Janette Atkinson


Professor Janette Atkinson is Co-Director of the Visual Development Unit at the Department of Psychology, University College London and the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, alongside Professor Oliver Braddick.

Janette is also a Professor of Psychology at University College London and Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford. She is a UCL Pro-Provost (North America) and UCL Co-ordinator for ATHENA SWAN (careers for women in SET - Science, Engineering and Technology).

Atkinson’s research interests include: Developmental visual neuroscience; models of normal and abnormal development of human vision; neuropsychology of visuocognitive and spatial problems in children; Williams Syndrome; visual development in term/premature 'high risk' infants; visual seculae of prematurity; neonatal structural MRI/fMRI; infant vision screening; development of visual attention and executive function.


Child Vision Research Society 2007: Where have we got to in Understanding Development of the Visual Brain in Infants and Children?

Thirty years ago the field of infant vision took off with measures of acuity, contrast sensitivity, refraction and binocular function in the first year of life. Alistair Fielder was among the first leading paediatric ophthalmologists who recognised the possibilities of partnership with vision sciences using these advantages to tackle children’s visual disorders, notably amblyopia and strabismus.

Our own first contributions were in showing the normal development of acuity, contrast sensitivity and cortical binocularity by converging methods of preferential looking and electrophysiological VEP/VERP measures. We also adopted and developed photorefraction and videorefraction, charting the normal development of accommodation and astigmatism, and to demonstrate thought large scale population infant screening programmes, of over 8000 nine month olds, that we could detect and correct the refractive conditions that placed children at high risk of strabismus and amblyopia.

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