Early Detection of Glaucoma using on Eye Movements & Bayesian Modeling

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world, and early detection is crucial for effective management. This interdisciplinary project aims to develop a novel approach for the early diagnosis of glaucoma by integrating eye-movement analysis and Bayesian statistical modeling. With a multidisciplinary team of researchers, clinicians, and industry partners we explore innovative methods for identifying early signs of glaucoma through the analysis of eye movements.

Supported by Stichting Lijf en Leven (74_P.Bremen EMC) & EMC Starting Grant

Hearing the Light: What can sounds teach us about visual-field deficits?

This project aims to demonstrate that adding sounds to visual-field deficit screening tests results in more sensitive functional measures than is currently possible. This counterintuitive idea is based on fundamental insights into how our brain integrates sounds and sights. We are developing a non-invasive, audio-visual task based on eye-movement reaction times. The first step is the optimization of the task with healthy subjects under conditions mimicking glaucoma. And the second step is the validation in glaucoma patients. A successful proof-of-principle will open up the road for the development of a streamlined visual-field deficit screening procedure suitable for the clinic.

Supported by NWO grant OCENW.XS21.3.002

Driving through a Tunnel: Understanding the Impact of Glaucoma on Car Driving

In collaboration with TU Delft we're studying driving skills in the visually impaired and developing multi-sensory driving assistance systems. Our team has begun to adapt the driving simulator at the Faculty for Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft to our needs and demonstrated the benefit of audio-visual stimulation on participants’ reaction times and localization accuracy in a task-dependent manner. Task-dependent adaptation of sensory-motor processing suggests potential for rehabilitation strategies. Next steps will be refining the setup, verifying task-dependent audio-visual benefits and testing visually impaired patients.

Supported by Stichting Lijf en Leven (74_P.Bremen EMC) 

Sensori-motor Processing in Dynamic Environments

With Marc van Wanrooij (Radboud University), we study sensory processing and adaptive mechanisms in changing environments. This includes tracking moving audiovisual objects, which is crucial for safe traffic participation. We're developing computational models for the brain’s pursuit systems and seeking new biomarkers for sensory impairments. Promising pilot results with glaucoma patients will be further explored in this project.

The outcomes of these research projects will contribute to diagnosing and rehabilitating sensory-motor impairments. Existing collaborations with industry partners (BulbiTech, Oticon, Cochlear, MED-EL) and non-profit patient organizations (Royal Dutch Visio, Stichting Hoormij) will aid in implementing insights into clinical and rehabilitation practice.