Visual and brain development in children with early risk factors

Project Code: 10430719

Faculty: Liggins Institute

Department: Liggins Institute

Main Supervisor: Dist Prof Jane Harding

Application open date: 15 Jun 2018

Application deadline:

Enrolment information: NZ Citizens, NZ Permanent Residents, International


A PhD position in the area of children’s visual development is available within the University of Auckland, New Zealand and the University of Waterloo, Canada.The PhD project will involve psychophysical measures of form and motion perception in cohorts of children of who were born at risk of neonatal hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose levels after birth). The project may also involve MRI measures of visual cortex structure and function in a sub-set of the children.

What we are looking for in a successful applicant

Applicants should meet the criteria for acceptance to the doctoral program at the University of Auckland and hold a bachelor’s, master’s or professional degree in a relevant discipline (psychology, vision science, optometry, ophthalmology etc.).


Brain development can be affected by perinatal events such as preterm birth and low blood glucose levels soon after birth. The aim of this PhD project is to assess the effect of adverse perinatal events on the development of visual brain areas in early and late childhood. The project will involve the measurement of motion and form perception in children and may also extend to MRI measures of visual cortex structure and function.

Other information

The student will be based within the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland and supervision will be provided by Distinguished Professor Jane Harding (University of Auckland) and Professor Ben Thompson (University of Waterloo).

To apply, please send a CV and cover letter to Ben Thompson:

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