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Graduate Course Descriptions

G100 Level Courses

Ocular Anatomy, Biochemistry & Physiology I
Semester Credits: 2.25
GVS-181F
The Ocular Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology course covers the anatomy, physiology and biochemistry of the globe, related visual structures and the 
visual pathway.  Part I begins with an anatomical overview of the eye and related structures, providing the student with an introduction to the basic structural features of the eye. This is followed by the anatomy of the fibrous tunic and the 
physiological basis for corneal transparency and how the cornea regulates its hydration and metabolism. Uveal anatomy and the physiology of the ocular fluids follow.  The production of aqueous humor and its outflow through conventional and uveoscleral pathways leads to a discussion of intraocular pressure and its regulation. The neuroanatomical basis for papillary and accommodative responses and their clinical context follows. Finally, the 
anatomy, development, molecular composition and metabolism of the lens lead to a discussion of changes in the lens that occur during aging, including the biochemistry of cataract formation.

Ocular Anatomy, Biochemistry & Physiology II
Semester Credits: 3.25
GVS-182S
OABP II is a continuation of OABP I.  It begins with the study of the anatomy of The vitreous, retina, optic nerve and visual pathway.  The biochemistry of the visual process including the biochemistry and molecular biology of rhodopsin and cone pigments and the events that occur during the visual cascade will be studied including a discussion of color blindness, congenital night blindness and hereditary retinal degeneration.  Nutritional and biochemical implications in age-related ocular disease will then be explored.  Processing of visual information by the retina, lateral geniculate nucleus and function of the ocular appendages and the physiology and biochemistry of the tear film.  The course ends with the study of the development of the eye and visual system. Integration with material taught in Gross Human Anatomy and Neuroanatomy is integral to the understanding of 
the structure and function of the eye and is emphasized in the course.

Integrated Optics
Semester Credits: 4.5
GVS-131F
This introductory course, which integrates elements of geometrical, physical and visual optics will prepare the student for the challenges for clinical practice, as
well as the requirements of the National Boards. The lectures, in conjunction with the laboratories, will help the student develop and appreciation of the eye as an optical instrument, a practical understanding of the broad-based clinical applications of lenses, prisms and mirrors, and the basic consideration of lens design principles as applied to the eye and ophthalmic instruments. It will serve as a foundational information base and provide background knowledge for the higher level clinical and optometric courses and literature review. The instructional sequence is: Introduction to light, optics of thin spherical and astigmatic lenses, optics of spherical refracting interfaces, optics of mirrors,
optics of thick and thin prisms, fiber optics, Gaussian systems, Newtonian optics, system stops and field of view, introduction to Visual Optics and model eyes, axes and angles of the eye and Purkinje-Sanson images.

Visual Function: Sensory
Semester Credits: 4.5
GVS-170S
This course covers monocular sensory processes and visual perception.  Topics 
include spatial and temporal visual processes; visual adaptation, color vision; 
psychophysical methodology; information processing; gross electrical potentials; 
basic visual action; and basic visual-cognitive processes. Topics are discussed in 
terms of their normal function and clinically relevant deviations from normal. The anatomical and neurophysiological bases for visual performance are 
examined and related to clinical testing. Laboratories emphasize the 
measurement of these functions in assessing the visual capacities of individual patients and the demonstration of relevant visual phenomena.

GM200 Level Courses

GM201
Introduction to Statistics & Statistical Computing
GM201
2.0 Credits
The conduct of solid research partially hinges on the ability to devise and implement the best analytic strategies necessary to address a particular research question of interest. This course is designed to equip students with practical data management, data analysis and interpretation skills needed to perform statistical analyses. By cultivating quantitative literacy through the use of the statistical software package—SAS, students will develop a statistical vocabulary, review and apply statistical methods, and learn how to make objective and refined interpretations of quantitative data.

Optics of the Eye
GM202
2.0 Credits:
This seminar examines the role of natural “aberrations” from the environment (opticalvergence)and from refraction and chromatic dispersion across the extended pupil of the chambered vertebrate eye, especially the role of defocus and chromatic aberration.  We consider the hypothesis that defocus and chromatic aberration specify optical vergence, distance and relative depth, monocularly and binocularly, as polychromatic blur across the retina in conjunction with polychromatic apodization across the exit pupil of the eye, and that modulation/phase across both retina and pupil are potential signals for accommodation, emmetropization and visual perception.  Readings explore the nature of the retinal image, blur from diffraction, defocus and aberrations, the Stiles-Crawford effect, sensitivity of the visual system to wavefront spherical curvature (optical vergence) and chromostereopsis.
Pre-requisites: Integrated Optics I or Proseminar: Introduction to Vision Science or the equivalent. Courses may be taken concurrently. Permission of Instructor.

