The Alvarez's team is the first to quantify how vision rehabilitation evokes neuroplasticity for people with convergence insufficiency, a visual dysfunction presented in almost 50% of individuals living with TBI. Our team conducts a study and quantified changes from vision rehabilitation through improvements in oculomotor behavior and functional MRI. This research is discovering how the brain retains itself using its existing “real estate” to regain oculomotor function. It can be translated into better and more efficient treatments for people, resulting in more functionality in potentially a shorter period of time. The goals of this lab are to understand how the visual system interoperates with the brain.

Key questions we are addressing are:

How motor learning occurs in the oculomotor system

Understanding dynamics of the vergence system

The underlying cause of eye strain or asthenopia and why some people are more prone to fatigue than others.

Why some people learn to wear progressive lenses while others cannot.

How external light energy influence the oculomotor system.

Understanding the neuronal controller of the vergence system.

Many experiments quantify the dynamics of eye movements. Our laboratory utilizes state of the art dynamic and static oculomotor recording instrumentation integrated with an ISCAN video imaging system and the limbus eye movement tracking system. We have capability to record dynamic saccadic, smooth pursuit, disparity vergence, and accomodative disparity vergence responses. With close proximity to the Advanced Imaging Center, we perform functional MRI experiments uding a 3T Siemens Magnetron system.