the NEI. Our focus is on the diagnosis and treatment of inherited and acquired retinal disorders using a wide range of capabilities. Available electrophysiology and psychophysics capabilities include the recording of full-field, pattern, sub-microvolt and direct-imaging multifocal electroretinography, electro-oculography, fast Oscillation and visual evoked potentials. Psychophysics capabilities include fundus-guided 2 color-dark-adapted microperimetry and a Cambridge Research System for detailed measurement of color vision. Other psychophysics tools include systems for the assessment of static, flicker and kinetic perimetry as well as focal and 2-color dark adaptometry.

The Section is also extensively involved in the development and design of functional outcome measures for clinical trials involving retinal disease. Our long term goal is to understand better the pathogenesis of inherited retinal diseases by combining measurements of retinal function with high resolution imaging and molecular biology. To this end, we are pursuing the development of novel methods for the assessment of retinal function. Current projects include development of a system for measurement of rod phototransduction from the central retina using focal, fundus-guided electrophysiology and the development of a method for measuring color vision in low-vision subjects. Inherited retinal diseases that we are particularly interested in include congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB), Stargardt disease, cone and cone-rod dystrophies and retinitis pigmentosa.

Last Reviewed: September 2012