Distinguished Professor Emeritus

William Bobier.OD (Waterloo), PhD (Cambridge), FAAO

Email: wbobier@uwaterloo.ca
Telephone: (519) 888-4567 ext. 32090
Fax: (519) 725-0784
Office: OPT 259
Labs: OPT 225 and 229, ext. 36756
Website: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/William_Bobier


Bill entered private optometric practice following graduation and then returned to university life where he completed a M.Sc. (Physiological Optics, University of Waterloo) then a Ph.D. (Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge). A common thread in all throughout was to gain a better understanding of the developing binocular motor system in infants and children. Bill joined the faculty at the School of Optometry in 1987. He served as Associate Director (1999–2002) and then Director of the School (2002–2005). His clinical and research interests focussed on correctable vision disorders. These conditions are treated ophthalmically or using behavioral paradigms known as vision therapy. While he retired from clinical and didactic teaching in in this area in 2017, his research activity has continued.

Vision Research

My research has touched on numerous components of correctable vision disorders. These disorders can be corrected either ophthalmically and/or through visual activities aimed at altering brain plasticity (vision therapy). Correctable disorders include refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism), amblyopia (lazy eye) and disorders of eye alignment (manifest and latent strabismus). The  research has centered upon gaining a better understanding of the underlying visual neuroscience of these conditions; development of the means and treatment paradigms to allow for their implementation in special populations such as infants and young children. Listed publications are representative and not inclusive. A complete listing is found under publication types subsequently. Symbols (†◊) denote authors affiliation as graduate student or post doc respectively.
A full listing of the research can be found at https://scholar.google.ca/citations?user=_9h5Kb8AAAAJ&hl=en

Sustained viewing for tasks such as reading, requires more than correction of refractive error. It requires adjustment of focus and alignment mechanisms to hold alignment comfortably without strain. This requires the investigation of gaze movement responses of convergence and accommodation and the adaptations required in gaze holding. We have investigated these underlying mechanisms for the clinical testing and treatment of these anomalies.

Amblyopia accounts for a significant degree of monocular vision loss. The condition most commonly arises when one eye is disadvantaged relative to the other during the early months and years of life. The most common causes are differing degrees of refractive error between the eyes and eye misalignment. In these cases one eye receives better imagery and acts to suppress the visual processing of the disadvantaged eye. I have been able to work with a larger group which is investigating the mechanisms of this suppression, its remediation by a novel binocular treatment and its impact on other visual parameters such as fixation.

Accurate measures of refractive error are typically difficult to make with standard techniques such as retinoscopy. My early work looked at optical analyses of photorefractive methods to allow a rapid assessment of infant refractive error.