Color Vision:  Color Perception
GM204B
2.0 Credits:
This tutorial will build from fundamentals of aperture color matching to the most recent work on color appearance in material perception. It will require reading classical and recent papers on relevant topics. The goal of the course is to make students think in depth about research questions in all aspects of color perception. There will be an emphasis on the way ideas have developed about these topics, to give a context to present foci of interest. Each tutorial will focus on a specific topic and will be shaped by the background and interests of the student(s). Since the area covered is large and growing, students can take the tutorial more than once for credit.  Topics covered include: 1)Color matching and the dimensionality problem. 2) Color adaptation to simple and complex fields.3)Color induction from Mach bands to 3-D figural effects. 4)Perception of illuminants and filters. 5) Color as a cue for object identification. 6) Color and perception of material qualities.
Prerequisite: Ph.D. Students or Permission of Instructor.

LGN and Cortex: Early Visual Processing of the Brain
GM207B
2.0 Credits:
This tutorial will provide basic information on the role of thalamus and striate cortex visual processing.  It will require reading classical and recent papers on topics related with thalammocortical processing.  It will cover anatomy, physiology and computational models of sensory processing in the early visual pathway. The objectives of the course are to provide a basic understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the early visual pathway, become familiar with the most recent discoveries in this field and develop skills of critical thinking when reading the relevant scientific literature. There is no specific pre-requisite other than a genuine interest in the topics to be discussed and a willingness to read a large number of papers and write reports on the reading material.
Prerequisite:  Open to Ph.D. students or permission of instructor.

Ocular Motility : Oculomotor Systems
GM208B
2.0 Credits:
The main purpose of this course is to provide the student with an overall appreciation of the behavioral, functional and physiological characteristics of the oculomotor system. This involves a review of the various oculomotor subsystems (saccadic, smooth pursuit, fixation, vestibuloocular and optokinetic) and especially what sort of stimuli and central functional mechanisms are responsible for eye movements. In addition, the course will consider a variety of current issues about the perception of visual space at the time of saccadic and smooth pursuit movement.
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Not open to first year optometry students.

Ocular Motility: Visuo-motor selection and decision processes
GM208C
2.0 Credits
Visually-guided behavior requires selection of an object (or objects) as the goal for action. This tutorial investigates the neural processes underlying the visual selection of objects for action. Special emphasis is placed on saccadic eye movements, although smooth pursuit eye movements and visually-guided reaching movements are also considered.
Prerequisites: Ph.D. students or permission of Instructor. Students should have basic familiarity with the structure and function of the oculomotor system from the Ph.D. Proseminar course (or equivalent).

Binocular Vision – Three-D Shape Perception
GM209B
2.0 Credits
This tutorial will address the fundamentals of 3-D shape perception.  It will require reading classical and recent papers on relevant topics an learning rudiments of projective and differential geometry and spatial statistics. The goal of the course is to make students think in depth about all aspects of 3-D shape. There will be an emphasis on the way mathematical ideas inform the study of shape perception.  A partial list of topics to be covered include: 1) Geometry of solid shape 2) Statistical shape descriptors 3) Perspective 4) 3-D Shape from pattern, shading, reflection, motion and disparity cures 5) Cortical processes of shape decoding 6) Shape illusions and symmetry.
Prerequisite: PhD only or permission of instructor.

Binocular Vision – Motor and Perceptual  Aspects of Vergence Eye Movements
GM209C
2.0 Credits
This course is devoted primarily to the motor components of binocular vision, namely tonic, accommodative, disparity and proximal vergence. While sensory and perceptual aspects are considered, the emphasis is on static and dynamic aspects of the motor response, including bioengineering models and computer simulation.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Visual Perception: Depth Perception and Cue Combination
GM210B
2.0 credits
This tutorial covers cues to depth and spatial layout and how they are combined by the visual system. Special emphasis is placed on binocular disparity.
 Students are strongly encouraged to work examples in Matlab to improve their
 understanding of Bayesian theory and theory of signal detection.
Prerequisite: Open to PhD Students or Permission of Instructor.

Visual Perception: Perceptual Learning
GM210C
2.0 Credits
This tutorial covers known forms of perceptual learning: learning to discriminate (differentiation), recalibration (including contingent recalibrations), cue 
reweighting and cue recruitment. Students are strongly encouraged to work
examples in Matlab to improve their understanding of Bayesian theory and theory of signal detection.
Prerequisites: PhD students only or permission of instructor.

