Professor Stephen J. Anderson

B.Optom. (UNSW), B.Sc. (Hons), PhD (UWA), MCOptom (Lond)

Professor of Optometry and Visual Neuroscience 

School of Life & Health Sciences
Aston University
Birmingham B4 7ET

email: s.j.anderson@aston.ac.uk
telephone: +44 (0) 121 204-3879

fax: +44 (0) 121 359-4498

Lecturer on the Undergraduate Optometry Programme

Research Group

Basic and Applied Neurosciences

Research Centre
Aston Brain Centre

Centre for Vision and Hearing Research (CVHR)

Steve Anderson
I graduated in Optometry from the University of New South Wales in Sydney (1979) and worked in private practise for two years as an optometric consultant to various towns and mining sites in the outback regions of Western Australia. Returning to full-time study, I obtained an honours degree in psychology (1984) and a PhD in visual neuropsychology (1988) from the University of Western Australia. I was awarded a Fulbright post-doctoral Fellowship from The Australian-American Fulbright Foundation to continue my research in the optometry department at The University of California in Berkeley. Following this I was appointed as the William Elgar Buck Scholar for medical research at St. John’s College, Cambridge, and worked in The Physiological Laboratory at Cambridge University for three years from 1988. After Cambridge, I was appointed Lecturer in Optometry at Aston, where I remained for four years, and then Reader in Neuropsychology at Royal Holloway, University of London. In 2000 I moved back to Aston to take up the Chair in Optometry and Visual Neuroscience. My other appointments include Visiting Research Professor of Neurosciences at The Advanced Telecommunications Research (ATR) Institute International, Kyoto, Japan (2000 – present), and Honorary Clinical Research Fellow, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, University Hospital NHS Trust (2004/05). My current research areas include: (i) studying the functional organization of the human brain using neuroimaging (MEG, fMRI) and psychophysical techniques; (ii) clinical studies on amblyopia and age-related macular degeneration; and (iii) cross-modal studies examining the way vision, motor activity and attentional processes interact in the human brain. My research has been funded with grants from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, The Wellcome Trust, Fight for Sight, The Macular Disease Society, and The Royal Society, London.

BOptom from The University of New South Wales, School of Optometry (1979)

BSc (1st class Hons) from The University of Western Australia, Department of Psychology (1984)

PhD from The University of Western Australia, Department of Psychology (1988)

MCOptom from The College of Optometrists, London (1992)

2005/10  Head of Neurosciences, School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University.

2005/10  Associate Director of Research for School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University.

2003/05  Acting Head of Audiology and Director of the undergraduate programme in Audiology.

2001/05  Director of the Neurosciences Research Institute, Aston University.

2000/01  Head of the Neuroimaging Research Group, Neurosciences Research Institute, Aston.

2/2000+  Professor of Optometry and Visual Neuroscience, Aston University.

1996/00  Reader in Psychology and undergraduate admissions tutor, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.

1991/95  Lecturer and post-graduate admissions tutor, Department of Vision Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.

1988/91  The William Elgar Buck Memorial Medical Research Scholar, St. John’s College, Cambridge. Attached to The Physiological Laboratory, Cambridge University, UK.

1987/8    Fulbright Post-doctoral Research Fellow, School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, USA.

2007 - Co-recipient, as a Professorial member of Aston’s Neuroimaging Research Group, of the Dr Hadwen Trust’s 2007 award for “OutStanding Contribution to Animal Replacement (OSCAR)”, given in recognition of the Neuroimaging Group’s research using fMRI and MEG and the contribution this makes towards the replacement of animal-based research.

2002 -  Awarded the Research and Development Prize (General Category) from The Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute (ATR, International), Soraku-Gun, Kyoto, Japan, for work on parallel processing within human vision.

  • Ian E. Holliday  BSc, PhD
          Funding: Fight For Sight, Institute of Ophthalmology, London. January 1994/96.
  • Noriko Yamagishi  BSc, MSc, PhD
          Funding: Academic Visitor to Royal Holloway, London. September 1996/98.Gaynor Evans BSc, PhD
          Funding: BBSRC (Integrative Analysis of Brain & Behaviour Initiative). March 2004/07.
  • Kristofer Kinsey BA, PhD 
          Funding: BBSRC (Integrative Analysis of Brain & Behaviour Initiative). May 2004/07.Avgis Hadjipapas MBBS, PhD
          Funding: BBSRC (Integrative Analysis of Brain & Behaviour Initiative). January 2004/07.
  • Olivia Longe BSc, PhD
          Funding: EPSRC, Academic Fellowship Scheme (Neurosciences). May 2005/10
  • Annie Salmon (Supervisor) Laser eye correction: effect on amblyopic patients. 2009+. Clinical Doctorate in Optometry, Aston University

  • Sally Blakemore (Supervisor) Optimal typography for reading with peripheral vision. 2009+. Clinical Doctorate in Optometry, Aston University.

