Project

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Understanding the role of attention in visual rehabilitation: Amblyopia as a model

Applicant Matusz Pawel
Number 174150
Funding scheme Ambizione
Research institution Institut Informatique de gestion HES-SO Valais
Institution of higher education University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland - HES-SO
Main discipline Applied psychology
Start/End 01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021
Approved amount 847'054.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Applied psychology
Neurophysiology and Brain Research

Keywords (5)

electrophysiology (EEG); multisensory ; attention; pediatric amblyopia; vision rehabilitation

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
L’amblyopie, ou syndrome de l’œil fainéant, est la déficience visuelle la plus fréquente chez les enfants. La prise en charge classique de l’amblyopie est l’occlusion de l’œil sain obligeant l’œil amblyope à travailler et donc à retrouver son efficience. Cette méthode, pas toujours efficace, est longue et mal tolérée par les patients. Notre projet vise à mieux comprendre l’amblyopie pédiatrique et à tester une nouvelle thérapie de réhabilitation visuelle en utilisant les jeux vidéo thérapeutiques.
Lay summary

Contenu et objectifs du travail de recherche

Une mauvaise prise en charge de l’amblyopie peut avoir de lourdes conséquences visuelles, cognitives et émotionnelles sur les patients tant sur du court que du long terme. Ce projet va tout d’abord nous permettre d’identifier les déficits sensoriels, cognitifs et corticaux de l’amblyopie grâce à des protocoles expérimentaux transdisciplinaires et novateurs. Dans un second temps, nous testerons l’efficacité des jeux vidéo thérapeutiques et plus particulièrement de la réalité virtuelle comme prise en charge alternative à l’occlusion. Enfin, ce projet nous permettra d’établir l’importance respective des processus sensoriels et cognitifs dans la réhabilitation visuelle de l’amblyopie.

Contexte scientifique et social du projet de recherche

Ce projet est le résultat d’une collaboration interdisciplinaire regroupant à la fois l’ingénierie biomédicale, la modélisation mathématique, les neurosciences ou encore l’ophtalmologie. Cette approche singulière permet de mener un projet de recherche innovant à la fois sur une dimension fondamentale et sur une dimension appliquée.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 19.12.2017

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Amblyopia, or lazy eye syndrome, is the most common visual impairment in children. The classic treatment of amblyopia is the occlusion of the healthy eye, which forces the amblyopic eye to work and therefore to regain its efficiency. This treatment, not always effective, is long and poorly tolerated by patients. Our project aims to better understand pediatric amblyopia and to test a new visual rehabilitation therapy using therapeutic video games.
Lay summary
Content and objectives of the research work

Poor treatment of amblyopia can have serious visual, cognitive and emotional consequences for patients both the short and long term. This project will first allow us to identify the sensory, cognitive and cortical deficits of amblyopia through transdisciplinary and innovative experimental protocol. In a second step, we will test the effectiveness of therapeutic video games, more particularly, virtual reality as an amblyopia treatment. Finally, this project will allow us to establish the respective importance of sensory and cognitive processes in the visual rehabilitation of amblyopia.

