The Vaegan lecture series are seminars coordinated by Associate Professor Juno Kim at the School of Optometry and Vision Science and are named in memory of a colleague and friend, Vaegan who passed away in 2008.
Vaegan was a long standing academic at the School and was an accomplished physiologist and clinical electrophysiologist. As with most things, our Vaegan seminars went online this year. We held seven seminars on Zoom which hosted academics from Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States. These events continue to be an excellent opportunity to learn about and discuss the work of colleagues in a range of areas.
Our first seminar was presented by Dr Hua-Chun Sun, a Postdoctoral Research Associate from UNSW’s Psychology school. She presented on the perception of surface properties’ material and texture and how fMRI can identify where these processes occur in the brain.
In June, we hosted Dr Riccardo Natoli from the ANU medical school and the John Curtin School of Medical Research. He spoke about his laboratory’s studies of retinal microRNA and their role in retinal degeneration with the hope to develop novel therapeutics and diagnostics for treating retinal diseases like Macula Degeneration.
In the same month, Dr Murat Dogru, a practicing ophthalmologist and researcher at Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo, presented on the environmental factors associated with oxidative stress – a factor in dry eye.
Dr Jason Charng from the Lions Eye Institute Australia at the University of Western Australia presented a fascinating talk titled "Analysing Stargardt Disease Progression via Deep Learning" in August.
Dr Zoey Isherwood presented in July on the visual processing of natural statistical properties, especially the 1/fa amplitude spectrum which is common in nature. With data collected from fMRI scans, she suggests that the visual cortex is tuned to process stimuli with the natural 1/fa frequency.
In September, we hosted Dr Daniel Joyce a Postdoctoral Scholar in Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. He spoke about his research on recently discovered non-image forming visual pathways and the interactions between these pathways.
Professor Stuart Anstis from the University of California, San Diego, joined us in October. He presented findings from his study on the effects backgrounds have on our perception of objects’ motion and size.
Finally, in November, Dr Jennifer Campos from the University of Toronto, spoke on multisensory self-motion perception in younger and older adults. Her research aimed to quantify the way in which inputs from multiple sensory modalities are integrated in the brain to support standing balance, walking, and driving.
You can view the abstracts and speaker biographies for all of these Vaegan seminars on our website (under previous events). https://www.optometry.unsw.edu.au/news-events/events
Please reach out if you are an alumnus who is interested in giving a presentation to our staff and students on your area of expertise.