  • Louise James (Supervisor) Effect of low vision rehabilitation on quality of life in macular disease patients. 2009+. Clinical Doctorate in Optometry, Aston University.

  • Jennifer B. Swettenham (Supervisor) Functional neuroimaging and behavioural studies on global form processing in the human visual system. 2001/05: PhD, Aston.

  • Frances A. Maratos (Supervisor) Behavioural and neuroimaging investigations of the relationship between visual attention, affordance and action. 2001/05: PhD, Aston.

  • Jan Mitchell (Co-supervisor with C. Bradley, Royal Holloway) Survey of people’s experiences of macular disease and impact on quality of life. 1998/02: PhD, London.

  • Inka Steffens (Co-supervisor with A. Smith, Royal Holloway) The integration of local motion signals in the human brain. 1997/2000: MSc, London.

  • Alexandra Willis  (Supervisor) Parvocellular contribution to human motion perception inferred from psychophysical adaptation studiesImplications for glaucoma research. 1993/97: PhD, London.

  • Catherine Suttle (Co-supervisor with G. Harding, Aston) Development of visual evoked responses to tritan, red-green and luminance stimuli in human infants. 1994/97: PhD, Aston.

2004/10 £124,482 Research grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Academic Fellowship Scheme in Neurosciences.

2004/09 £789,096 Research grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) (Integrative Analysis of Brain & Behaviour Initiative, Animal Sciences Committee). Title: Dynamics of integrative neural processes within the human visual cortex. (as principal co-investigator with I.E. Holliday at Aston and G. Green at York).

2001 £38,125 project grant from The Macular Disease Society. Project: Development of visual display strategies to enable patients with macular disease to use peripheral viewing for reading.

1999  £33,400 project grant from Alcon Laboratories, Inc. (as co-investigator with C. Bradley). Project: Health psychology research into macular disease - Survey of people’s experiences of macular disease and impact on quality of life.

1998  £6,000 pilot study grant from The Macular Disease Society, UK (as co-investigator with C. Bradley & P. Bradley). Study: Survey of people’s experiences of macular disease with a view to improving their quality of life.

1998 £37,600 competitive internal equipment grant from The University of London. Equipment: 32-channel electro-encephalographic (EEG) NeuroScan signal imaging system.

1997  £570 conference grant from The Royal Society, London, to attend the Annual meeting for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology.

1996 £2,500 travel awards from The Geoffrey J. Burton Memorial Fund, Fight For Sight and The Wellcome Trust. 

1995 £65,000 project grant from the Japanese Epilepsy Association (as co-investigator with G.F.A. Harding). Project: Epilepsy and computer-generated video display games.

1994  £80,000 project grant from Fight For Sight, Institute of Ophthalmology, London. Project: Magneto-encephalographic study of human amblyopia. 

1993  3,300 ECU project grant from The Commission of the European Communities, Human Capital and Mobility Programme (as co-investigator with M.A. Georgeson). Project: Human motion perception.

1992/95  £30,000 project grant from Fight For Sight, Institute of Ophthalmology, London. Project: Motion sensitivity and human glaucoma.

1988/90  £35,500 medical research scholarship from St. John’s College, Cambridge, England.

1987  $9,500 (US) Fulbright fellowship from the Australian-American Fulbright Association.

Kinsey, K., Anderson, S.J., Hadjipapas, A. & Holliday, I.E.  (2011).  Oscillatory brain activity and figure-ground segmentation in human vision. International Journal of Psychophysiology.  In Press.

Anderson S.J. and Gilmartin B.  Apparatus and method for affecting the progression of eye refractive error.  Patent submitted 23rdJuly 2010 (Patent submission # GB1012040.0)

Swettenham J.B., Anderson S.J. & Ngoc Jade Thai (2010).  MEG responses to the perception of global structure in Glass patterns.PLoS ONE (Public Library of Science5(11): e13865. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013865. pp1-9.  IF ~ 5.0

Yamagishi N., Anderson S.J.* & Kawato M. (2010).  The observant mind: self-awareness of attentional status. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London, Series B277, 3421-3426. (*Corresponding author).

Langley K. & Anderson S.J.  (2010). The Riesz transform and simultaneous representations of phase, energy and orientation in spatial vision. Vision Research50, 1748-1765.

Langley K., Lefebvre V. & Anderson S.J.  (2009). Cascaded Bayesian Processes: an account of bias in orientation perception. Vision Research49, 2453-2474.

Kinsey K., Anderson, S. J., Hadjipapas A., Nevado A., & Holliday, I. E. (2009).  Cortical oscillatory activity associated with the perception of illusory and real visual contours. International Journal of Psychophysiology73, 265–272.

