The general objective of my research program is to understand how eye disorders and abnormal visual experience affect the way visual information is processed in the visual pathways and how the brain learns to see the world in degraded viewing conditions. Worldwide, 1.3 billion of children and adults live with some form of visual impairment. Their abnormal visual experience induces brain and perceptual behavior changes, providing an ideal model to study functional plasticity of the visual and oculomotor systems across the lifespan, as well as the development of literacy and its neural circuitry.
By combining several cutting-edge techniques including psychophysics, eye tracking, high-resolution brain imaging (fMRI), computational linguistics and modeling, I will investigate interactions between low-level visual impairments and the plasticity of higher-level perceptual functions.
The aims of my pluridisciplinary and translational research program, at the interface between fundamental and applied research, are (1) to understand general mechanisms of plasticity and aging, (2) to identify the factors limiting visual performance in people with impaired vision, and (3) to apply this knowledge to health and life science and help overcome disability. Clinical applications will include the development of rehabilitative methods and innovative adaptive equipment to improve the quality of life of the visually impaired by maintaining their ability for written communication and overall functional vision.