Alex Bowers, Ph.D.

Profile

a_bowers.jpgAssistant Scientist

617-912-2512
FAX: 617-912-0112
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Alex Bowers is an Optometrist with a Ph.D. in Vision Rehabilitation Research from Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland. She recently joined the faculty after completing a postdoctoral position in Dr Peli’s lab at the Schepens Eye Research Institute.

 

Research Interests

In many parts of the US, driving is the primary means of mobility and being permitted to drive is an important factor in quality of life for most people.

Our research encompasses three main areas: (1) Evaluating the effects of vision impairment on driving skills and behaviors; (2) Investigating the relationship between driving performance and novel tests of vision and attention to determine which tests have the greatest potential for identifying at-risk drivers; and (3) Evaluating the benefits of optical devices to assist visually impaired people when driving and walking.  We use the realistic, but controlled environment of a high-fidelity driving simulator to evaluate the impact of central vision loss (e.g. due to age-related macular degeneration), peripheral vision loss (e.g. due to glaucoma or retinitis pigmentosa) and hemianopic visual field loss (loss of half the field of vision e.g. after a stroke). We are evaluating the effects of these vision impairments on detection of hazards while driving, on steering and lane-keeping skills, and on eye and head movement behaviors.

When evaluating the benefits of optical devices for mobility tasks, we use two main approaches: (1) Laboratory-based studies including assessments in controlled environments such as the driving simulator; and (2) Multi-center clinical trials using community-based low vision clinics where the primary outcome measures are clinical success (whether the devices are still being used 6 months after being prescribed) and participants’ reports of the benefits of the devices (assessed by questionnaires).

Bowers Laboratory

Concetta Alberti, Ph.D.

Scientific Associate

 

 

 

Current Publications

Click here for a PubMed list of abstracts formatted by BioMed Central

  1.  Bowers A. R., Woods R. L. and Peli E. (2004) Preferred retinal locus and reading rate with four dynamic text presentation formats. Optom Vis Sci, 81: 205-213.

  2. Bowers A. R., Luo G, Rensing N. M. and Peli E. (2004) Evaluation of a prototype minified augmented-view device for patients with impaired night vision. Ophthal Physiol Opt, 24: 296-312. 

  3. Bowers A. R., Apfelbaum D.H., and Peli E. (2005) Bioptic telescopes meet the needs of drivers with moderate visual acuity loss. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 46: 66-74

  4. Cheong AMY, Lovie-Kitchin JE, Bowers AR and Brown B. (2005) Short-term in-office practice improves reading performance with stand magnifiers for people with AMD. Optom Vis Sci 82:114-127,

  5. Bowers, A.R., Peli, E., Elgin, J., McGwin, G., & Owsley, C. (2005) On-Road Driving with Moderate Visual Field Loss. Optom Vis Sci, 82: 657-667

  6. Zebehazy, K., Zimmerman G., Bowers, A.R, Luo G. & Peli, E. (2005) Establishing Mobility Measures to Assess the Effectiveness of Night Vision Devices: Results of a Pilot Study. J Vis Imp Blind, 99 (10) 663 – 670

  7. Peli, E., Bowers, A., Mandel, A., Higgins, K., Goldstein, R., & Bobrow, L. (2005) The design of driving simulator performance evaluations for driving with vision impairments and visual aids. Transportation Research Report. 1937, 128-135

  8. Bowers AR, Cheong AMY and Lovie-Kitchin JE.(2007) Reading with optical magnifiers: page navigation strategies and difficulties, Optom Vis Sci, 84, 9-20. Selected as the “Editor’s Choice” article.

  9. Peli E, Luo G, Bowers AR, Rensing N. (2007) Applications of augmented vision head-mounted systems in vision rehabilitation. J Soc Information Display, 15: 1037-1045

  10. Bowers AR, Keeney K, Peli E. (2008) Community-based trial of peripheral prism visual field expansion device for hemianopia. Arch Ophthalmol. 126:657-664

  11. Peli E, Luo G, Bowers AR, Rensing N. (2009) Development and evaluation of vision multiplexing devices for vision impairments. International Journal on Artificial Intelligence Tools.18: 365-378

  12. Cheong AMY, Bowers AR, and Lovie-Kitchin JE. (2009) Does a line guide improve reading performance with stand magnifiers?, Optom Vis Sci. 86, 1078-1085.