Scientific and social context of the research project

This project is the result of an interdisciplinary collaboration bringing together biomedical engineering, mathematical modeling, neuroscience and ophthalmology. This singular approach to vision disorders is innovative both on a fundamental dimension as well as on an applied dimension.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 19.12.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Multisensory contributions to object recognition and memory across the lifespan
Matusz Pawel J, Wallace Mark W, Murray Micah M (2020), Multisensory contributions to object recognition and memory across the lifespan, in Sathian K, Ramachandran V.S. (ed.), Elsevier Academic Press, San Diego (CA), 135.
Multisensory Gains in Simple Detection Predict Global Cognition in Schoolchildren
Denervaud Solange, Gentaz Edouard, Matusz Pawel J, Murray Micah M (2020), Multisensory Gains in Simple Detection Predict Global Cognition in Schoolchildren, in Scientific Reports, 10, 1394.
Expert attention: Attentional allocation depends on the differential development of multisensory number representations
Matusz Pawel J., Merkley Rebecca, Faure Michelle, Scerif Gaia (2019), Expert attention: Attentional allocation depends on the differential development of multisensory number representations, in Cognition, 186, 171-177.
Are we ready for real-world neuroscience?
Matusz Pawel J, Dikker Suzanne, Huth Alexander G, Perrodin Catherine (2019), Are we ready for real-world neuroscience?, in Journal of cognitive neuroscience, 31(3), 327-338.
Mental rotation of digitally-rendered haptic objects
Tivadar R.I., Rouillard T., Chappaz C., Knebel J.-F., Turoman N., Anaflous F., Roche J., Matusz P.J., Murray M.M. (2019), Mental rotation of digitally-rendered haptic objects, in Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 13, 7.
Randomized controlled trial protocol to improve multisensory neural processing, language and motor outcomes in preterm infants
Neel M.L., Yoder P., Matusz P.J., Murray M.M., Miller A., Burkhardt S., Emery L., Hague K., Pennington C., Purnell J., Lightfoot M., Maitre N.L. (2019), Randomized controlled trial protocol to improve multisensory neural processing, language and motor outcomes in preterm infants, in BMC Pediatrics, 19(1), 81.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Daphne Bavelier Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. Henning Mueller, Institute for Information Systems Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Dennis Levi, UC Berlkley United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Vivid Vision Inc. United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Prof. Micah Murray, Director of EEG Core of Center for Biomedical imaging (CIBM) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Michael Ignaz Schumacher Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Frédéric Schütz, Centre Pédagogique pour Élèves Handicapés de la Vue, Fondation Asile des Aveugles Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Fatima Anaflous, Service for Readaptation and Low Vision at Fondation Asile des Aveugles Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Rovereto Attention Workshop (RAW) Poster Educational outcomes depend both on visual and multisensory control of selective attention (delivered by Ms. Nora Turoman) 29.10.2019 Rovereto, Italy Matusz Pawel;
Rovereto Attention Workshop (RAW) Poster Multisensory enhancement of attentional capture: Generalisation to the auditory domain? (Delivered by Mr. Walter Setti) 24.10.2019 Rovereto, Italy Matusz Pawel;
Departmental talk, DeNC (Development, Neuroscience, Cognition) program, Psychology, University of Zurich Individual talk Bridging past and future in education: Integrating multisensory models of brain and cognition with naturalistic laboratory research 23.09.2019 Zurich, Switzerland Matusz Pawel;
The 7th Annual Flux Congress Talk given at a conference Invited Symposium "Lost in translation: How does neuroimaging contribute to understanding development in everyday diverse environments" 30.08.2019 New York, United States of America Matusz Pawel;
The 7th Annual Flux Congress Poster Educational outcomes depend both on visual and multisensory control of selective attention (delivered by Ms. Nora Turoman) 30.08.2019 New York, United States of America Matusz Pawel;
The 7th Annual FLux Congress Preconference workshop “Beyond the lab: Translating developmental neuroscience” Individual talk Invited Facilitator of the student workgroup “Doing research in naturalistic settings” 29.08.2019 New York, United States of America Matusz Pawel;
Geneva Amblyopia Meeting Talk given at a conference Understanding the role of attention skills in rehabilitation of pediatric amblyopia 05.06.2019 University of Geneva, Switzerland Matusz Pawel;
The Blind Brain Workshop Poster Virtual reality as a visual rehabilitation tool for residual pediatric amblyopia (GAMBLY project ) 11.03.2019 Lucca, Italy Matusz Pawel; Vasa Loiuse;
Invited talk at the Paris Vision Institute as part of group of Pr. Micah Murray working on vision impairments Individual talk Understanding the role of attention in visual rehabilitation: Paediatric amblyopia as a model 26.11.2018 Paris, France Matusz Pawel;
Invited talk for the LEARN, a new Center For Learning Sciences at EPFL Individual talk Bridging past and future in education: Integrating multisensory models of brain and cognition with naturalistic laboratory research 02.11.2018 Lausanne, Switzerland Matusz Pawel;
International Mind, Brain & Education Society (IMBES), Biannual meeting Talk given at a conference Learning occurs in multisensory environments. Role of multisensory attention (Chaired invited symposiu + Roadmap talk) 29.09.2018 Los Angeles, CA, United States of America Matusz Pawel;
International Mind, Brain & Education Society (IMBES), Biannual meeting Poster Multisensory control over developing visual selective attention and its role in educational outcomes. 28.09.2018 Los Angeles, CA, United States of America Matusz Pawel;
Invited talk at the Italian Intitute of Technology Genova, host: Dr. Monica Gori, head of the Individual talk From beside to classroom: Added value of electrical neuroimaging in understanding sensory, brain and cognitive development in naturalistic settings 13.09.2018 Genova, Italy Matusz Pawel;
Annual Congress of the FLUX, developmental neuroscience society Poster Taking attention back to school: Multisensory processes influence developing visual attention control. 31.08.2018 Berlin, Germany Matusz Pawel;
Annual Meeting of IMRF International Multisensory Research Forum Talk given at a conference Sensory dominance and multisensory integration as screening tools in aging. 15.06.2018 Toronto, Canada Matusz Pawel;
Breakfast & Science, Centre Imagerie Biomedicale (CIBM), Lausanne & Geneve Individual talk From beside to classroom: The added value of electrical neuroimaging in understanding sensory, brain and cognitive development in naturalistic settings 02.03.2018 Geneva, Switzerland Matusz Pawel;


