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Personal profile


I graduated in Optometry from the University of New South Wales in Sydney (1979) and worked in private practise for two years as an optometric consultant to various towns and mining sites in the outback regions of Western Australia.

Returning to full-time study, I obtained an honours degree in psychology (1984) and a PhD in visual neuropsychology (1988) from the University of Western Australia. I was awarded a Fulbright post-doctoral Fellowship from The Australian-American Fulbright Foundation to continue my research in the optometry department at The University of California in Berkeley.

Following this I was appointed as the William Elgar Buck Scholar for medical research at St. John’s College, Cambridge, and worked in The Physiological Laboratory at Cambridge University for three years from 1988.

After Cambridge, I was appointed Lecturer in Optometry at Aston, where I remained for four years, and then Reader in Neuropsychology at Royal Holloway, University of London. In 2000 I moved back to Aston to take up the Chair in Optometry and Visual Neuroscience, with appointments as Director of the Neurosciences Research Institute (2001/05) and Head of Neurosciences (2005/10; 2012/14).

My other appointments include Visiting Research Professor of Neurosciences at both The Advanced Telecommunications Research (ATR) Institute International, Kyoto, Japan (2000 – 2015) and the Centre for Information and Neural Networks, Osaka, Japan (2017+), Honorary Clinical Research Fellow, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, University Hospital NHS Trust (2004/05), and Honorary Clinical Research Professor, Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, UK (2014/16). 

Research Interests

My current research areas include:

(i) studying the functional organization of the human brain using neuroimaging (MEG, fMRI) and psychophysical techniques;

(ii) The perception of polarised light in humans

(iii) clinical studies on amblyopia and age-related macular degeneration; and

(iv) cross-modal studies examining the way vision, motor activity and attentional processes interact in the human brain.

My research has been funded with grants from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, The Wellcome Trust, Fight for Sight, The Macular Disease Society, The Royal Society, London, The NHS Trust, UK, and The Wolfson Foundation.


2012/14 Head of Neurosciences, School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University

2005/10  Head of Neurosciences, School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University.

2005/10  Associate Director of Research for School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University.

2003/05  Acting Head of Audiology and Director of the undergraduate programme in Audiology.

2001/05  Director of the Neurosciences Research Institute, Aston University.

2000/01  Head of the Neuroimaging Research Group, Neurosciences Research Institute, Aston.

2/2000+  Professor of Optometry and Visual Neuroscience, Aston University.

1996/00  Reader in Psychology and undergraduate admissions tutor, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.

1991/95  Lecturer and post-graduate admissions tutor, Department of Vision Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.

1988/91  The William Elgar Buck Memorial Medical Research Scholar, St. John’s College, Cambridge. Attached to The Physiological Laboratory, Cambridge University, UK.

1987/8    Fulbright Post-doctoral Research Fellow, School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, USA.

1987      Teaching Assistant, Department of Psychology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia


BOptom from The University of New South Wales, School of Optometry (1979)

BSc (1st class Hons) from The University of Western Australia, Department of Psychology (1984)

PhD from The University of Western Australia, Department of Psychology (1988)

MCOptom from The College of Optometrists, London (1992)

Contact Details

Email: s.j.anderson@aston.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 121 204-3879

Fax: +44 (0) 121 359-4498

External positions

Visiting Research Professor

2017 → …

External Examiner


Editorial Board Memeber for the journal:

2016 → …

Honorary Clinical Research Professor, Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust


External Examiner


External Examiner, University of Bradford


Honorary Clinical Research Fellow


External Examiner, City University


Visiting Research Professor


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Research Output 1985 2020

Open Access
Entoptic Vision
Macular Degeneration
Macular Pigment
linear polarization

Increased word spacing improves performance for reading scrolling text with central vision loss

Harvey, H., Anderson, S. J. & Walker, R., 1 Aug 2019, In : Optometry and Vision Science. 96, 8, p. 609-616 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Audiovisual Aids
Low Vision

Computational simulation of Haidinger's brushes

Misson, G. P., Temple, S. E. & Anderson, S. J., 11 May 2018, In : Journal of the Optical Society of America A. 35, 6, p. 946-952 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Light polarization

The effect of mood state on visual search times for detecting a target in noise: An application of smartphone technology

Maekawa, T., Anderson, S. J., De Brecht, M. & Yamagishi, N., 17 Apr 2018, In : PLoS ONE. 13, 4, e0195865.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
application technology


Evaluation of low vision services on the quality of life of individuals with age-related macular degeneration

Author: James, L., Aug 2015

Supervisor: Anderson, S. J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisOphthalmic Doctorate


Functional neuroimaging and behavioural studies on global form processing in the human visual system

Author: Swettenham, J. B., Dec 2005

Supervisor: Anderson, S. J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Higher-order aberrations in amblyopia: an analysis of pre- and post-wavefront-guided laser refractive correction

Author: Salmon, A., 19 Jan 2015

Supervisor: Anderson, S. J. (Supervisor) & Reinstein, D. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisOphthalmic Doctorate


Reading without central vision: effects of text spacing on reading in patients with macular disease

Author: Blackmore-Wright, S., 24 Oct 2014

Supervisor: Anderson, S. J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisOphthalmic Doctorate



External Examiner

Stephen Anderson (Recipient), 2018

Prize: Other distinction

Visiting Research Professor

Stephen Anderson (Recipient), Jan 2017

Prize: Other distinction

information and communication technology


Stephen Anderson (Recipient), 2016

Prize: Other distinction

Honorary Clinical Research Professor

Stephen Anderson (Recipient), 2014

Prize: Other distinction


External Examiner

Stephen Anderson (Recipient), 2012

Prize: Appointment