Visual Perception: Current Research on Clinical Conditions Affecting Visual Space Perception
GM210D
2.0 Credits
Many clinical conditions impair patients’ abilities to visually perceive the spatial layout of their environment and to safely carry out visually-guided spatial-motor activities. Research into such impairments and their remediation has been increasing in recent years, in part due to increasing technical capabilities to conduct such research. In addition to producing a better understanding of these impairments and their potential for remediation, such research can also lead to a better understanding of the basic processes underlying perception and action in complex spatial environments. This seminar aims at a close reading and critical examination of some recent research in this area.
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor

Ocular Biochemistry : Biochemical and Nutritional Implications in Ocular Health and Disease
GM211
2.0 Credits
Topics include general nutritional considerations, age-related macular degeneration, senile cataract, relationship to chronic systemic disease (cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes)
Prerequisites: The professional course Ocular Anatomy, Biochemistry & Physiology I & II. Permission of instructor

Ocular Pathology
GM213
2.0 Credits
This seminar will introduce the students to the pathophysiology of diabetic retinopathy, the glaucomas and macular degeneration. The seminar will explore the underlying molecular, cellular and biochemical processes that cuase the clinical findings that characterize these diseases. The objective is to have a better understanding of the pathogenesis of these blinding eye conditions.
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor

Accommodation
GM214
2.0 Credits
This course provides a comprehensive survey of the human accommodative system.  Topcis include: introduction/overview of accommodation, anatomy and physiology of the accommodation, pharmacology and neurology of accommodation, the component inputs to accommodation (blur, vergence, proximity, and tonic), static and dynamic aspects of accommodation, bioengineering models of accommodation, theories of presbyopia, and dysfunctions of accommodation and their remediation.
Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor.

Pre-dissertation Research
GM215
1 credit per 2 hours of research per week
For M.S.  students and PhD students before Passing Qualifying Exam
Prerequisites: Must have signed consent of instructor.

Visual Physiology of the Eye
GM216B
2.0 Credits
This tutorial will assess the role of retinal mechanism in vision. The goal of the course is to make students think in depth about visual processing before the cortex. Each tutorial will focus on a specific topic; it is assumed that a basic familiarity with retinal and anatomy is present.  A partial list of topics to be covered include: 1) The very front end – current issues in receptor function 2) Visual adaptation from receptors to ganglion cells – how and where does adaptation take place 3) Is the Gaussian model of receptive field structure valid? 4) How parallel are parallel pathways in the retina 5) Temporal processing – can we take the retina for granted 6) Spatial processing – how have ideas developed since DeValois 7) Color in the retina and optimal modes of information processing 8) Single units and sensation – what are the criteria for linking physiology and psychophysics 9) Contrast gain control in the retina  10) From cones to ganglion cells; how specific is retinal wiring? 11) Spike trains of ganglion cells – what can we infer from them? 12) Across the visual field – how successful has the concept of magnification factor been in explaining eccentricity related changes 13) From retina to LGN – the development of ideas.
Prerequisites: Ph.D.students only or permission of instructor.

Scientific Integrity, Ethics, and the Responsible Conduct of Research Semester
GM219
1.0 Credit
The purpose of this course is to familiarize graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with basic ethical issues confronting scientists in biomedical science research.  The course addresses ethical considerations in the use of human and animal research subjects, scientific integrity in data management, analysis, authorship, and publication.  Additional topics include peer review, scientific fraud, conflict of interest, mentoring, intellectual property, collaborations, and the role of scientists in society. The course is designed to meet or exceed all NIH requirements for instruction in the responsible conduct of research; NOT-OD-10-019 on November 24, 2009 and updated on April, 19, 2011.
Prerequisites: None

Introduction to Vision Science:  Part I
GM230
6.0 Credits
This course is Part 1 of a year-long course designed to give a basic introduction to the eye. The emphasis will be to provide a background to the physiology, biophysics and neurobiology of the eye. Lecturers will impart basis information and ideas and also stress current foci of research interest.  There will also be an emphasis on introducing research methods and their pitfalls.  Part I includes the following topic areas: 1) Image forming mechanisms of the eye: image formation in the eye: optics, pupil, accommodation, etc; control of growth and transparency of lens and cornea, physiology and biochemistry of the eye. 2) Retinal mechanisms for acquisition and transmission of visual information: retinal structure and contrast gain control, synapses and signals between neurons, color vision: genetics and physiology (including anomalous color vision); spatial-temporal mechanisms.
Prerequisites: PhD students only.

