The Visual Science Laboratory at the School of Optometry and Vision Science is located in the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) at QUT and part of the Institute's Vision and Eye Program. The primary research focus of the Visual Science Laboratory is to understand the early stage retinal mechanisms controlling visual function and performance in humans.

In particular, we investigate vision under dim (mesopic) illuminations and the melanopsin-expressing intrinsically photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cell (ipRGC) inputs to the pupil light reflex, in basic science studies and in persons with eye disease. To study visual function and the pupil control pathways, we conduct psychophysical and pupillometry experiments using 4-primary and 5-primary photostimulator technology.

The laboratory translates difficult and time consuming experimental procedures into rapid and easily performed non-invasive clinical tests for applied investigations of the aging eye and to improve the detection of eye disease. Computational models are developed to describe the data with parameters based on the physiological properties of the early visual pathways.

  • Australian Research Council Discovery Projects (2014-2016)
  • Australian Research Council Discovery Projects (2010-2012)
  • Australian Research Council Discovery Projects (2007-2009)
Research leader
Research team
QUT External collaborators
  • Associate Professor Dingcai Cao (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA)
  • Professor Joel Pokorny (The University of Chicago, USA)
  • Professor Jan Kremers (University of Erlangen-Nurnberg, Germany)
  • Professor David Y. Lee (Illinois College of Optometry, USA)
Organisational unit
Lead unit Faculty of Health Other units
Research areas
optometry research, vision science research, vision research project, optometry research project, vision improvement research