Mitchell J., Wolffsohn J., Woodcock A., Anderson S.J., ffytche T., Rubinstein M., Amoaku W. and Bradley C. (2008). The MacDQoL individualised measure of the impact of macular degeneration on quality of life: Reliability and responsiveness. American Journal ofOphthalmology, 146,  447-454.

Yamagishi N., Callan D.E., Anderson S.J. & Kawato M. (2008). Attentional changes in pre-stimulus oscillatory activity within early visual cortex are predictive of human visual performance. Brain Research, 1197, 115-122.

Ashida H., Yamagishi N. & Anderson S.J. (2007) The relative contributions of colour and luminance signals towards the visuomotor localization of targets in human peripheral vision. Experimental Brain Research, 183, 425-434. DOI 10.1007/s00221-007-1059-0.

Maratos F., Anderson S.J.*, Hillebrand A., Singh K.D. & Barnes G.R.  (2007). The spatial distribution and temporal dynamics of brain regions activated during the perception of object and non-object patterns. NeuroImage34, 371-383. (*Corresponding author).

Langley K. & Anderson S.J. (2007). Subtractive and divisive adaptation in visual motion computations. Vision Research47, 673-686.

Anderson S.J. (2007)  Reading without central vision. Digest: Journal of the Macular Disease Society, January, pp 76-79.

Anderson S.J. & Swettenham J.B. (2006). Novartis Foundation Meeting Review: Neuroimaging in human amblyopia. Special edition ofStrabismus41, 21-35.

Wolffsohn J.S., Anderson S.J., Mitchell J., Woodcock A., Rubinstein M., ffytche T., Browning A., Willbond K., Amoaku W.M. & Bradley C. (2006).  Effect of age related macular degeneration on the Eger Macular Stressometer photostress recovery time. British Journal ofOphthalmology90, 432-434.

Yamagishi N., Goda N., Callan D.E., Anderson S.J., & Kawato M. (2005). Attentional shifts towards an expected visual target alter the level of alpha-band oscillatory activity in the human calcarine cortex. Brain Research: Cognitive Brain Research25, 799-809.

Mitchell J., Wolffsohn J.S., Woodcock A., Anderson S.J., McMillan C.V., ffytche T., Rubinstein M., Amoaku W. & Bradley C. (2005). Psychometric evaluation of the MacDQoL individualised measure of the impact of macular degeneration on quality of life. Health & Quality of Life Outcomes3:25, pp1-15.  doi:10.1186/1477-7525-3-25.

Yamagishi N., Callan D.E., Goda N., Anderson S.J., Yoshida Y. & Kawato M. (2003). Attentional modulation of oscillatory activity in human visual cortex. NeuroImage20, 98-113.

Anderson S.J. (2002). Functional Neuroimaging in Amblyopia. In Amblyopia: a multidisciplinary approach. (Eds. M. Moseley, A. Fielder). Chapter 3, pp 43–67. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford (ISBN 0 7506 4691 8).

Mitchell J., Bradley P., Anderson S.J., ffytche, T. & Bradley C. (2002). Perceived quality of health care in macular disease: a survey of members of the Macular Disease Society. British Journal of Ophthalmology, 86, 777-781.

Meese T.S. & Anderson S.J.  (2002). Spiral mechanisms are required to account for summation of complex motion components.Vision Research, 42, 1073-1080.

Anderson S.J., Yamagishi N. & Karavia V. (2002). Attentional processes link perception and action. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London, Series B., 269, 1225-1232.

 Willis A. & Anderson S.J. (2002). Colour and luminance interactions in the visual perception of motion. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London, Series B269, 1011-1016.

Yamagishi N., Anderson S.J.* & Ashida H. (2001). Evidence for a dissociation between perceptual and visuomotor systems in humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London, Series B268, 973-977.  (*Corresponding author) Special Note: This paper was awarded the Research and Development Prize (General Category) of 2002 from ATR International, Japan.

Willis A. & Anderson S.J. (2000). Effects of glaucoma and aging on photopic and scotopic motion perception. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science41, 325-335.

Anderson S.J. & Yamagishi N. (2000). Spatial localisation of colour and luminance stimuli in human peripheral vision. Vision Research40, 759-771.

Fylan F., Singh K.D., Holliday I.E., Anderson S.J., & Harding G.F.A. (2000). Evoked magnetic responses from human V1: evidence for a chromatic-sensitive motion mechanism. In Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Biomagnetism, Vols. I & II (Eds. Aine CJ, Okada Y, Stroink G, Swithenby SJ, Wood CC). pp 749-752. Springer-Verlag, NY (ISBN: 0-387-98915-3).