Self-organised

Title Date Place

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Hopital de Nounours Performances, exhibitions (e.g. for education institutions) 09.11.2019 Lausanne, Switzerland Matusz Pawel;
Mysteres de l'UNIL, atelier "Troubles de vision" (together with Ms Lora Fanda and Nora Turoman Performances, exhibitions (e.g. for education institutions) 23.05.2019 University of Lausanne, Switzerland Matusz Pawel;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) How to ‘crack the code’ of the developing brain? the Medium.com service International 2020
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) How to bridge the gap between families and the science of learning The Jacobs' Foundation's BOLD (Blog On Learning and Development) International 2019
Media relations: radio, television L'ATTENTION 2/5 - Garder la flamme RTS, Vacarme series Western Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media BIEN VIVRE: Écrans: comment sauvegarder son attention Le Matin Western Switzerland 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Home Screening Tool Can Help Diagnose Age-Related Cognitive Decline Psych Central news site International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Learning occurs in multisensory environments BOLD, Jacobs Foundation's Blog On Learning & Development International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) New screening tool could help diagnose early cognitive decline in dementia from home MedicalXpress.com International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) New screening tool could help diagnose early cognitive decline in dementia from home Eurekalert Global site for science news International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Simple at-home smartphone test could detect early cognitive decline New Atlas International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Simple Screening Tool Could Detect Early Cognitive Decline MedIndia medical news site International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Simple, cost-effective test may help improve early diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment Medical-news.net International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Test für zuhause soll Hinweis auf mögliche neurodegenerative Erkrankungen geben Labor Praxis website International 2018

Awards

Title Year
Invited curator of Special Focus at the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience journal "Real-world neuroscience", (1/03/19)- https://www.mitpressjournals.org/toc/jocn/31/3 - it presents an overview of emerging approaches to studying neurocognitive processes, as they occur in the real world - and aims to encourage a discussion of how to best marry laboratory and 100% naturalistic experiments. 2019
Selected to present and chair a symposium entitled ""Lost in translation: How does neuroimaging contribute to understanding development in everyday diverse environments"" at the 7th Annual Flux Congress, NYC, USA, in August 2019. 2019
Adjunct Junior Professor position, at the Hearing & Speech Department at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA, awarded in recognition of scientific quality of my research on neurocognitive processes in adults and children from healthy and atypical populations. 2018
Review Board Member at the journal Brain Topography 2018
Selected to present and chair a symposium entitled "The elephant in the (class)room: Learning occurs in multisensory environments" at International Mind, Brain & Education Society (IMBES) Bi-annual meeting, Los Angeles, USA, in September 2018. 2018

