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Professor Brendan Barrett

PositionProfessor of Visual Development
LocationG26, Richmond building
DepartmentBradford School of Optometry and Vision Sciences
Telephone+44 (0) 1274 235589

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

Module leader for the Refraction and Refractive Error module (1st year, BSc Optometry programme).

Also teaches on the Assessment & Management of Binocular Vision and Clinical Optometry & Communication Skills Modules.

Study History

Brendan trained as an Optometrist at the Dublin Institute of Technology and graduated in 1989.

In 1994 he was awarded a PhD in Medicine from University College Dublin.

In 2010 he graduated with a BSc in Psychology from the Open University.

Professional History

In 1994 he became a lecturer in the Department of Vision Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University (1994-1995). He then joined the Department of Optometry at the University of Bradford as a lecturer in 1996.

In 2000 he became a senior lecturer, and then a 'Reader in Vision Science' in 2007. He was Director of the Vision Science Research Group from 2006-2010. In summer 2014, his title changed to Professor of Visual Development.

Professional Activities

Member of the General Optical Council's Education (2010- present) and Registration (2014-present) Committees. The GOC is the UK regulator for the professions of Optometry & Dispensing Optics.

Member of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council's (BBSRC) Pool of Experts/Research Committee (2012-present).

I have recently acted as External Examiner for the undergraduate optometry programmes at the University of Manchester (BSC & MOptom), the Dublin Institute of Technology (BSc Optometry) and for the professional qualifying examinations for Optometrists in Ireland run by the Association of Optometrists, Ireland (AOI).

External Advisor for post-graduate qualifications in Optometry at City University and at Cardiff University.

Conducted a number of high profile reviews, including a review of the area of Behavioural Optometry (published in Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics).

Acted as Guest Editor for a recent (2014) special issue of Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics on the topic of Binocular Vision: From Lab to Clinic.

Research Areas


Specifically I am interested in research aimed at understanding the impact of amblyopia upon those who live with it, and understanding the aetiology of amblyopia and its typically associated conditions of strabismus and anisometropia.

Vision and Sport

Is there anything elite about the vision of elite sportspeople? There are claims that vision is superior in elites but little evidence to support this assertion or the assertion that vision training can lead to better sport performance. Currently, we have a major, BBSRC-funded project aimed at investigating these issues.

Vision and Reading

Together with Dr Jim Gilchrist, I am interested in understanding whether subtle visual anomalies can lead to reading difficulties and establishing how professionals working with those with reading difficulties can better work together.

Current Projects

We are currently running a major, BBSRC-funded project aimed at investigating vision in elite sportspeople. To support the realisation of this project's aims and objectives, we have developed strong links with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

We also have live College of Optometrists and National Eye Research Centre (Yorkshire branch) grants aimed at understanding how amblyopic visual deficits can be better understood and treated, and how Optometrists and other professionals can better serve children presenting with difficulties in reading.


Publications since 2009

  • Barrett BT, Panesar GK, Scally AJ, Pacey IE. ocular summation and other forms of non-dominant eye contribution in individuals with strabismic amblyopia during habitual viewing. PLoS One. 2013 Oct 29;8(10):e77871. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077871
  • Barrett BT, Bradley A, Candy TR. The relationship between anisometropia and amblyopia. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2013 Sep;36:120-58 doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2013.05.001
  • Adler P, Scally AJ, Barrett BT. Test-retest reproducibility of accommodation measurements gathered in an unselected sample of UK primary school children. Br J Ophthalmol. 2013 May; 97(5):592-7. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2012-302348
  • Bruce A, Pacey IE, Bradbury JA, Scally AJ, Barrett BT. Bilateral changes in foveal structure in individuals with amblyopia. Ophthalmology. 2013 Feb;120(2):395-403. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2012.07.088
  • Barrett BT, Panesar GK, Scally AJ, Pacey I. A limited role for suppression in the central field of individuals with strabismic amblyopia. PLoS ONE 2012;7(5):e36611. Epub 2012 May 23
  • Adler P, Scally AJ, Barrett BT. Test-retest variability of Randotstereoacuity measures gathered in an unselected sample of UK primary school children. British Journal of Ophthalmology 2012; 96(5):656-61
  • Vianya-Estopa M, Elliott DB, Barrett BT. An evaluation of the "Amblyopia and Strabismus Questionnaire" using Rasch analysis. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 2010; 51(5):2496-503
  • Buckley J, Panesar GK, Pacey IE, McClellan M, Barrett BT. Changes to control of adaptive gait in individuals with long-standing reduced stereoacuity. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 2010; 51(5):2487-95
  • Burton MP, McKeefry DJ, Barrett BT, Vakrou C, Morland AB. Disruptions to human speed perception induced by motion adaptation and transcranial magnetic stimulation. European Journal of Neuroscience
  • Bruce A, Pacey IE, Dharni P, Barrett BT, Scally AJ. Repeatability and reproducibility of macular thickness measurements using Fourier domain optical coherence tomography. The Open Ophthalmology Journal 2009; 3:10-4
  • Kennedy GJ, Tripathy SP, Barrett BT. Early age-related decline in the effective number of trajectories tracked in adult human vision. Journal of Vision 2009; 9(2):21, 1-10
  • Rice A, Nsengimana J, Simmons IG, Toomes C, Hoole J, Willoughby C, Cassidy F, Williams GA, George ND, Sheridan E, Young TL, Hunter TI, Barrett BT, Elliott DB, Bishop DT, Inglehearn CF. Replication of the recessive STBMS1 locus but with dominant inheritance. Investigative Ophthalmology Vision Science 2009; 50(7):3210-7
  • Barrett BT.A critical evaluation of the evidence supporting the practice of behavioural vision therapy. Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics 2009; 29(1), 4-25
  • Narasimhan S, Tripathy SP, Barrett BT. Loss of positional information when tracking multiple moving dots: The role of visual memory. Vision Research 2009; 49(1): 10-27

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