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Dr Matt J Dunn

Dr Matt J Dunn

Lecturer, Deputy Director of Postgraduate Research

School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

+44(0)29 208 70576
Room 2.12, Optometry and Vision Sciences, Maindy Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision


Research in my lab is focused on exposing the mechanisms underlying disorders of visual perception – including blindsight, Charles Bonnet Syndrome (hallucinations), visual dyslexia and infantile nystagmus. In particular, I am interested in the role of involuntary eye movements in perceptual (in)stability. My interest in eyetracking extends to the clinical application of eyetrackers in routine eyecare and neurology practice. I am the author of the popular ophthalmology e-textbook Dunn Vision Reference.

We typically recruit patients with orthoptic or perceptual disorders in order to better understand visual physiology. If you have a neurological visual disorder and are interested in taking part in research, please click here for more information.


Professional memberships

  • GOC registered optometrist
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Member of the College of Optometrists (MCOptom)

Academic positions

  • 2016 – Present: Lecturer, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University
  • 2014 – 2016: Research Associate, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University
  • 2013 – 2015: Teacher, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University
  • 2014: Research Associate, Department of Neuroscience, Cardiff and Vale University Local Health Board
  • 2013 – 2014: Research Associate, School of Psychology, Cardiff University
  • 2010 – 2013: Clinical supervisor, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University

Speaking engagements

Invited talks

  • 2017: Vision 2017 (The Hague, Netherlands) – “’Time to see’ in infantile nystagmus”
  • 2016: Rank Prize Funds (Grasmere, UK) – “Visual perception in the presence of nystagmus”
  • 2016: Oxford, Bristol, Cardiff & Southampton Alliance in Vision Research (Cardiff, UK) – “Seeing with nystagmus”
  • 2016: 100% Optical (London, UK) – “A clinician’s guide to nystagmus”
  • 2015: Midland Peripatetic Group for Teachers of the Visually Impaired (Birmingham, UK) – "Seeing with nystagmus"
  • 2015: LV Prasad Eye Institute (Hyderabad, India) – "Visual perception in infantile nystagmus"
  • 2015: University of California (Berkeley, California, US) – "Visual perception in infantile nystagmus"
  • 2015: University of Houston (Houston, Texas, US) – "Visual perception in infantile nystagmus"
  • 2015: Orthoptics Decoded (Madurai, India) – "Orthoptic treatments for nystagmus" (session moderator) / "Supranuclear gaze palsies"
  • 2015: Nystagmus Network International Research Workshop (New Orleans, Louisiana, US) – "Visual timing in infantile nystagmus"
  • 2015: ARVO Annual Meeting (Denver, Colorado, US) – "Visual processing in infantile nystagmus is not slow"
  • 2013: Nystagmus Network International Research Workshop (Abingdon, UK) – "Appropriate measures of visual performance in infantile nystagmus: Acuity is not enough"
  • 2013: European Conference on Eye Movements (Lund, Sweden) – "Involuntary saccade initiation is related to the timing of voluntary saccades in infantile nystagmus"
  • 2013: ARVO Annual Meeting (Seattle, Washington, US) – "Visual acuity in infantile nystagmus in the absence of image motion"

Public engagement and media appearances

I am registered as a STEMnet ambassador, and provide public talks on vision science and perception.

  • 2018: Radio interview (BBC Good Morning Wales) – The importance of early sight tests
  • 2018: Public lecture (Sunday Assembly, Bristol, UK) – “What we miss”
  • 2017: Public lecture (Green Gathering, UK) – "Perception, illusions and visual neuroscience"
  • 2016: Public lecture (Tintern Philosophy Circle, UK), – "How much can we know from our senses?"
  • 2016: Public lectures (Boomtown Fair & Green Gathering, UK) – “How experience shapes perception: perspectives from visual neuroscience”
  • 2015: TV news article (BBC Points West) – Mobility and vision in patients following stroke
  • 2015: TV news article (BBC Wales Today) – Using virtual reality to understand visual guidance of walking
  • 2015: Public lecture (Green Gathering, UK) – "Neuroscience of visual perception"
  • 2014: Public lecture (Sunrise Festival, UK) – "Psychophysics and perception"

Committees and reviewing

Journal reviewer for:

  • Journal of Ophthalmology
  • Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
  • Behavior Research Methods
  • Clinical Ophthalmology
  • Optometry and Vision Science
  • Strabismus
  • Journal of Eye Movement Research

Grant reviewer for:

  • Medical Research Council
  • Nystagmus Network










I teach clinical optometry and orthoptics, and have previously delivered the Visual Perception lecture series at Cardiff University. I am recognised as a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Modules currently taught

  • OP3205 – Occupational Optometry, Law and Business (module leader)
  • OP3104 – Abnormal Ocular Conditions
  • OP3103 – Binocular Vision (clinic lead)
  • OP0205 – Introductory Optometry
  • OP3207 – Research Project (supervisor)
  • OPT006 – Paediatric Ophthalmology
  • OPT007 – Eye Care for People with Learning Disabilities

Modules previously taught

  • OP2206 – Colour Vision and Perception (module leader)
  • OP3106 & OP2207 – Visual Perception (module leader)
  • OP2104 – Binocular Vision
  • OP3101 – Primary Eye Care
  • OP2103 – Investigative Techniques
  • MATLAB programming (staff & postgraduate training course)

Current PhD students (with anticipated completion year)

  • 2021: Mason Wells (lead supervisor) – Mapping residual visual function in hemianopia
  • 2020: Nikita Thomas (lead supervisor) – Retinal predictors of visual performance in infantile nystagmus

Funding (external only)

  • 2020: MJ Dunn (PI), Teufel C. Investigating a plausible mechanism underlying hallucinations in Charles Bonnet Syndrome. Fight for Sight / Welsh Government, £14,034
  • 2020: JT Erichsen, R Wise, MJ Dunn, L McIlreavy. Infantile nystagmus: exploring the causes and establishing better measures of visual performance. College of Optometrists, [studentship]
  • 2018: MJ Dunn (PI) [Fellowship]. The role of attention in peripheral vision. College of Optometrists, £28,727
  • 2018: MJ Dunn (PI), Shawkat F, Self J. Improving VEP diagnostics in people with nystagmus. Nystagmus Network / Fight for Sight, £6201
  • 2017: N Thomas, MJ Dunn, J Acton, JT Erichsen. Additional clinical testing for retinal predictors of visual performance in nystagmus. Nystagmus Network, £1387
  • 2016: PL Clatworthy, SK Rushton, MJ Dunn. The effect of visual cognitive impairment due to cerebrovascular disease on walking. North Bristol Trust, £8510
  • 2016: MJ Dunn (PI), JH Acton, JT Erichsen. Retinal predictors of visual performance in infantile nystagmus. College of Optometrists, £55,827
  • 2014: MJ Dunn (PI). Understanding binocular vision in infantile nystagmus. College of Optometrists, £19,573
  • 2014: MJ Dunn (PI) & JT Erichsen. Establishing clinical measures of temporal visual function in infantile nystagmus. Nystagmus Network, £14,552
  • 2013: MJ Dunn (PI) & JT Erichsen. Nystagmus analysis software development grant, Nystagmus Network. £1500


If you are interested in pursuing a PhD with me, please get in touch or click here for more information.

Current supervision

Mason Wells

Mason Wells

Research student

Nikita Thomas

Nikita Thomas

Research student

James Brawn

James Brawn

Research student