Abstract

This project will provide much-needed insights into the role of attentional brain mechanisms in the recovery from pediatric amblyopia (PA), by testing promising novel treatments grounded in the latest advances in vision rehabilitation and cognitive neuroscience. PA is the most common vision impairment in children, yet the traditional intervention, patching, is slow and has low success rates. This delays patient rehabilitation and creates a cascade of problems for them (cognitive and emotional processing), their family and society. We need to (1) know if models proposing dynamic, reciprocal development of low-level/perceptual and higher-level/cognitive mechanisms translate to interactions between sensory and higher-level attention processes, (2) clarify if turning intervention programs, known to improve vision and attention in adults, into child-friendly, engaging games on popular in-home devices rehabilitates PA quickly and effectively, (3) identify tools to assess functional recovery of vision, involving real-world skills, as attending to multisensory objects or reading. Success of the project is ensured by (I) the PI’s internationally-recognised expertise in combining rigorous experimental psychology tasks and cutting-edge brain-imaging (electroencephalography, EEG) to understand brain mechanisms orchestrating attention to multisensory objects and their interactions with learning across the lifespan, (II) state-of-the-art e-health and technology transfer expertise of the host institution (Haute École Spécialisée de Suisse Occidentale (HES-SO) in Sion), and (III) scientific guidance and patient access from Jules-Gonin Eye Hospital (HOJG). These qualities will ensure the success of the proposed project in reaching its aims: Work Package 1 (WP1): Identifying the core deficits of PA using a comprehensive combination of response modalities (behaviour, EEG, pupil response) across a set of more simple and fundamental as well as more complex, naturalistic cognitive processes. We will understand which of these better differentiate between PA and healthy children and the neural bases of these abnormalities. WP2: Comparing whether interventions with dichoptic presentations (encouraging perceptual fusion across eyes) designed as child-friendly and engaging virtual reality games rehabilitate PA more quickly and effectively when they contain “action” video game features (AVG, e.g., fast and peripheral events, perceptually demanding) versus when they do not (NVGs). We will reveal whether a combination of dichoptic and game-based interventions is the most effective treatment for PA. WP3: Testing whether all attention processes, “functional vision” and pupil function improve equally with treatment. We will identify which specific attentional processes are plastic to such interventions and their brain mechanisms.The project is predicted to impact the following areas:Theoretical: 1. Testing a new approach to sensory rehabilitation that a) tests both complex visual skills, crucial in today’s technological society (eg. reading), and the basic ones (eg. acuity), and b) creates synergies across latest advances in neuro-rehabilitation (dichoptic visuals in engaging games), neuro-ethology (iPads as flexible, family-based treatment) and neuroscience/ psychology (easy and affordable joint sensory-brain-cognitive assessments under process-specific tasks). 2. Informing models of vision/brain plasticity: Low- vs. higher-level processes are the general plasticity mechanisms? 3. Specifying parameters of successful early sensory/cognitive training (eg. sensory provisions, engagement, high multisensory-attention demands). Clinical/Applicative: 1. Much-needed clarification of the PA’s core deficit(s) via comprehensive mind/nervous-system tests. 2. Verifying if dichoptic iPad AVGs most effectively rehabilitate early complex vision, using PA as a model. 2. Identifying processes (low- vs. high-level) driving (this) early vision recovery. 3. Fast treatments will close faster the “developmental gap” between healthy and PA children by reducing the cascade of problems linked to PA/its treatments: a) patient (emotional, mental and academic; patches, reduced acuity), b) family (treatment is safe and fun, done together, at home), c) societal (better education & jobs for ex-PAs, d) economic (larger resources for more severely impaired). 5. HOJG offers a platform for wide spreading of results among patients/doctors. 6. Results will lay direct for designing interventions for other developmental vision disorders. Academic: The staff employed in the project will be trained in using interdisciplinary eye-brain-mind to advance basic and applied research (in ophthalmology, cognitive neuroscience and rehabilitation) and clinical practice.
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