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Dr Matt J Dunn

Dr Matt J Dunn

Lecturer, Deputy Director of Postgraduate Research

+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 – 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

2022 India Vision Institute ResMeet (Hyderabad, India) "Challenges in integrating eyetracking into clinical care"
2022 Hans van der Steen Valedictory Symposium (Rotterdam, Netherlands) "Perception with nystagmus"
2020 Nystagmus Decoded (Madurai, India) – "Eyetracking made simple" (session moderator)
2018 RNIB Wales (Cardiff, UK) – "Understanding infantile nystagmus"
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.

2019 Public lecture (Unearthed Festival, UK) – "What we miss: The neuroscience of 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:

  • Behavior Research Methods
  • Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science
  • Frontiers in Psychology
  • Journal of Ophthalmology
  • PLOS One
  • Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
  • Vision Research
  • Eye
  • Current Eye Research
  • Clinical Ophthalmology
  • Acta Psychologica
  • Therapeutic Advances in Rare Disease
  • Optometry and Vision Science
  • Strabismus
  • Journal of Eye Movement Research
  • Optometry in Practice

Grant reviewer for:

  • Medical Research Council
  • Macular Society
  • Nystagmus Network













I deliver the Perception lecture series and run orthoptics teaching clinics. I am recognised as a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Modules currently taught

OP2206 Perception
OP3207 Research in Optometry and Vision Science
OP3103 Binocular Vision (clinic lead)
OPT006 Paediatric Ophthalmology
OPT007 Eye Care for People with Learning Disabilities

Modules previously taught

OP3205 Occupational Optometry, Law and Business (module leader)
OP3104 Abnormal Ocular Conditions
OP0205 Introductory Optometry
OP2206 Colour Vision and Perception (module leader)
OP3106 & OP2207 Visual Perception (module leader)
OP2201 Clinical Studies and Dispensing
OP2104 Binocular Vision
OP3103 Primary Eye Care
OP2103 Investigative Techniques
Doctoral Academy MATLAB programming

Funding (external only)

2020 JT Erichsen, L McIlreavy, MJ Dunn, JM Woodhouse. Development of an eye tracking system for assessment in the home. Nystagmus Network
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 £60,000
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

kath ward

Katherine Ward

Research student

Khawlah Alfaifi

Khawlah Alfaifi

Research student


Bader Almagren

Research student

Past projects

  • Dr Mason Wells (co-lead supervisor; 2022) Cinematic scanning: using movie watching fMRI to investigate the function and organisation of the visual brain
  • Dr Nikita Thomas (lead supervisor; 2021) Development of a novel gaze-contingent perimeter and assessment of retinal structure in infantile nystagmus