null Robert Hess, PhD

Senior Scientist, RI-MUHC, Montreal General Hospital site

Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Program

Centre for Translational Biology

Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University



visual processing • amblyopia • psychophysics • brain imaging

Research Focus

My research focuses on understanding low-level vision, in particular cortical plasticity in the adult. We use a range of different techniques including psychophysics, brain stimulation (TMS and tDCS), brain imaging (fMRI, EEG and MEG) and computational modelling to better understand normal visual cortical function and how it can be modulated. One key application of this work is to a condition called amblyopia. This is the most common form of unilateral blindness in the adult population, with an incidence of three per cent, but currently there is no treatment beyond 17 years of age. We have developed an innovative new treatment for children and adults that has been acquired by Novartis, with whom we are working to further develop the treatment.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • Webber, A, L. Schmidt, K. L, Baldwin, A. S. and Hess, R. F. Suppression rather than visual acuity loss limits stereoacuity in amblyopia. IOVS (in Press).

  • Tao, C. He, Z. Chen, Y. Zhou, J. Hess, R. F. Can short-term ocular dominance plasticity provide a general index to visual plasticity to personalize treatment in amblyopia? Front Neurosci (in press).

  • Wu Y, Reynaud A, Tao C, Mao Y, He Z, Zhou J* & Hess RF. (2020) Two patterns of interocular delay revealed by spontaneous motion-in-depth Pulfrich phenomenon in amblyopes with stereopsis. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. Vol.61, 22.

  • Alarcon Carrillo, S. Baldwin, A. S. & Hess, R. F. (2020). Factors limiting sensitivity to binocular disparity in human vision: evidence from a noise-masking approach. Journal of Vision. Vol.20, 9.

  • Beylerian, M.; Hess; R. F.; Matonti, F.; Denis, D.; Chavane, F. & Reynaud, A. (2020) Interocular Suppressive Interactions in amblyopia depend on spatial frequency. Vision Research. 168, 18-28.