Publications and output

  1. Adhikari P, Zele AJ, Thomas R, Feigl B. Quadratic field pupillometry detects melanopsin dysfunction in glaucoma suspects and early glaucoma patients.
  2. Joyce DS, Feigl B, Zele AJ. The melanopsin mediated post-illumination pupil response in the peripheral retina.
  3. Maynard ML, Zele AJ, Feigl B. Mesopic Pelli–Robson contrast sensitivity and MP-1 microperimetry in healthy ageing and early age-related macular degeneration.
  4. Hathibelagal AR, Feigl B, Kremers J, Zele AJ. (2016). Correlated and uncorrelated invisible temporal white noise alters mesopic rod signaling. Journal of the Optical Society of America A. 33. A93-A103.
  5. Adhikari P, Pearson CA, Anderson AM, Zele AJ, Feigl B. Effect of age and refractive error on the melanopsin mediated post-illumination pupil response (PIPR). Scientific Reports. 5.17610. DOI: 10.1038/srep17610.
  6. Maynard ML, Zele AJ, Feigl B. (2015). Melanopsin mediated post-illumination pupil response in early age-related macular degeneration. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 56. 6906-6913. DOI:10.1167/iovs.15-17357.
  7. Zele AJ, Feigl B. Kambhampati PK, Hathibelagal A, Kremers J. (2015). A method for estimating intrinsic noise in electroretinographic (ERG) signals. Documenta Ophthalmologica. 123. 85-94. DOI:10.1007/s10633-015-9510-1
  8. Adhikari P, Zele AJ, Feigl B. (2015). The post-illumination pupil response (PIPR). Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 56. 3838-3849.
  9. Zele AJ, Cao D. (2015). Vision under mesopic and scotopic illumination. Frontiers in Psychology (Perception Science). 5:1594. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01594.
  10. Joyce DS, Feigl B, Cao D, Zele AJ. (2015). Temporal characteristics of melanopsin inputs to the human pupil light reflex. Vision Research. 107. 58-66.
  11. Zhou N, Atchison DA, Zele AJ, Brown B, Schmid KL. (2015). Cone ratios estimated from multifocal visual evoked potentials in emmetropia and myopia: a pilot study. Optometry and Vision Science. 92. 1-5
  12. Kyle-Little Z, Zele AJ, Morris CP, Feigl B. (2014). The effect of BCMO1 gene variants on macular pigment optical density in young healthy Caucasians. Frontiers In Nutrition. 1(22). 1-6. DOI:10.3389/fnut.2014.00022.
  13. Feigl B, Zele AJ. (2014). Melanopsin expressing intrinsically photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells in retinal disease. Optometry and Vision Science (Invited). 91. 894-903.
  14. Feigl B, Kwan A, Morris CP, Voisey J, Zele AJ. (2014). The relationship between BCMO1 gene variants and MPOD in persons with and without age-related macular degeneration. PLoS ONE. 9(2): e89069. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0089069
  15. Barrionuevo P, Nicandro N, McAnany JJ, Zele AJ, Gamlin PD, Cao D. (2014). Assessing rod, cone and melanopsin contributions to human pupil flicker responses. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 55. 719-727.
  16. Zele AJ, Maynard ML, Joyce DS, Cao D. (2014). Effect of rod-cone interaction on mesopic visual performance mediated by chromatic and luminance pathways. Journal of the Optical Society of America A. 31. A7-A14.
  17. Himawan I, Zele AJ, Djondronegoro D. (2014). Adaptive Bilateral Filtering using Saliency Map for Deblocking Low Bit Rate Videos. IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo. (ICME 2014). 14-18th July, Chengdu, China. pp1-6.
  18. Zele AJ, Maynard ML, Feigl B. (2013). Rod and cone pathway signaling and interaction under mesopic illumination. Journal of Vision. 13(1):21, 1–19, doi:10.1167/13.1.21
  19. Feigl B, Morris CP, Brown B, Zele AJ. (2012). The relationship between CFH and ARMS2 genotypes, macular pigment optical density and neuroretinal function in persons without age-related macular degeneration. Archives of Ophthalmology. 130. 1402-1409.
  20. Zele AJ, Kremers J, Feigl B. (2012). Mesopic Rod and S-cone interactions revealed by modulation thresholds. Journal of the Optical Society of America A.  29. A19-A26.
  21. Feigl B, Zele AJ, Fader SM, Howes AN, Hughes CE, Jones KA, Jones R. (2012). The post-illumination pupil response of melanopsin expressing intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells in diabetes. Acta Ophthalmologica. 90. e230-e234.
  22. Cao D, Zele AJ, Pokorny J, Lee D, Messner LV, Diehl C, Ksiazek S.  (2011). Functional Loss in the Magnocellular and Parvocellular Pathway in Patients with Optic Neuritis. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 52. 8900-8907.
  23. Atchison DA, Girgenti CG, Campbell GM, Dodds JP, Byrnes TB, Zele AJ. (2011). Influence of field size on pupil diameter under photopic and mesopic light levels. Clinical and Experimental Optometry. 94. 545-548.
  24. Feigl B, Mattes D, Thomas R, Zele AJ. (2011). Intrinsically photosensitive (melanopsin) retinal ganglion cell function in glaucoma. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 52. 4362-4367.
  25. Zele AJ, Feigl B, Smith SS, Markwell EL. (2011). The circadian response of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells. PLoS ONE. 6(3): e17860. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017860.
  26. Feigl B, Cao D, Morris CP, Zele AJ. (2011). Persons with age-related maculopathy risk genotypes and clinically normal eyes have reduced mesopic vision. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 52. 1145-1150.
  27. Feigl B, Zele AJ, Stewart IB. (2011). Mild systemic hypoxia and photopic visual field sensitivity. Acta Ophthalmologica. 89. e199-e204.
