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In my PhD I am using basic and clinical psychophysics to investigate visual crowding, which is a fundamental limit on perception in peripheral vision and cluttered scenes. Visual crowding arises from neural processing of visual input and has been implicated in a number of conditions affecting vision. By understanding the mechanics of visual crowding and the psychology of vision, we are able to unravel how the brain makes sense (or sometimes, nonsense) of the world we see.

Educational and Professional Qualifications

2016: MCOptom, The College of Optometrists
2014: BSc (Hons) Optometry, Cardiff University

Employment History

2016 - 2018: Optometrist, Pembroke Dock
2014 - 2016: Pre-registration optometrist, Pembroke Dock

Professional Memberships and Registration

Member of the College of Optometrists (MCOptom)
Registered with the General Optical Council (GOC) Reg. no. 01-29248

Public Engagement

Brain Games 2019, National Museum Cardiff, Volunteer Demonstrator


Research interests

Visual crowding is the main cause of difficulty seeing targets (such as letters) clearly when other elements are nearby. In my research I use specific shapes and tests to measure exactly what we see when those shapes become 'crowded', and link these effects to processes in the brain.

Research Team

Dr Tony Redmond (Primary supervisor: School of Optometry and Vision sciences, Cardiff University)
Dr Jennifer H Acton (Second supervisor: School of Optometry and Vision sciences, Cardiff University)
Dr John A Greenwood (Third supervisor: UCL Experimental Psychology, London)
Prof James E Morgan (Collaborator: School of Optometry and Vision sciences, Cardiff University)

See Professor Morgan talk about the importance of research here: Embedded video

Research Experience

2013: Wellcome Trust Biomedical Vacation Scholar, Cardiff University (Supervisor: Dr T Redmond)

Funding and awards

Wellcome Trust Biomedical Research Scholarship, 2013 (Supervisor: Dr T Redmond). £1,440


  • OP1201 Basic Clinical Techniques, Clinical Tutor

  • OP0204 Optometric Physics, Practical Demonstrator

  • OP3202 Low Vision and Contact Lenses, Clinical Tutor


Jennifer Acton

Dr Jennifer Acton

Senior Lecturer & Director of Recruitment and Admissions