Relevant Degree Programs
Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters
Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!
- Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
- Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Admission Information & Requirements" - "Prepare Application" - "Supervision" or on the program website.
- Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
- Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
- Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
- Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
- Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
- Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
- Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
- Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
- Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
- Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
- Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
- Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
- Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.
Graduate Student Supervision
Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - Nov 2019)
Sensitivity to motion information emerges early in life, but full maturation of motion perception can take many years. Reports on the age at which typically-developing children reach adult-like global motion perception have ranged from 3-14 years. There are also conflicting reports on whether people with amblyopia (a visual disorder that occurs when a young child experiences abnormal visual input to one eye for a prolonged period) show deficits on these tasks. This dissertation examines the spatio-temporal factors underlying immaturities and deficits in motion perception. I tested the hypothesis that perception of motion stimuli created with small spatial displacements would mature later than those created with large displacements; and as a consequence, children with amblyopia would show selective deficits for these small spatial displacements. First, I investigated typical maturation of motion perception across a range of stimulus parameters in people aged 7-30 years (Chapter 3). The youngest children performed similar to adults for large displacements, but mature performance was not reached until middle teenage years for small displacements. Second, I investigated performance for the same stimulus parameters in children with amblyopia (Chapter 4). Deficits were only present for parameters where healthy control children showed late maturation. Finally, I examined two factors that might account for the immaturities and deficits I found: spatial integration and eye stability. I determined that increasing the stimulus area had the same impact on coherence thresholds in 4-6 year-olds and adults (Chapter 5), suggesting children’s immature performance for small displacements was not restricted by spatial integration limitations at stages prior to motion processing. I also determined that eye stability had no relationship with performance in healthy adults (Chapter 6), indicating that poor fixational stability alone could not account for poor performance on a global motion task. This work contributes to a better understanding of how the developing brain is impacted by amblyopia, in turn providing insight into sensitive periods for typical visual development.
Early intervention is important for decreasing the prevalence of reading disabilities. However, despite receiving treatment, some children continue to struggle with reading and therefore they require ongoing supports. Intensive and individualized programs may be beneficial for the lowest-performing readers, however, empirical review of intensive and individualized programs has not been widely conducted. Furthermore, there is a neurobiological basis to reading impairments. Children with poor reading skills have differences in brain function and structure when compared to typically-developing readers, and there may be changes in the brain after intervention. However, the combination of multiple reading tasks in functional brain imaging along with measures of grey and white matter structure has not been conducted previously. Therefore, the purpose of my dissertation was to evaluate the academic and neurobiological outcomes of an intensive reading program as well as to determine the predictors of reading success. In Chapter 2, poor readers receiving intensive instruction were compared to other poor readers receiving small group supports as well as to good readers not receiving additional supports. Performance on academic and cognitive measures were evaluated before and after 3 months of instruction and one year later. In Chapters 3 and 4, poor readers and good readers completed functional imaging tasks (Chapter 3) and scans of grey and white matter (Chapter 4) before and after 3 months of instruction. The results showed that students in the intensive program had improved word recognition and decoding fluency immediately after intervention and one year later. Changes after intervention were also shown in functional brain activity during a rhyming task, but not during a spelling task or in grey and white matter structures. However, baseline reading and spelling skills, brain activity in the left hemisphere, and white matter organization in the right hemisphere were associated with gains in reading skills over time. Although improvements in reading were shown, a significant gap between poor and good readers persisted in the third and fourth grades. Overall, this dissertation illustrates the importance of an intensive reading program and the need for continuing supports, and that both academic and neuroimaging measures are associated with reading outcome.
Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2018)
Amblyopia is a visual developmental disorder defined by reduced visual acuity in one (amblyopic) eye, while the other (fellow) eye has normal visual acuity and is otherwise healthy. Deficits in motion perception – such as multiple object tracking - affect both the amblyopic eye and the fellow eye. This thesis examined the neural correlates of the multiple-object tracking deficit to further understand the cortical deficit in amblyopia. Functional data were collected as participants with and without a history of amblyopia performed the multiple-object tracking task monocularly inside a 3T MRI scanner. Participants were asked to use their attention to track 0, 1, 2 or 4 of 9 moving balls (6 deg/s) for 12 seconds. MR signal change relative to fixation, as a function of target numerosity (track 0, track 1, track 2, track 4), group (control, amblyopia), and eye were examined in six regions of interest: putative V1, MT, superior parietal lobule, frontal eye fields, anterior intraparietal sulcus, and posterior intraparietal sulcus. For all four tracking conditions, area MT was found to be less active in participants with amblyopia with both fellow and amblyopic eye viewing. When tracking 4 balls, the anterior intraparietal sulcus was found to be less active in participants with amblyopia, only with amblyopic eye viewing. This finding suggests the functional differences in this region may be subtle. Future investigations targeting the network involved in sustained attention can determine the extent to which posterior parietal function may be impaired in amblyopia. Overall, this thesis provided neuroimaging evidence that the MT region is affected in human amblyopia, and that both eyes are affected by underlying cortical changes in dorsal extra-striate areas.
Children with developmental dyslexia have difficulty learning to read. These children may also have deficits in temporal processing, which is the perception and integration of rapidly presented stimuli. Behavioural research indicates a link between reading and temporal processing ability; however, the cortical relationship between these two skills has not been established. This thesis examined whether tasks of reading and temporal processing activate similar cortical regions in children with average reading ability and in children with dyslexia. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), activity for two reading tasks (phonological and orthographic) and two temporal processing tasks (dichotic pitch and global motion perception) was assessed. Three regions of interest were established in each participant: the lateral occipital cortex (LOC) and areas engaged by dichotic pitch and global motion tasks. Results demonstrated that both groups had increased activity in bilateral LOC during reading. In average readers, left LOC was more active than right regions during the phonological task, while dyslexic readers showed equivalent activity between left and right LOC for both reading tasks. The dichotic pitch regions did not show any evidence of activation during reading in either group. However, children with dyslexia exhibited significant activity in right global motion regions during the phonological task, but only on the difficult word condition. Average readers did not illustrate activation in global motion areas during reading. The current results suggest that LOC is involved with the reading process and children with dyslexia may have a deficit in left LOC. It was hypothesized that dyslexic readers may have increased attentional processing and recruitment from additional cortical regions during difficult tasks, which may explain the similar activity between global motion and phonological reading. Since there were no similar regions between dichotic pitch and reading, this suggests that these may not be directly related through cortical activity. The current results provide novel evidence that reading and visual temporal processing may involve some of the same cortical areas, at least in children with dyslexia. Future research will investigate links between reading and temporal processing in younger children and will examine differences in white matter connectivity.
- Concurrent maturation of visuomotor skills and motion perception in typically‐developing children and adolescents (2020)
- Effect of Visual Field Location on Global Motion Perception: A Developmental Study (2020)
Perception, , 030100662093090
- Continuous theta burst TMS of area MT+ impairs attentive motion tracking (2019)
- Effect of reading intervention and task difficulty on orthographic and phonological reading systems in the brain (2019)
- Fellow Eye Deficits in Amblyopia (2019)
Journal of Binocular Vision and Ocular Motility, , 1--10
