Human Visual Function

Exploring new methods to understand, augment and restore human visual function.

The Department of Ophthalmology is at the forefront of research on human visual function. From investigating the mechanisms that mediate human vision and exploring how human visual perception affects automotive safety, to facilitating the development of a new visual prosthesis and using innovative visual electrophysiology techniques to diagnose and monitor visual dysfunction, we are engaged in research in key areas of human visual perception.

World research congresses

Each year, the Henry Ford Department of Ophthalmology hosts a world congress that assembles many of the world’s leading scientists and thought leaders in Detroit for three days for a free exchange of thoughts and ideas. The two research congresses include:

  • The Eye, The Brain & The Auto: This program, held in odd years, is dedicated to improving the understanding of the relationship between human visual perception and the safe operation of motor vehicles, in an attempt to save lives, prevent injuries and reduce the personal cost of highway accidents.
  • The Eye and The Chip: This program, held in even years, seeks to marry the most recent advances in nanoelectronics and neurobiology to provide artificial vision to many people who are now blind as a result of many eye conditions, diseases and injuries.

Over the years, these human visual function research programs have proven that collegiality facilitates collaboration, and ultimately accelerates the progress of eye research. By creating these innovative research networks and providing a venue for scientists to openly exchange thoughts and ideas, we are working to solve some of the most pressing issues in human visual perception.

Visual electrophysiology

In addition, through our unique visual electrophysiology program, our scientists and physicians are learning more about several areas of human visual function, including the physiology and pathophysiology of the human retina, the relationship between retinal physiology and retinal morphology, and the pathogenesis of retinal and optic nerve diseases. Furthermore, they are using this knowledge to develop more accurate methods for detecting and monitoring visual system disease.

Advanced treatment for eye disease

The Henry Ford Department of Ophthalmology has extensive experience in the treatment of all eye diseases, regardless of their complexity. In addition, our team works closely with Henry Ford Medical Group physicians in other departments, providing multidisciplinary, coordinated care for those patients who need it. Our patients have access to advanced diagnostic tests and treatment and, if eligible, related clinical trials.

Additional information


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