Ocular Motor Research group
Human Behaviour, Human System Disorders, MRI Techniques, Multiple Sclerosis, Neurocognitive Processes, Neuroimaging, Ocular Motor System.
2019 Fielding-White group. L-R: Ms Elisha Papdemitriou, Ms Paige Foletta, Dr Hue Mun Au Yong, Prof Owen White, Ms Sylvia Dymmock, Ms Georgia Fuller Symons, Ms Emma Solly, A/Prof Joanne White, Dr Meaghan Clough, Dr Wendy Wang.
A/Prof Joanne Fielding
Prof Owen White
The group's research entails an investigation of the ocular motor system as a means of developing an understanding of neurocognitive processes fundamental to normal human behaviour, and how these processes may be, or become, dysfunctional.
Dr Meaghan Clough
Dr Hue Mun Au Yong
Ms Paige Foletta
Ms Georgia Fuller Symons
Ms Emma Solly
Ms Charmaine Diep
Ms Pippa Iva
Ms Jinny Collet
Dr Wendy Wang (Masters)
Jade Bartholomew (Honours)
Thomas Cahir (Honours)
Jacob Carmichel (Honours)
The group’s research entails an investigation of the ocular motor system as a means of developing an understanding of neurocognitive processes fundamental to normal human behaviour, and how these processes may be, or become, dysfunctional. The work combines a range of sophisticated approaches (ocular motor, neuropsychological and neuroimaging), and primarily explores (dys) function in human lesion and system disorders. Establishing the clinical utility of ocular motor measures is a primary goal of the research, translating research outcomes into clinical practice.
This entails developing and applying methods that can:
- sensitively measure disease severity and evolution
- evaluate the efficacy of treatment
- advance our understanding of the neurobiological bases of phenotypically similar conditions.
- Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension
- Visual snow causes being revealed
- $140,000 donation kicks off research into Visual Snow
- Visual snow: understanding the neurological condition
Cognitive function is highly prevalent in MS. However, routine clinical assessment rarely includes assessment of cognitive function. This clearly impacts the implementation of effective patient management strategies. To address this, we propose the inclusion of ocular motor measures of cognition in the clinical assessment of MS patients. This research will ascertain the profile of measures most useful to (1) aid diagnosis, and (2) measure disease progression and treatment response. Ultimately, this will lead to the development of a user-friendly, cost-effective, surrogate measure of brain damage and therapeutic effect which would dramatically improve patient management, potentially facilitating earlier identification of symptoms and progression and the prediction of disease course.
is fingolimod neuroprotective? It has been proposed that fingolimod has neuroprotective effects due not only to its inhibition of lymphocyte migration but also due to direct effects on glial cells and neurons. Preservation of brain volume has been posited as support for neuroprotection. The question arises as to whether fingolimod is primarily anti-inflammatory, protects against neurodegeneration or otherwise causes fluid retention within the blood-brain barrier due to the complex effects on sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors.
Neuroprotection requires documentation of neural structure and function over time, with preservation of structure and function. Apparent preservation of structural integrity, in the presence of continued functional deterioration, would imply a phenomenon other than neuroprotection. We are investigating this by matching preservation of physiological function (ocular motor measures) against anatomical integrity in the brain (MRI) and the eye (OCT).
Visual snow (VS) describes the disturbing visual experience of continuous flickering dots, or static, appearing across the entire visual field. Although health care providers often see patients who report VS, the problem remains undefined, and frequently misdiagnosed as migraine with aura or hallucinogen perception disorder. More often, however, the condition is dismissed as being psychological in origin, creating undue stress on sufferers and precipitating endless and unnecessary investigations. Evidence is accumulating however, that VS is a very ‘real’ phenomenon with a neurobiological basis and that it may arise from the same pathophysiological mechanisms as migraine. Like migraine, it has been proposed that VS might be a consequence of aberrant cortical excitation or hyperexcitability. This research is designed as the next essential step towards (1) elucidating the underlying pathophysiology of VS, and (2) providing simple behavioural tests to aid future development of effective treatment strategies to enable clinicians to diagnose and treat a condition that until recently has be largely overlooked.
in retired AFL players with a history of concussion Concussion is relatively common in collision sports. Previous studies have reported increased incidence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and depression, as well as neurodegenerative conditions, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, dementia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in retired American football players who sustained repetitive brain injuries earlier in life. Despite the increased concerns and research efforts related to the long-term neurological consequences of SRC, few studies have investigated these potential effects in Australian rules footballers. Australian rules football is the most participated and highest profile collision sport is Australia, and its popularity and participation continues to grow.
Ocular motor cognitive tests have demonstrated utility in neurological populations, where cognitive changes are subtle and subclinical in regards to conventional neuropsychological measures. This research aims to investigate the utility of ocular motor cognitive assessment in retired professional Australian rules football players with a history of concussion.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by social deficits and repetitive, restricted behaviours. While the underlying aetiology of these core ASD symptoms remains unclear, many researchers have argued that attentional and perceptual anomalies contribute to their manifestation. Consequently, the way that these individuals attend to and perceive their environment has received considerable attention. However, there still little agreement on the exact profile of these anomalies, with the literature continuing to report conflicting findings. While the cause of discrepancy is likely multifactorial, it is becoming increasingly apparent that we need to consider the heterogeneity of this population and the factors that may be influencing these abilities in different individuals. This research explores factors that may differentially influence the attentional and perceptual abilities of individuals with ASD, including motor proficiency.
