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Dr Jonathan Erichsen 


Staff Photos
Position:Director of Postgraduate Research

Telephone:+44 (0)29 2087 5656
Fax:+44 (0)29 2087 4859
Extension:75656
Location:Room 2.39, Maindy Road

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’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.

Selected Publications

May PJ, Sun W, Erichsen JT (2008)

Defining the pupillary component of the perioculomotor preganglionic population within a unitary primate Edinger-Westphal nucleus.

Progress in Brain Research 171: 97-106.

 

Wright NF, Erichsen JT, Vann SD, O'Mara SM, Aggleton JP (2010)

Parallel but separate inputs from limbic cortices to the mammillary bodies and anterior thalamic nuclei in the rat.

Journal of Comparative Neurology 518: 2334-54.

 

Vann SD, Erichsen JT, O'Mara SM, Aggleton JP (2011)

Selective disconnection of the hippocampal formation projections to the mammillary bodies produces only mild deficits on spatial memory tasks: Implications for fornix function.

Hippocampus 21: 945–957.

 

Tsanov M, Chah E, Vann SD, Reilly RB, Erichsen JT, Aggleton JP, O'Mara SM (2011)

Theta-modulated head direction cells in the rat anterior thalamus.

Journal of Neuroscience 31: 9489-502.