Office: BMH 1116
Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 48311
We are pursuing 3 main research themes in the Developmental Visuomotor Neuroscience Lab. The goal of Theme 1 is advance the understanding of visuomotor integration during the performance of skillful movements in 3D space. The overarching hypothesis for this work is that binocular vision provides an essential input for the development and optimal performance of manipulation skills, which is based on predictive control mechanisms that require the knowledge of object properties. Experimental work includes studies with visually-normal children and adults, as well as people with abnormal binocular vision. Results from this work will help us develop assessment tools and training regimens to improve visuomotor coordination.
Research in Theme 2 focuses on evaluating gaze behavior in pilots with different levels of expertise. The goal is to determine how gaze behaviour changes as a function of learning, and to use this information to develop predictive models of pilot competency. This research is conducted using eye tracking in a flight simulator with a team of scientists in the Aviation Research Cluster (https://uwaterloo.ca/aviation/people-profiles). Results will be used to advance and innovate aviation training by informing a competency based education model for pilot skill assessment.
The goal of Theme 3 is to develop more sensitive and objective behavioral tests to improve concussion diagnosis and recovery monitoring following a sport-related head injury. Objective and sensitive screening measures for concussions are important in order to reduce the long-term consequences associated with repetitive head injury, such as early onset brain and behavior disorders
- Role of normal binocular vision in the development of fine motor skills
- Neuroplasticity resulting from abnormal binocular vision due to amblyopia and/or strabismus
- Multisensory integration during performance of complex manipulation tasks
- Gaze behaviour in complex environments
- Innovative assessment of pilot competency
- Effect of mild traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome on oculomotor and cognitive functions
- Environmental and genetic interactions
Graduate supervision and student opportunities
- Research volunteer
- Undergraduate thesis
- MSc thesis
- Coursework interns
- PhD thesis
Please email me to discuss current available opportunities.
Teaching, expertise, tools and technologies
- Visuomotor control: eye movements, hand-eye coordination
- Binocular vision: depth perception, stereopsis
- Visual and motor development
- Motor learning
Tools and technologies
- Eye tracking
- Limb tracking
KIN 356: Information Processing in Human Perceptual and Motor Performance
KIN 357: Motor Learning
KIN 653: Fundamentals of Neuroscience
PhD, University of Toronto
See PubMed for full list of publications.
- Niechwiej-Szwedo E, Thai G, Christian L. Contribution of stereopsis, vergence, and accommodative function to the performance of a precision grasping and placement task in typically developing children age 8-14 years. Human Movement Science. 2020 72:102652. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2020.102652.
- Niechwiej-Szwedo E, Meier K, Christian L, Nouredanesh M, Tung J, Bryden P, Giaschi D. Concurrent maturation of visuomotor skills and motion perception in typically-developing children and adolescents. Developmental Psychobiology. 2020;62(3):353-367. doi: 10.1002/dev.21931.
- Niechwiej-Szwedo E, Colpa L, Wong AMF. Visuomotor behaviour in amblyopia: Deficits and compensatory adaptations. Neural Plasticity. 2019:6817839. doi: 10.1155/2019/6817839. eCollection 2019.
- Ayala N, Niechwiej-Szwedo E. Effects of blocked vs. interleaved administration mode on saccade preparatory set revealed using pupillometry. Experimental Brain Research. 2020; doi: 10.1007/s00221-020-05967-9.
- Lin G, Al Ani R, Niechwiej-Szwedo E. Age-related deficits in binocular vision are associated with poorer inhibitory control in healthy older adults. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 2020; | https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2020.605267
- Tapper A, Gonzalez D, Roy E, Niechwiej-Szwedo E. Executive function deficits in team sport athletes with a history of concussion revealed by a visual-auditory dual task paradigm. Journal of Sport Sciences. 2016, 21:1-10