Fylan F., Singh K.D., Holliday I.E., Anderson S.J., & Harding G.F.A. (2000). Evoked magnetic responses to isoluminant chromatic stimuli from human V1: spatial frequency characteristics. In Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Biomagnetism, Vols. I & II (Eds. Aine CJ, Okada Y, Stroink G, Swithenby SJ, Wood CC). pp 753-756. Springer-Verlag, NY (ISBN: 0-387-98915-3).


Anderson S.J., Holliday I.E. & Harding G.F.A. (1999). Assessment of cortical dysfunction in human strabismic amblyopia using magnetoencephalography (MEG). Vision Research39, 1723-1738.


Willis A. & Anderson S.J. (1998). Separate colour-opponent mechanisms underlie the detection and discrimination of moving chromatic targets. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London, Series B265, 2435-2441.


Fylan F., Holliday I.E., Singh K.D., Anderson S.J., & Harding G.F.A. (1997). Magneto-encephalographic investigation of human cortical area V1 with color stimuli. NeuroImage6, 47-57.

Suttle C.M., Anderson S.J. & Harding G.F.A. (1997). A longitudinal study of visual evoked responses to tritan stimuli in human infants. Optometry & Vision Sciences: Special Issue on Infant vision74, 717-725.

Holliday I.E., Anderson S.J. & Harding G.F.A. (1997). Magneto-encephalographic (MEG) evidence for non-geniculostriate visual input to human cortical area V5. Neuropsychologia35, 1139-1146.


Anderson S.J., Holliday I.E., Singh K.D., & Harding G.F.A. (1996). Localization and functional analysis of human cortical area V5 using magneto-encephalography. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London, Series B263, 423-431.

Anderson S.J., Drasdo N. & Thompson C.M.  (1995).  Parvocellular neurones limit motion acuity in human peripheral vision.Proceedings of the Royal Society, London, Series B. 261, 129-138.

Anderson S.J. & Holliday I.E. (1995). Night driving: effects of glare from vehicle headlights on motion perception. Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics15, 545-551.


Barnes G.R., Holliday I.E., Fylan F.C., Singh K.D., Bedford J.L., Bondarenko N.A., Anderson S.J. & Harding G.F.A.  (1994).  Human visual magnetic evoked response to chromatic gratings. In Vision Science and its Applications, Technical Digest Series, Vol. 2 (Optical Society of America, Washington D.C.),  pp144-147.

Harding G.F.A., Degg C., Anderson S.J., Holliday I.E., Fylan F., Barnes G. & Bedford J.  (1994).  Topographic mapping of the pattern onset evoked magnetic response to stimulation of different portions of the visual field. International Journal of Psychophysiology16, 175-183.

Daniels R., Harding G.F.A. & Anderson S.J. (1994). Effect of dopamine and acetylcholine on the visual evoked potential.International Journal of Psychophysiology16, 251-261.

Holliday I.E. & Anderson S.J.  (1994). Different processes underlie the detection of second-order motion at low and high temporal frequencies. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London, Series B257,165-173.

Harding G.F.A., Daniels R., Panchal S., Drasdo N., & Anderson S.J.  (1994).  Visual evoked potentials to flash and pattern reversal stimulation after administration of systemic or topical scopalamine.  Documenta Ophthalmologica86, 311-323.

Hess R.F. & Anderson S.J. (1993). Motion sensitivity and spatial undersampling in amblyopia. Vision Research33, 881-896.

Anderson S.J. (1993).Visual processing delays alter the perceived spatial form of moving gratings. Vision Research33, 2733-2746.


Banks M.S., Sekuler A.B. & Anderson S.J. (1991). Peripheral spatial vision: limits imposed by optics, photoreceptors and receptor pooling. Journal of the Optical Society of America8, 1775-1787.

Anderson S.J. &  Burr D.C. (1991). Spatial summation properties of directionally selective mechanisms in human vision. Journal of the Optical Society of America8, 1330-1339.

Anderson S.J., Burr D.C., & Morrone M.C. (1991). Two-dimensional spatial and spatial-frequency selectivity of motion-sensitive mechanisms in human vision.  Journal of the Optical Society of America8, 1340-1351.

Anderson S.J., Mullen K.T. & Hess R.F. (1991). Human peripheral spatial resolution for achromatic and chromatic stimuli: limits imposed by optical & retinal factors. Journal of PhysiologyLondon442, 47-64.


Anderson S.J. & Hess R.F. (1990). Post-receptoral undersampling in normal human peripheral vision. Vision Research30, 1507-1515.

Anderson S.J. & Burr D.C., (1989). Receptive field properties of human motion detection units inferred from spatial frequency masking. Vision Research29, 1343-1358.


Anderson S.J. & Burr D.C., (1987). Receptive field size of human motion detection units. Vision Research, 27, 621-635.

Anderson S.J. & Burr D.C., (1985). Spatial and temporal selectivity of the human motion detection system. Vision Research, 25, 1147-1154

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