Lincoln and District Parkinsons Group

I am very honoured to have been invited to be  Branch President for the Lincoln and District Branch of Parkinsons UK for 2017-18.

I have been working with members of the local group over the last 4 years investigating the control of eye movements in Parkinsons. This has been a long standing research interest off and on since my days as a post-doctoral research fellow at Charing Cross Hospital in London.

Parkinson's diseaseOur research has shown that there is a particular “marker” of Parkinsons in eye movements, namely “multi-stepping” or jerkiness of eye movements measurable under certain conditions with a computerised eye tracker. In other situations some people with Parkinsons appear to be slightly more distractable and not organise eye movements as efficiently as healthy people when carrying out problem solving and memory tasks.

parkinsons saccades

Multistepping saccades

The research has potential in the future to help in the early diagnosis of Parkinsons, the assessment of cognitive impairments in Parkinsons as well as helping people with Parkinsons understand the subtle ways in which the condition might affect them beyond the obvious symptoms seen in other sort of movement.

I’ve also observed that People with Parkinson are extra-ordinarily nice and generous people with an enthusiasm for research. I continue to do whatever I can in my own little way to go the extra mile (or 20!) to support them, so I was very pleased to accept the appointment as Branch President. I am looking forward to meeting established and new members at the Annual General Meeting next month in Bracebridge Heath and giving a short update on recent research.

26th British Oculomotor Group Meeting

bomgThis week I will be presenting at the 26th British Oculomotor group in Cardiff.

I’m pleased to be attending this meeting and catching up with recent research from colleagues especially as I used to help organise this meeting many years ago when it was hosted at Charing Cross hospital London.


Screen Shot of Spatial Working Memory Task


Eye gaze directional cue

This year I will be presenting recent work examining how people use eye movements to perform a test of Spatial Working Memory (Based on the widely used CANTAB  Spatial Working Memory task) and differences in this between healthy people and people with Parkinsons Disease.

Dr Frouke Hermens from the School of Psychology will also be presenting her work at the meeting on real world eye tracking studies of the effect of social attentional cues.