  28. Zele AJ, Wood JM, Girgenti CC. (2010). Magnocellular and parvocellular pathway mediated luminance contrast discrimination in amblyopia. Vision Research. 50. 969-976.
  29. Markwell EL, Feigl B, Zele AJ. (2010). Intrinsically photoreceptive melanopsin retinal ganglion cell contributions to the pupil light reflex and circadian rhythm (Invited Review). Clinical and Experimental Optometry. 93. 137-149.
  30. Gupta G, Guo H, Atchison DA, Zele AJ. (2010). Effect of optical aberrations on the colour appearance of small defocused lights. Journal of the Optical Society of America A. 27. 960-967.
  31. Feigl B, Zele AJ. (2010).  Macular function in tilted disc syndrome. Documenta Ophthalmologica. 120, 201-203
  32. Zele AJ, Cao D, Pokorny J. (2008). Rod-cone interactions and the temporal impulse response of the cone pathway. Vision Research. 48. 2593-2598.
  33. Cao D, Pokorny J, Smith VC, Zele AJ. (2008). Rod contribution to color perception: Linear with rod contrast. Vision Research. 48. 2586-2592.
  34. Pokorny J, Lutze M, Cao D, Zele AJ. (2008). The color of night: Surface color categorization of color defective observers under dim illuminations. Visual Neuroscience. 25. 475-480.
  35. Cao D, Zele AJ, Pokorny J. (2008). Chromatic discrimination in the presence of incremental and decremental rod pedestals. Visual Neuroscience. 25. 399-404.
  36. Cao D, Zele AJ, Smith VC, Pokorny J. (2008). S-cone discrimination for stimuli with spatial and temporal chromatic contrast. Visual Neuroscience. 25, 349-354.
  37. Zele AJ, Dang TM, O’Loughlin RK, Guymer RH, Harper A, Vingrys AJ. (2008). Adaptation mechanisms, retinal eccentricity profiles and clinical applications of red-on-white static and flicker perimetry. Optometry and Vision Science. 85. 309-317
  38. Feigl B, Stewart IB, Brown B, Zele AJ. (2008) Local neuroretinal function during acute hypoxia in healthy older people. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 49, 807-813.
  39. Dimitrov PN, Guymer RH, Zele AJ, Anderson AJ, Vingrys AJ. (2008). Measuring rod and cone dynamics in age-related macular degeneration. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 49. 55-65.
  40. Feigl B, Zele AJ. (2008). A method for investigating the temporal dynamics of local neuroretinal responses. Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 167. 207-212.
  41. Zele AJ, Vingrys AJ. (2007). Defining the detection mechanisms for symmetric and rectified-flicker stimuli. Vision Research. 47. 2700-2713.
  42. Zele AJ, Pokorny J, Lee D, Ireland D. (2007). Anisometropic amblyopia:  Spatial contrast sensitivity deficits in inferred parvocellular and magnocellular vision. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 48(8). 3622-3631.
  43. Zele AJ, Cao D, Pokorny J. (2007). Threshold units: A correct metric for reaction time? Vision Research. 47. 608-611.
  44. Cao D, Zele AJ, Pokorny J. (2007). Linking impulse response functions to reaction times: Rod and cone reaction time data and a computational model. Vision Research. 47. 1060-1074.
  45. Taylor NR, Zele AJ, Vingrys AJ, Stanley RG. (2007). Variation in intraocular pressure following the application of Tropicamide in three different dog breeds. Veterinary Ophthalmology. 10. 8-11.
  46. Zele AJ, Smith VC, Pokorny J. (2006). Spatial and temporal chromatic contrast: Effect on chromatic contrast discrimination for stimuli varying in L- and M-cone excitation. Visual Neuroscience. 23. 495-501.
  47. Pokorny J, Lutze M, Cao D, Zele AJ. (2006). The color of night: Surface color perception under dim illuminations. Visual Neuroscience. 23. 525-530.
  48. Zele AJ, O’Loughlin RK, Guymer RH, Vingrys AJ. (2006). Disclosing disease mechanisms with a spatio-temporal summation paradigm. Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology. 244. 425-432.
  49. Jaworski A, Gentle A, Zele AJ, Vingrys AJ, McBrien NA. (2006). Altered visual sensitivity in axial high myopia: A local post-receptoral phenomenon? Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 47(8). 3695-3702.
  50. Cao D, Zele AJ, Pokorny J. (2006). Dark-adapted rod suppression of cone flicker detection: Evaluation of receptoral and post-receptoral interactions. Visual Neuroscience. 23. 531-537.
  51. Vingrys AJ, Zele AJ. (2005). Robust estimates of clinical data: Meaningless means. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. New Developments. 46(12). 4353-4357.
  52. Zele AJ, Vingrys AJ. (2005). Cathode-ray-tube monitor artefacts in neurophysiology. Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 141. 1-7.
  53. Greferath U, Nag N, Zele AJ, Bui BV, Wilson Y, Vingrys AJ, Murphy M. (2004). Fos-tau-LacZ mice expose light activated pathways in the visual system. Neuroimage. 23. 1027-1038.
  54. Flanagan P, Zele AJ. (2004). Chromatic and luminance losses with multiple sclerosis and optic neuritis measured using dynamic random luminance contrast noise. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics. 24(3). 225-233.
  55. Zele AJ, Vingrys AJ. (2001). Achromatic impulses unmask L- and M-cone adaptive mechanisms. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, 29. 197-200.
  56. Phipps JA, Zele AJ, Dang T, Vingrys AJ. (2001). Fast psychophysical procedures for clinical testing. Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 84(5). 264-269.
  57. Zele AJ, Vingrys AJ. (2000). Flicker adaptation can be explained by probability summation between independent ON- and OFF-processors. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, 28. 227-229.