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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
UK

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.

 Recent publications

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