  13. Bowers AR, Mandel AJ, Goldstein, RB and Peli E. (2009) Driving with hemianopia: 1. Detection performance in a simulator. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 50; 5137-5147

  14. Bowers AR, Mandel AJ, Goldstein, RB and Peli E. (2010) Driving with hemianopia: 2. Steering and lane position in a simulator. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51; 6605-6613.

  15. Bowers AR, Anastasio RJ, Howe PD, O’Connor MG, Hollis AM, Kapust LR, Bronstad PM, Horowitz TS. (2011) Dynamic attention as a predictor of driving performance in clinical populations: preliminary results. Proceedings of the 6th International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training and Vehicle Design. Lake Tahoe, CA. 307-313

  16. Bronstad M, Bowers AR, Albu A, Goldstein RB, Peli E. (2011) Driving with para-central visual field loss. Proceedings of the 6th International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training and Vehicle Design. Lake Tahoe, CA. 165-17

  17. Doherty AL, Bowers AR, Luo G, and Peli E. (2011) Object detection in the ring scotoma of a monocular bioptic telescope. Arch Ophthalmol. 129; 611-617 

  18. Bronstad PM, Bowers AR, Albu A, Goldstein RB, Peli E. (2011) Hazard detection by drivers with paracentral homonymous field loss: A small case series. J Clinic Experiment Ophthalmol;S5:001. doi:10.4172/2155-9570.S5-001. 

  19. Ross NC, Bowers AR, Peli E. (2012) Peripheral prism glasses: Effects of dominance, suppression and background. Optom. Vis. Sci, 89; 1343-1352 

  20. Bowers AR, Tant M, Peli E. (2012) A pilot evaluation of on-road detection performance by drivers with hemianopia using oblique peripheral prisms Stroke Res Treat:doi:10.1155/2012/176806. 

  21. Bronstad PM, Bowers AR, Albu A, Goldstein RB, Peli E. (2013) Driving with central field loss 1: Effect of central scotomas on responses to hazards. JAMA Ophthalmol. 131; 819-820 

  22. Apfelbaum H, Ross NC, Bowers AR, Peli E. (2013) Considering apical scotomas, confusion and diplopia when prescribing prisms for homonymous hemianopia. Translational Vision Science & Technology; 2(4):2, http://tvstjournal.org/doi/full/10.1167/tvst.2.4.2. 

  23. Doherty AL, Bowers AR, Luo G, Peli E. (2013) The effect of strabismus on object detection in the ring scotoma of a monocular bioptic telescope. Ophthal Physiol Opt; 33: 550-560. 

  24. Bowers AR, Anastasio RJ, Sheldon SS, O’Connor MG, Hollis AM, Howe PD, Horowitz TS. (2013) Can we improve clinical prediction of at-risk older drivers? Accid Anal Prev. 59: 537– 547 

  25. Bronstad PM, Bowers AR, Albu A, Goldstein RB, Peli E. (2013) In reply (Central visual field loss and driving). JAMA Ophthalmology, 131(6): 819-820.

  26. Alberti CF, Peli E, Bowers AR. (2014) Driving with hemianopia: III. Detection of stationary and approaching pedestrians in a simulator. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 55:368-374.

  27. Bowers AR, Keeney K, Peli E. (2014) Randomized crossover clinical trial of real and sham peripheral prism glasses for hemianopia. JAMA Ophthalmol: 132(2):214-222. 

  28. Alberti CF, Horowitz TS, Bronstad PM, Bowers AR. (2014) Visual attention measures predict pedestrian detection in central field loss: a pilot study. PLoS ONE 9(2): e89381. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089381

  29. Bowers AR, Ananyev E, Mandel AJ, Goldstein RB, Peli E. (2014) Driving with hemianopia: IV. Head scanning and detection at intersections in a simulator. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 55:1540–1548.

  30. Sheldon SS, Quint J, Hecht H, Bowers AR. (2014) The effect of central vision loss on mutual gaze perception. Optom Vis Sci; In press