The current research of Professor Steven Dakin

Project Code: 10447224

Faculty: Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Department: Optometry & Vision Science

Main Supervisor: Professor Steven Dakin

Co supervisors: Dr Sam Schwarzkopf (dsch908)

Application open date: 20 Mar 2019

Application deadline: 20 Jun 2023


I am a visual neuroscientist working on how eye and brain work together to support visual perception and why vision goes wrong. My research combines basic science (how things work) and clinical science (helping people with vision problems or people with neurological conditions that impact on vision). I use a range of techniques in my lab including psychophysics (measurement of visual behaviour), brain imaging, eye tracking and virtual reality. We study vision in a wide range of people. Here's a selection of current projects:

1. A Marsden funded project exploring how the brain (not the eye) can limit the smallest thing we can see

2. A Cure Kids funded project to develop new eye charts for children (the Auckland Optotypes, freely available here:

3. Analysing children's eye movements (recorded while they watch movies) to diagnose neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism spectrum disorder (funded by Cure Kids)

4. Using eyetracking to quantify strabismus (deviation of the eyes) prior to and following surgery on the eye muscles (funded by the Auckland Academic Health Alliance)

5. Using 3D movies presented on handheld gaming devices to treat amblyopia (aka "lazy eye"; funded by Action Medical Research UK and Rotary NZ)

6. Visual Adaptive Sensitivity Tracing (VAST): diagnosing age-related eye conditions using self-administered electronic charts 

7. Using reflexive movements of the eyes (optokinetic nystagmus, OKN: ) to diagnose concussion

8. Using OKN to diagnose colour vision deficits in children

9. Using OKN to diagnose age related diseases such as glaucoma

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