Infant Vision Laboratory
The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute
2318 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115

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Anthony M. Norcia


Anthony M. Norcia, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

Much of our knowledge of the world comes to us through vision. During early infancy, visual experience not only provides us with information about the environment, as it does in adulthood, but it also sculpts the very structure of the visual brain. It is this interaction between visual experience and the structure and function of the brain that is the focus of research activity in my laboratory.

We seek to understand the ways in which brain function is modified by early visual experience in both normally and abnormally developing infants. Our focus is on "spatial vision" --- our ability to sense the structure and layout of objects in the world through encoding contrast, pattern, motion and depth. We utilize direct, but non-invasive measures of the brain's electrical activity, Visual Evoked Potentials (VEPs), to study how the brain processes visual images.

We seek not only to understand how vision develops in infants, but to utilize information gained from studying the intricacies of visual development to better understand visual functioning in the adult. We also apply our knowledge of normal development to studies of how abnormal visual experience produces vision loss in childhood eye diseases, most notably in strabismus and amblyopia.

As part of our research, we develop new instrumentation for recording and analyzing brain activity. We are engaged in collaborations with clinicians who treat childhood eye disease and with basic scientists who are developing animal models of human visual development.

The Infant Vision Lab: Who Are We?
Anthony Norcia, Ph.D.--Senior Scientist
William Good, M.D.--Clinical Scientist
Chuan Hou, M.D.-Ph.D.--Research Associate
Melanie Palomeres, Ph.D.--Postdoctoral Fellow
Mark Pettet, Ph.D.--Programmer/Analyst
Vladimir Vildavski, Ph.D.--Senior Programmer
Margaret McGovern--Patient Coordinator