  1. Refractive Error  and Oculomotor measures in children and Infants
    1. Photorefraction
      • Bobier, WR and Braddick, OJ. (1985) Eccentric photorefraction. Optical analysis and empirical measures.  Am J Optom & Physiol Opt, 62(9): 614-620.
      • Roorda, A, Campbell, MCW, Bobier, WR. (1995) Geometrical theory to predict eccentric photorefraction intensity profiles in the human eye. J Opt Soc Am A, 12:1647-1656
      • Christian, LW, Bobier, WR. (2015) A 3 year old boy with photographic leukocoria. Paediatric Child Health. 20(7):245-347. (Case Report).
    2. Patterns of refractive error and related and its correction in the early years of life
      • Thapa, D, Fleck, A,Lakshminarayanan, V, Bobier, WR. (2011) Ocular wavefront aberration and refractive error in pre-school children.  Journal of Modern Optics, 58: (19-20):1681- 1689 (Special Issue on Vision Science and Ophthalmic Optics).
      • Ehrlich, DL, Atkinson, J, Braddick, O, Bobier, WR, Durden, K. (1995) Reduction of Infant Myopia:  a longitudinal cycloplegic study. Vision Res, 35:1313-1324.
      • Atkinson, J, Braddick, O, Bobier, WR, Anker, S, Ehrlich, D, King, J, Watson, P, Moore, A. (1996) Two infant screening programs: Prediction and prevention of strabismus and amblyopia from photo- and videorefractive screening. Eye, 10:189-198.
      • Bobier, WR. (2007) Evidence-based spectacle prescribing for Infants and Children. Journal of Modern Optics, 54(9):1367-1377.
    3. Epidemiological and Community Health Studies of Refractive error and pre school children
      • Shankar, S, Evans, MA, Bobier, WR. (2007) Hyperopes lag behind Emmetropes in Emergent Literacy skills.  Optometry and Vision Science, 84(11):1031-1038.
      • Suryakumar, R and Bobier, WR. (2003)  The manifestation of non-cycloplegic refractive state in pre-school children is dependent upon autorefractor design. Optometry and Vision Science, 80: 578- 586.
      • Cowen, L, and Bobier WR. (2003)  The pattern of astigmatism in a Canadian pre-school population, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 44: 4593- 4599.
      • Robinson, B, Bobier, WR, Martin, E, Bryant, L. (1999) Measurement of the Validity of a Pre School Vision Screening Program.  American Journal of Public Health, 89:193-198.
    4. Accommodation and accommodation in myopia
      • Labhishetty V, Chakraborty A, Bobier WR. (2019) Is blur sensitivity altered in children with progressive myopia? Vision Res  Jan;154:142-153
      • †Labhishetty V, Bobier WR, Lakshminarayanan V. Is 25Hz enough to accurately measure a dynamic change in the ocular accommodation? (2019) J Optom 2019 Jan - Mar;12(1):22-29
      • Sreenivasan, V, Irving, EL, Bobier, WR. (2014) Can current models of accommodation and vergence explain accommodative behavior in myopic children? Vision Research. August 101:51-61
      • Thiagarajan, P, Lakshminarayanan, V, Bobier, WR. (2007) Effect of proximity on the open loop accommodative response. Journal of Modern Optics, 55(4-5):569 – 581.
      • Bobier, WR, Guinta, A, Kurtz, S, Howland, HC. (2000) Prism induced accommodation in infants 3 to 6 months of age. Vision Research, 40:529-537.
  2. Studies in sustained viewing
    • †Erkelens, I, Thompson, B, Bobier, WR. (2016) Unmasking the linear behavior of slow motor adaptation to prolonged convergence. European Journal of Neuroscience. 43(12), 1553-1560
    • †Erkelens, I. M., & Bobier, W. R. (2018). Adaptation of reflexive fusional vergence is directionally biased.. Vision Res, 149, 66–76. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.VISRES.2018.06.006
    • Thiagarajan, P, Lakshminarayanan, V, Bobier, WR. (2010) Effect of Vergence Adaption on Positive Fusional Vergence Training on Oculomotor Parameters. Optometry and Vision Science, 87(7):487- 493.
    • †Sreenivasan, V, Bobier, WR. (2015) Increased onset of vergence adaptation reduces excessive accommodation during the orthoptic treatment of convergence insufficiency.  Vision Science.  111:105-113.
    • Bobier, WR, Guinta, A, Kurtz, S, Howland, HC. (2000) Prism induced accommodation in infants 3 to 6 months of age. Vision Research, 40:529-537.
  3. Amblyopia
    • Nallour Raveendran, R., Bobier, W R.,& Thompson, B (2019). Binocular vision and fixational eye movements. Journal of Vision, XX(XX):X, XX–XX, https://doi.org/10.1167/XX.XX.XX.
    • Gao TY, Anstice N, Babu RJ, Black JM, Bobier WR, Dai S, et al. (2018) Optical treatment of amblyopia in older children and adults is essential prior to enrolment in a clinical trial. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt  Mar;38(2):129-143
    • Guo, C, Babu, R, Black, JM, Bobier, WR, Lam, CSY, Dai, S, Gao, TY, Hess, RF, Jenkins, M, Jiang, Y, Kowal, L, Parag, V, South, J, Staffieri, SE, Walker, N,  Wadham, A, Thompson, B on behalf of the BRAVO study team. (2016). Binocular treatment of amblyopia using video games (BRAVO): Protocol for a randomized controlled trial Trials,17 (1) 504
    • Hess, RF, Babu, RJ, Clavingnier, S, Black, J, Bobier, WR, Thompson, B. (2014) The iPod binocular home-based treatment for amblyopia in adults: efficacy and compliance. Clinical and Experimental Optometry. September 97(5):389-398.
    • Babu, RJ, Clavagnier, SR, Bobier, WR, Thompson, B., Hess, RF. (2013) The regional extent of suppression: strabismics vs non strabismics. Investigative Ophthal &Vis.Sci. 54(10) 
    • Bobier, WR and Shaw, PJ. (2012) A consideration of binocular parameters in the spectacle correction of anisometropic amblyopia. A Case Report. Optometry and Vision Development, 43; (2):67 -71.
    • Ravendran, RN, DBabu, RJ, Hess, RF, Bobier, WR. (2014) Transient improvements in fixational stability in strabismic amblyopes following bifoveal fixation and reduced inter ocular suppression. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics.
University of Waterloo

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