- Impaired Fellow Eye Motion Perception and Abnormal Binocular Function (2019)
Investigative Opthalmology & Visual Science,
- Longitudinal outcomes of an individualized and intensive reading intervention for third grade students (2019)
- Reading ability of children treated for amblyopia (2019)
Vision Research, 156, 28--38
- The Effect of Stimulus Area on Global Motion Thresholds in Children and Adults (2019)
- Dichoptic Attentive Motion Tracking is Biased Toward the Nonamblyopic Eye in Strabismic Amblyopia (2018)
Investigative Opthalmology & Visual Science,
- Neural Correlates of Speed-Tuned Motion Perception in Healthy Adults (2018)
Perception, , 030100661877146
- Disparity configuration influences depth discrimination in naïve adults, but not in children (2017)
Vision Research, 131, 106-119
- Effect of spatial and temporal stimulus parameters on the maturation of global motion perception (2017)
Vision Research, 135, 1-9
- Unilateral amblyopia affects two eyes: Fellow eye deficits in amblyopia (2017)
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 58 (3), 1779-1800
- A case of Bilateral Perisylvian Syndrome with reading disability (2016)
Cortex, 76, 121-124
- Global motion perception in children with amblyopia as a function of spatial and temporal stimulus parameters (2016)
Vision Research, 127, 18-27
- Flicker adaptation or superimposition raises the apparent spatial frequency of coarse test gratings (2015)
Vision Research, 108, 85-92
- The effect of occlusion therapy on motion perception deficits in amblyopia (2015)
Vision Research, 114, 122-134
- Using Colors to Assess Pain in Toddlers: Validation of “The Rainbow Pain Scale”—A Proof-of-Principle Study (2015)
Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing, 32 (1), 40-46
- The maturation of global motion perception depends on the spatial and temporal offsets of the stimulus (2014)
Vision Research, 95, 61-67
- On the typical development of stereopsis: Fine and coarse processing (2013)
Vision Research, 89, 65-71
- Sparing of coarse stereopsis in stereodeficient children with a history of amblyopia (2013)
Journal of Vision, 13 (10)
- Cortical basis for dichotic pitch perception in developmental dyslexia (2012)
Brain and Language, 123 (2), 104-112
- Quantitative measurement of interocular suppression in children with amblyopia (2012)
Vision Research, 66, 1-10
- The effect of dot speed and density on the development of global motion perception (2012)
Vision Research, 62, 102-107
- The Processing of Motion-Defined Form (2012)
Seeing Spatial Form,
- Effects of speed, age, and amblyopia on the perception of motion-defined form (2011)
Vision Research, 51 (20), 2216-2223
- Neural correlates of the multiple-object tracking deficit in amblyopia (2011)
Vision Research, 51 (23-24), 2517-2527
- Combined functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging analysis of visual motion pathways (2009)
Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology, 29 (2), 96-103
- Low- and high-level first-order random-dot kinematograms: Evidence from fMRI (2009)
Vision Research, 49 (14), 1814-1824
- Low- and high-level motion perception deficits in anisometropic and strabismic amblyopia: Evidence from fMRI (2009)
Vision Research, 49 (24), 2891-2901
- The role of low-spatial frequencies in lexical decision and masked priming (2009)
Brain and Cognition, 69 (3), 580-591
- Navigational skills correlate with hippocampal fractional anisotropy in humans (2008)
Hippocampus, 18 (4), 335-339
- Deficient motion-defined and texture-defined figure-ground segregation in amblyopic children (2007)
Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, 44 (6), 363-371
- M-stream deficits and reading-related visual processes in developmental dyslexia (2007)
Psychological Bulletin, 133 (2), 346-366
- Stereopsis-dependent deficits in maximum motion displacement in strabismic and anisometropic amblyopia (2007)
Vision Research, 47 (21), 2778-2785
- The role of cortical area V5/MT+ in speed-tuned directional anisotropies in global motion perception (2007)
Vision Research, 47 (7), 887-898
- Abnormal spatial selection and tracking in children with amblyopia (2006)
Vision Research, 46 (19), 3274-3283
- Deficient maximum motion displacement in amblyopia (2006)
Vision Research, 46 (28), 4595-4603
- The effects of optical blur on motion and texture perception (2006)
Optometry and Vision Science, 83 (6), 382-390
- Deficient motion perception in the fellow eye of amblyopic children (2005)
Vision Research, 45 (12), 1615-1627
- Sensory and nonsensory influences on children's performance of dichotic pitch perception tasks (2005)
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 117 (5), 3157-3164
- The maturation of form and motion perception in school age children (2005)
Vision Research, 45 (7), 827-837