Introduction to Vision Science: Part II
GM231
6.0 credits
This course is Part II of a year-long course designed to give a basic introduction to the eye. The emphasis will be to provide a background to the physiology, biophysics and neurobiology of the eye.  Lecturers will impart basis information and ideas and also stress current foci of research interest. There will also be an emphasis on introducing research methods and their pitfalls. It includes the following topic areas: 1) Cortical mechanisms for extraction and interpretation of visual information: structure and function in LGN and striate cortex, binocular vision, shape and motion perception, space and scene perception, control and consequences of eye-movements, perceptual learning, extra-striate cortex and perception and attention and the control of neural processing.
Prerequisites: PhD students only.

Research Survival Skills
GM240A
1.0 Credits
This  course  will  provide  basic  knowledge  and  skills  for  students  conducting  Masters-level  research  in optometry and vision science. It will set expectations for progress through the OD-MS program and offer guidance on how to successfully design, conduct and disseminate research in basic, translational or clinical areas. Learning objectives include:Types of research in optometry and vision science;how to develop a research question and design an appropriate study;how to apply for authorization to conduct research;how to write an abstract and submit to a scientific meeting;how to present scientific information (papers, talks) and how to submit a manuscript for publication.
Prerequisites:  Open to all OD/MS students

Vision Science Journal Club for OD/MS Students
GM241A
1.0 Credits
Journal Club for OD/MS students covers the skills needed to read and discuss research papers in a comprehensive manner in order to understand their scientific and clinical value. Basic paper structure, writing styles and key words will be covered. The course format combines a face to face lecture component, along with an on-line discussion component. All students will also have to present a paper.
Prerequisite: Open to all OD/MS Students

Vision Science Journal Club for Doctoral Students
GM245A
1.0 Credits
Journal Club for Doctoral students is a mixed format venue for presenting and discussing current research in vision science. The course is run primarily by graduate students. Students in the PhD program are expected to attend every week until their final semester in the program.
Prerequisites: Open to all Doctoral Students

Advanced Topics in Oculomotor Systems
GM251
2.0 Credits
This Advanced Topics course will cover selected topics in accommodation, eye movements, and pupil responses. Neural and physical systems that control accommodation, near response, ACA and CAC ratios, physical properties of the lens, consequences for image formation, presbyopia, development of the lens and its control systems, and pathology. Eye movement topics include the neural and physical properties of the saccadic, vergence, and steady fixation control systems and their pathologies. Pupil topics include basic neural control of pupil size in response to light and other factors, melanopsin ganglion cells. The course will be taught in mixed format including both lecture and seminar format (student presentation of papers). All students are expected to read all assigned papers carefully before class and participation in class discussion is a component of evaluation, as well as critical reviews, papers, and/or exams.
Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor

Advanced topics in sensory physiology and perception
GM252
2.0 Credits
This Advanced Topics course will cover selected topics in neurophysiology of the visual system and visual perception. Selected topics may include the transduction of light; signaling in the retina, LGN, and visual cortex; visual adaptations; detection and processing of luminance contrast, color, motion, and binocular disparity; object and scene perception; perceptual learning and vision therapy; and pathologies such as amblyopia and strabismus.
Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor

Advanced Topics in Optics, Refractive Error and Maturation of the Optical System
GM253
2.0 Credits
The course covers selected topics in geometric and physiological optics, emphasizing theory and research applications in which measuring the optical characteristics of the eye is essential. Special topics include higher-order wavefront aberrations, optical limitations of neural processing, optical methods of imaging the retina, control of eye growth and development of refractive state, accommodation and presbyopia. The course will be taught in mixed format including both lecture and seminar format (student presentation of papers). All students are expected to read all assigned papers carefully before class and participation in class discussion is a component of evaluation, as well as critical reviews, papers, and/or exams.
Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor

Advanced topics in ocular bioscience
GM254
2.0 Credits
This Advanced Topics course will cover selected topics in the cellular and molecular systems that support the living eye, and related pathologies. Topics may include cellular and molecular mechanisms for homeostasis and protein expression, immune response, pathologies caused by diabetes, glaucoma, etc., and methods of measurement including imaging at various spatial scales. The course will be taught in mixed format including both lecture and seminar format (student presentation of papers). All students are expected to read all assigned papers carefully before class and participation in class discussion is a component of evaluation, as well as critical reviews, papers, and/or exams.
Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor

GM300 Level Courses
Independent Study
Credits: 1 credit per 2 hours of independent study per week.
GE307
Hours: Variable
Prerequisites: Must have signed consent of instructor.

G400 Level Courses
Dissertation Research
Semester Credits: 1 credit per 2 hours of research per week
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GD401
Hours: Variable
Prerequisites: Must have signed consent of instructor.