The overarching question that motivates the research in the Roorda lab is:  How do humans convert the two-dimensional images that land on the retina into such a rich perceptual experience?


The left panel shows a typical human PSF (6 mm pupil),

the center frame shows a 20/20 sized E,

the third frame shows how that E would appear on the retina.

AOSLO video of human retina viewing

a letter 'E' which is projected onto its surface.

(Rossi and Roorda, Nat. Neurosci, 2011, Arathorn et al, JOV 2013, Ratnam et al, IOVS, 2013)

Image showing the distribution of the three

classes of human cone photoreceptor,

sensitiive to bluish, greenish and reddish

regions of the visible light specturn.

(Roorda and Williams, Nature, 2001)

To tackle these questions, members of the lab design and build optical instruments that (i) correct the eye's imperfections (ii) track the retina with high speed and accuracy and (iii) measure visual structure and function on a cellular scale.

Our favorite tool is adaptive optics - a technology originally developed for astronomical imaging from ground-based telescopes - to correct the eye’s aberrations and to image and/or present stimuli to the retina with unprecedented resolution. Overcoming optical limitations with adaptive optics has enabled new discoveries in vision science, from mapping the trichromatic cone mosaic to revealing how human visual acuity improves with aberration correction. See our publication page for more details.

The Roorda lab is also committed to translating technology for clinical applications. Members of the lab develop and use advanced imaging to study eye disease and to evaluate approaches to slow its progression. This work is done in collaboration with Dr. Jacque Duncan at UCSF.