- Children with dyslexia: Evidence for visual attention deficits in perception of rapid sequences of objects (2004)
Vision Research, 44 (21), 2521-2535
- Psychophysical indexes of temporal processing abnormalities in children with developmental dyslexia (2004)
Developmental Neuropsychology, 25 (3), 321-354
- The effect of disrupting the human magnocellular pathway on global motion perception (2004)
Vision Research, 44 (22), 2551-2557
- Warning: Attending to a mask may be hazardous to your perception (2004)
Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 11 (2), 262-268
- Conscious visual abilities in a patient with early bilateral occipital damage (2003)
Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 45 (11), 772-781
- Motion coherence thresholds can be elevated by flicker adaptation or red background (2003)
Journal of Vision, 3 (9)
- Attention deficits in children with anisometropic amblyopia (2001)
Journal of Vision, 1 (3)
- Cortical mechanisms of central pitch processing revealed by dichotic pitch stimuli (2000)
NeuroImage, 11 (5 PAR)
- High resolution EEG & seizure localization (1999)
NeuroImage, 9 (6 PAR)
- Non-invasive mapping of sensorimotor cortex in a child with a cavernous angioma: FMRI and high-resolution EEG compared with surgical mapping (1999)
NeuroImage, 9 (6 PAR)
- Comparison of visual activation measured by fMRI and high resolution EEC (1998)
NeuroImage, 7 (4 PAR)
- Dichotic pitch: A new stimulus distinguishes normal and dyslexic auditory function (1998)
NeuroReport, 9 (13), 3001-3005
- Development of motion-defined figure-ground segregation in preschool and older children, using a letter-identification task (1997)
Optometry and Vision Science, 74 (9), 761-767
- In search of the best psychophysical indicator of an M-stream deficit in developmental dyslexia (1997)
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 38 (4)
- Reversible dissociation of sensitivity to dynamic stimuli in Parkinson's disease: Is magnocellular function essential to reading motion-defined letters (1997)
Vision Research, 37 (24), 3531-3534
- The effect of stationary noise on global motion perception (1997)
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 38 (4)
- Loss of sensitivity to motion-defined form in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension (1996)
Journal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision, 13 (4), 707-716
- Crowding and contrast in amblyopia (1993)
Optometry and Vision Science, 70 (3), 192-197
- Measurement of glare sensitivity in cataract patients using low-contrast letter charts (1993)
Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 13 (2), 115-123
- Measurement of glare susceptibility using low-contrast letter charts (1993)
Optometry and Vision Science, 70 (11), 969-975
- The time course of direction-selective adaptation in simple and complex cells in cat striate cortex (1993)
Journal of Neurophysiology, 70 (5), 2024-2034
- Defective processing of motion-defined form in the fellow eye of patients with unilateral amblyopia (1992)
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 33 (8), 2483-2489
- Method for identifying amblyopes whose reduced line acuity is caused by defective selection and/or control of gaze (1992)
Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 12 (4), 425-432
- Motion-defined letter detection and recognition in patients with multiple sclerosis (1992)
Annals of Neurology, 31 (6), 621-628
- Visual processing of motion-defined form: Selective failure in patients with parietotemporal lesions (1992)
Journal of Neuroscience, 12 (6), 2198-2210
- Suppression of OKN and VOR by afterimages and imaginary objects (1989)
Experimental Brain Research, 75 (1), 139-145
- The less you see it, the faster it moves: Shortening the "on-time" speeds up apparent motion (1989)
Vision Research, 29 (3), 335-347
- Adaptation to apparent motion (1985)
Vision Research, 25 (8), 1051-1062
Prospective Student Info Sessions
Faculty of Medicine Information SessionDate: Tuesday, 08 December 2020
Time: 11:00 to 12:00
UBC’s Faculty of Medicine is a global leader in both the science and the practice of medicine, and is home to more than 1,700 graduate students across over 20 graduate programs. In this session hosted by Dr Michael Hunt, Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, we’ll provide an overview of the diverse array of graduate programs available, including cutting-edge research experiences in the biosciences, globally recognized population health education, quality health professional training, as well as certificate and online training options. Dr Hunt will also be joined by program advisors from across the faculty to take an inside look at the application process and provide some application tips to help make your application as strong as possible.