Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Jonathan Erichsen

Yr Athro Jonathan Erichsen

Director of Postgraduate Research

Yr Ysgol Optometreg a Gwyddorau'r Golwg

+44 29208 75656
Optometreg a Gwyddorau'r Golwg , Ystafell Room 2.39, Maindy Road, Heol Maendy, Cathays, Caerdydd, CF24 4HQ
Sylwebydd y cyfryngau
Ar gael fel goruchwyliwr ôl-raddedig


Research Interests

My primary research interest is achieving a better understanding of the interaction between sensory and motor mechanisms within the visual system. For example, the prevalence of myopia has increased dramatically in the general population, and a growing body of evidence strongly suggests that overaccommodation ('near-work' ) and/or accommodative dysfunction play a role in this increase. Therefore, over the years, one aspect of my work has been centred on defining and stimulating the central near response pathways, including vergence and the pupillary light reflex, in order to better understand the interrelationship between accommodation and refractive development of the eye.

In addition, I have more recently been pursuing other active areas of research interest, including studies of the effect of environmental influences, such as stress, on an oculomotor pathology, congenital nystagmus. Any resultant changes in the frequency and/or size in the continuous eye movements characteristic of this syndrome can have profound consequences on certain aspects of visual performance and perception, thus impacting on the everyday lives of those with this condition.

My collaborations, both in the UK and internationally, have ranged from an assessment of nerve fibre layer damage in an experimental model of glaucoma to investigations of the role of the hippocampus in spatial navigation and visual discriminations. We have just received funding to investigate the remarkable ability of birds to sense and orient with respect to the earth$acirc;  s magnetic field. My team currently comprises two postdoctoral research associates and five postgraduate students.

We are supported principally by grants from the Leverhulme Trust and the Wellcome Trust, and our laboratories include state-of-the-art histological and neuroscience laboratories, a suite of videomicrographic image processing workstations, and an eye movement facility that includes both several relatively non-invasive infra-red recording systems.



































  • Tansley, K. and Erichsen, J. T. 1985. Vision. In: Campbell, B. and Lack, E. eds. A Dictionary of Birds. Calton: T & A D Poyser, pp. 623-629.







Book sections




Postdoctoral Research Associates

Dr. Matt Dunn                                             Nystagmus Network

Mr. Tomasz Kutrowski     Leverhulme Trust               with Dr. Turgut Meydan (Engineering)

Postgraduate students

Current Grant Support

M Dunn, JT Erichsen

Establishing clinical measures of temporal visual function in infantile nystagmus

Nystagmus Network Grant Award

2014-2015       £14,552

JT Erichsen, T Freeman

Understanding the basis for oscillopsia in nystagmus to provide a basis for treatment

Fight For Sight / Nystagmus Network Grant Award

2014-2015       £15,000

S Leekam, S Wass, JT Erichsen, A Clarke, A Millington

Visual attention control in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders$acirc;

Wellcome Trust / NISCHR Seedcorn/Feasibility Grant

2013-2014       £49,575

RJ Snowden, NS Gray, JT Erichsen

In the eyes of the beholder: The use of pupil response as a measure of emotional processing$acirc;

Wellcome Trust / NISCHR Seedcorn/Feasibility Grant

2013-2014  £42,189

JT Erichsen

Wellcome Trust ISSF Mobility Award

2013-2104  £1,580

JT Erichsen, T Meydan

Magnetoreception in homing pigeons: A novel approach

Leverhulme Trust Project Grant

2012-2015  £248,049

AJ Quantock & co-applicants, incl. JT Erichsen)

BBSRC Doctoral Training Grant

2009-2016  £212,040

Current Studentship Grants

JM Woodhouse, JT Erichsen, C Williams (Bristol Eye Hospital)

The assessment of tracking difficulties in children

College of Optometrists (UK)

2011-2014    £50,000

Recent Past Grant Support

JP Aggleton, , S Vann, SM O$acirc;  Mara (Dublin), JT Erichsen

Cellular substrates supporting the mnemonic functions of Papez$acirc;   circuit

Wellcome Trust Project grant

2010-2014  £205,032

$acirc; ¨

SM O$acirc;  Mara (Dublin), JP Aggleton, S Vann, JT Erichsen

Cellular substrates supporting the mnemonic functions of Papez$acirc;   circuit

Wellcome Trust Project grant

2010-2014   $acirc; 220,932

JT Erichsen

European Conference on Magnetic Sensors & Actuars & Satellite Wire Workshop

Royal Society International Travel Grants - 2010/R2 Conference Participation

2010-2011        £1,400

JP Aggleton, SM O$acirc;  Mara, JT Erichsen, S Vann

Why are there parallel hippocampal $acirc;   diencephalic pathways for event memory?

