Esther G. Gonzalez, PhD

I obtained a bachelor’s degree with honors in experimental psychology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1976. My master’s (1978) and PhD degrees (1984), also in experimental psychology, were both from the University of Toronto. I am most interested in studying the changes undergone by the brain when we lose parts of our visual field, when our two eyes do not work well together, or when we lose one eye. These interests have led me to do research on the visual and ocular motor functions of patients with central vision loss from age-related macular degeneration with a view towards rehabilitation. A second area of interest is the binocular integration of people who suffer from glaucoma, given that recent findings have shown neurodegeneration of the body and splenium of the corpus callosum in these patients. Finally, I find my research with one-eyed patients very important because of what it tells us about brain plasticity. Scientists provide explanation, interpretation and prediction of the phenomena that comprise our brain’s activity and that most complex of all senses, which is vision. I believe in the value of the interaction between basic and applied science which, in my field of research, involves the collaboration with ophthalmologists. Clinicians provide us with insights that we, as scientists, can put to the test.