Investigations in the clinical psychophysics and electrophysiology laboratory are focused on the development of noninvasive techniques for evaluating visual function in patients with eye disease. A primary emphasis of the research in the laboratory is to establish the relationship between visual dysfunction and the underlying retinal disease process.
Current investigations use psychophysical, electrophysiological, and other noninvasive procedures, in combination with information from other disciplines, such as molecular genetics. Ongoing psychophysical studies include evaluation of visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and perimetric sensitivity. Ongoing electrophysiological studies include evaluation of rod and cone system function, as measured by the electroretinogram (ERG).
Novel, sensitive, noninvasive approaches to assessing visual function are becoming increasingly needed as gene-directed therapies and retinal cell transplantation therapies begin to enter clinical trials. In addition to assessing the efficacy of new therapeutic approaches, novel techniques for evaluating visual function can provide insight into the mechanisms underlying visual dysfunction.