Current Project Funding
- 2019 Elucidating the neuropathophysiology of visual snow
Chief Investigators: Fielding, J & White, O.
Funding Source: Visual Snow Initiative
Funding amount; $140,267
- 2017-21 Ocular motor assessment as an extension of the neurological examination in multiple sclerosis
Chief Investigators:Fielding, J
Funding Source:Genzyme Corporation
Funding Amount:$ 668,545
- 2015-19 Correlation of structure and function in the brain in Multiple Sclerosis: is fingolimod neuroprotective?
Chief Investigators: White, O., Fielding, J.
- 2016-20 Correlation of structure and function in multiple sclerosis
Chief Investigators: White, O., Fielding, J. Clough, M.
Funding Source:Cabrini Foundation Clinical Research Grant
Available student research projects
Selected Recent Publications
See recent publications for Jo Fielding in the Monash RSS feed immediately below, at PubMed Fielding J + Monash and select list further down.
- Ternes, A-M., Clough, M, Foletta, P., White, O., & Fielding, J. (2019). Characterisation of inhibitory failure in Multiple Sclerosis: Evidence of impaired conflict resolution. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 41(3):320-329.
- Lindor, E., Rinehart, N., & Fielding, J. (2019). Distractor inhibition in autism spectrum disorder: evidence of a selective impairment for individuals with co-occurring motor difficulties. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49(2):669-682.
- Lindor, E., Rinehart, N., & Fielding, J. (2018). Superior visual search and crowding abilities are not characteristic of all individuals on the autism spectrum. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48(10):3499-3512.
- White, O, McKendrick, A, & Fielding, J. (2018). Visual snow - visual misperception. Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology, 38(4):514-521.
- Clough, M., Frohman, A., Sears, D., Foletta, P., White, O., & Fielding, J. (2018). Multiple sclerosis: Executive dysfunction, task switching and the role of attention. Multiple Sclerosis Journal: Experimental, Translational and Clinical. 4(2)
- Clough, M., Mutimer, S., Wright, D., Tsang, A., Costello, D., Gardner, A., Stanwell. P., Sun, M., Brady, R., McDonald, S., Webster, K., Johnstone, M., Semple, B., White, O., Frayne, R., Fielding, J., O’Brien, T., & Shultz, S. (2018). Ocular motor, neuropsychological, and multimodal MRI outcomes in amateur Australian rules footballers with a history of sports-related concussion. Journal of Neurotrauma. 35(5):730-738.
- Ginsberg, E., Rinehart, R., & Fielding, J. (2017) Measures of task demand and error analysis in the Corsi block–tapping test. Psychology and Neuroscience. 10(4):404-413
- McKendrick, A., Chan, J., Tien, M., Millist, L., Clough, M., Mack, H., Fielding, J., & White, O. (2017). Behavioural measures of cortical hyperexcitability assessed in people who experience visual snow. Neurology, 88(13):1243-1249.
- Shelton, A., Cornish, K., Clough, M., Gajamange, S., Kolbe, S., & Fielding, J. (2017). Disassociation between brain activation and executive function in Fragile X premutation females, Human Brain Mapping, 38(2):1056-1067
- Shelton, A., Cornish, K., Godler, D., Bui, M., Kolbe, S., & Fielding, J. (2017). White matter microstructure, cognition and molecular markers in Fragile X premutation females. Neurology, 88(22):2080-2088
- Shelton, A., Cornish, K., Kolbe, S., Clough, M., Slater, H.., Xin, L., Kraan, K., Bui, M., Godler, D., & Fielding, J. (2016) Brain structure and intragenic DNA methylation are correlated, and predict executive dysfunction in fragile X premutation females. Translational Psychiatry, 6, e984
- Johnson, B., Lum, J., Rinehart, N. & Fielding, J. (2016). Ocular motor disturbances in autism spectrum disorders: systematic review and comprehensive meta-analysis. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 69:260-79
- Fielding, J., Clough, M., Millist, L., Beh, S., Sears D., Frohman, A., Renneker, R., Lim, J., Lizak, N., Frohman, T., White, O., & Frohman, E. (2015). Ocular motor pathophysiological signatures of cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis. Nature Reviews Neurology, 11, 637–645
- Clough, M., Millist, L., Lizak, N., Frohman, T., Frohman, E., White, O., & Fielding, J. (2015). Ocular motor measures of cognitive dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis II: Inhibitory control. Journal of Neurology, 262(5):1130-7.
- Clough, M., Mitchell, L., Millist, L., Lizak, N., Frohman, T., Frohman, E., White, O., & Fielding, J. (2015). Ocular motor measures of cognitive dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis II: Working memory. Journal of Neurology, 262(5):1138-47.