Wellcome Trust Project Grant

2007-2010       £158,395

$acirc; ¨

JT Erichsen

Visual stimulus generation equipment for Research Unit for Nystagmus

Nystagmus Network (UK)

2008        £11,000

$acirc; ¨

JT Erichsen (PI) & other co-applicants

Multidisciplinary core facility for microscopic image analysis and 3-D stereology


2006                           £69,864

$acirc; ¨

JA Guggenheim, JT Erichsen, PM Hocking

Mapping QTL for ocular component dimensions in chicken

BBSRC Project Grant

2005-2008        £265,360

Recent Research Seminars

July 2010-             Invited speaker, EMSA Conference, Bodrum, Turkey

$acirc;  Magnetic vision$acirc;  

Nov 2010-             Invited speaker, Society of Low Vision Specialists, Denmark

$acirc;  A stable view of the world: Why do we move our eyes?$acirc;

July 2011-            Invited speaker, Gordon Conference, Maine, USA:

Eye movements: The motor system that sees the world

$acirc;  Magnetoreception in homing pigeons: The dynamics of saccadic head movements"


  • OP1105/1106 Instructor- Human head & neck anatomy
  • OP2014 Lecturer- Binocular Vision and Optometric Neurophysiology
  • OP3107 Supervisor- Research Project


Education & Professional Qualifications

1968 - 1972AB (First Class Honours in Biology) Harvard University
1979  DPhil (Zoology) University of Oxford
1979 - 1983National Eye Institute (NIH) Postdoctoral Fellowship

Academic Positions

1983 - 1996Research Assistant ProfessorDept. of Neurobiology & Behavior, SUNY at Stony Brook, New York (USA)
1995 - 2014Senior Lecturer  School of Optometry & Vision  Sciences, Cardiff University
2006 - presentHeadVisual Neuroscience & Molecular Biology Research Group
2014 - PresentProfessorSchool of Optometry & Vision  Sciences, Cardiff University

Awards & Honors

1972Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa
1972NSF Postgraduate Studentship
1972-1975Marshall Scholar
1972-1979Danforth Foundation Fellow



Director, Postgraduate Research

Member of:

Research Committee
Postgraduate Research Committee
BSc Board of Studies

Recent University Committees (2000-2012)

Chair, University JBIOS Users' Group

Member of:

Biological Standards Committee
CUBRIC Steering Group
EMRIC Management Group
Neuroscience & Mental Health Research Institute Management Group

Public Engagement

Interview with Richard Osman about his nystagmus [Mail on Sunday] $acirc;   4 November 2013

Featured as Director of the Cardiff Research Unit for Nystagmus.

Brain Games $acirc;   17 March 2013; 16 March 2014

Wellcome Trust funded public engagement event produced by neuroscientists at Cardiff University for Brain Awareness Week hosted by the National Museum of Wales, to allow members of the public to explore different facets of neuroscience, mental health and biomedical ethics in a series of entertaining and stimulating activities for children and their parents.

Nystagmus Network Open Day $acirc;   13 October 2011; 5 October 2013

An invited speaker at this annual event hosted in London by the Nystagmus Network charity to enable those with nystagmus and their families to speak to medics, researchers and other professionals in an informal setting. There is also an exhibition area for low vision aids and local groups.

Science in Health $acirc;   17 March 2011; 8 March 2012; 21-22 March 2013; 19-20 March 2014

Cardiff School of Medicine / University Hospital of Wales

Demonstrations to introduce high school students to the function of eye movements and how they are recorded in the course of basic research and clinical diagnosis.

Leverhulme Trust Newsletter $acirc;   April 2011 $acirc;  Magnetoreception in the homing pigeon$acirc;     (see page 10)

An article about our recently funded research on the remarkable ability of homing pigeons to sense the earth$acirc;  s magnetic field and orient accurately to find their way home.

Radio Wales Science Cafà $acirc;   4 April 2011

School of Optometry & Vision Sciences at Cardiff University

This week Adam Walton, from BBC Radio Wales, visits the School to take a closer look at one of the most complex organs in the human body: the eye.

Open Day for the Research Unit for Nystagmus (RUN) - 17 April 2010

First Open Day to pay tribute to and thank those who have volunteered for our studies, and to introduce those who were not volunteers to what we do in an informal environment. Interviewed by Insight Radio (RNIB).

Nystagmus Network (UK) - Research featured on charity web site and in Newsletters

1996-present     Alumni admissions interviewer for Wales & Southwest England, Harvard University; member of Harvard Club of the United Kingdom (HCUK)

2007-present     Organiser of the Cardiff Expat American Meetup Group

Anrhydeddau a dyfarniadau

  • 1972- Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa
  • 1972- NSF Postgraduate Studentship
  • 1972-1975- Marshall Scholar
  • 1972-1979- Danforth Foundation Fellow

Aelodaethau proffesiynol

  • Applied Vision Association (AVA)
  • Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB)

Safleoedd academaidd blaenorol

  • 1983 - 1996- Research Assistant Professor Dept. of Neurobiology & Behavior, SUNY at Stony Brook, New York (USA)
  • 1995 - 2014-Senior Lecturer   School of Optometry & Vision  Sciences, Cardiff University
  • 2006 - present- HeadVisual Neuroscience & Molecular Biology Research Group
  • 2014 - Present- ProfessorSchool of Optometry & Vision  Sciences, Cardiff University

Pwyllgorau ac adolygu

  • Director, Postgraduate Research
  • Lead, Visual Neuroscience Director, Research Unit for Nystagmus (RUN)
  • Research Committee
  • Postgraduate Research Committee
  • BSc Board of Studies

Recent University Committees (2000-2012)

Meysydd goruchwyliaeth

Mae gen i ddiddordeb mewn goruchwylio myfyrwyr PhD ym meysydd:

  • Symudiadau llygaid dynol
  • seicoffiseg a chanfyddiad gweledol
  • Infantile Nystagmus
  • Clefyd niwroddirywiol
  • niwroanatomeg cof gofodol

Goruchwyliaeth gyfredol

Onyeka Amiebenomo

Onyeka Amiebenomo

Myfyriwr ymchwil