Professor Robin Walker

Personal profile

Research interests

My research involves experimental studies designed to further our understanding of how the brain transforms a sensory input into a co-ordinated motor output (a process called 'sensorimotor transformation').  More specifically, my research centres on the human eye-movement (oculomotor) system and involves behavioural studies of saccadic eye movement in normal human subjects.  The aim of my work is to further our understanding of how the network of cortical and sub-cortical brain regions control the shifts of gaze and attention that are involved in the process of visual cognition.  

 

Functional imaging of the human superior colliculus

A recent project (funded by the Leverhulme Trust) in collaboration with Andy Smith and Michele Furlan (RHUL) will apply functional magnetic resonance imaging (or fMRI) to investigate saccade-target selection processes in the human superior colliculus.  The superior colliculus is a small midbrain structure that has an important role in process of translating sensory inputs to control shifts of gaze and attention.  The project will inform our understanding of the human SC, whilst also opening the way for fMRI to be applied to other small non-cortical structures.

 

Research interests (continued)

The MD_evReader  An iPad App for people with Macular Disease

A project funded by the RHUL Gateway innovation fund, in association with the Macular Society, has enabled us to develop an iPad app (called the MD_evReader) for people with macular disease. The app is designed to improve reading (of eBooks and ePub documents) when combined with the 'eccentric viewing' technique. The app enables text to be presented in large font, while scrolling one line at a time, across the screen. Scrolling can be controlled, using a track-pad, allowing speed and direction of text to be changed as required.  The iPad can be connected to a large digital screen, or TV (via a HDMi cable) enabling very large text to be presented.  The use of scrolling text is designed to reduce the natural tendency to make eye movements (normally made to enable each word to be fixated) to enhance the use and user experience of reading with the eccentric viewing technique. The app is free to download for the iPad from iTunes and for Android devices from Google Play

 

The MD_evReader was selected by Universities UK as one of 20 world-class research projects featured in their Ideas for Life event and has also featured in an article in The Daily Telegraph

 

Postgraduate students and researchers: Hannah Harvey (RHUL), Lauren Bryan (RHUL), Soazig Casteau

 

Past students, postgraduates and researchersRichard Amlot (Health Protection Agency), Christian Jarrett (BPS), Eugene McSorley (Reading), Erman Misirlisoy (UCL), Matt Wall (UCL).

Published undergraduate projects:

Misirlisoy et al. (2015)

Harvey and Walker (2014)

 

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