Rijul Soans

Project Update 10.04.2020

Current activities/Accomplishments:

I am currently in the process of wrapping up my patient-related project which is in collaboration with UMCG (Groningen), Indian Institute of Technology (New Delhi) and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (New Delhi). Here, I have used eye-tracking techniques to study how eye movements are affected in patients with glaucomatous and neuro-ophthalmological visual field defects in contrast to that of healthy participants. The study is useful as eye movements could be used as a screening tool in ophthalmological clinics – particularly in low-income and high-burdened areas.

I am also preparing a manuscript for a project that involves virtual reality to investigate 3D motion perception in healthy participants. The project aims to understand how depth and motion are perceived in the human visual system through eye movements with the help of unique modalities such as virtual reality.

Future plans:

I am aiming to pursue further research in the field of vision science. My goal is to use my expertise in eye tracking and virtual reality, along with the latest computational methods to understand scientific aspects of vision and create solutions that can be potentially translated to the clinical domain.

My EGRET+ Experience:

It has been a fantastic opportunity to work with some of the very talented and motivated vision science researchers in EGRET+. Not only did I learn some of the technical and clinical aspects related to Glaucoma, but also, I had the opportunity to learn about other crucial details of a successful scientific career – such as grant writing and spin-off companies. The programme has been instrumental in creating new collaborations, particularly across Europe. I also found it valuable to have been a part of different working cultures – thereby enhancing my competence as a cross-cultural researcher. I certainly believe that an innovation training network such as ours fostered my skills in inter-disciplinary research, exposure to industrial settings, public speaking, besides time and resource management. Indeed, EGRET+ has enriched my PhD experience, and I consider myself fortunate to be a part of this exciting research network!


Effective and Enjoyable Ophthalmic Diagnosis: 3D Motion Perception through a Multi-Modal Approach


1. Prof. Dr. F.W.Cornelissen (www.visualneuroscience.nl)

2. Dr. Tapan Gandhi (http://www.tapangandhi.com/)

Background & Interests
I am Rijul Soans from India. I did my Bachelors in Electronics & Communications from Visvesvaraya Technological University, India. Here, I worked on a method that embeds a robust imperceptible watermark in videos that can be recovered back – irrespective of changes in the video resolution or the timeline. Subsequently, I did my Masters in Biomedical Engineering from Manipal University, India. Here, I developed algorithms that detect, segment and classify Tuberculosis bacilli in sputum-smeared microscope images. Next, I worked as a Research Intern at Manipal University and in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Science, India – wherein I expanded my Masters work to develop algorithms that handle Tuberculosis morphotypes, clumps and staining artefacts. Currently, I am pursuing a collaborative PhD in Visual Neuroscience involving the University of Groningen, Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi and All India Institute of Medical Sciences – Delhi. My interests include Eye tracking, Virtual Reality, functional MRI, Deep Learning and Signal/Image Processing.

Aim of the project
One of the goals in the Ophthalmic and Vision sciences is to come up with new, easy and sensitive tools to diagnose the presence of eye disorders. Current tools – for example, perimetry to chart the visual field – are laborious, expensive and cannot be employed in all patient groups (such as the elderly and children). Here, I want to study 3D motion perception with new and affordable Virtual Reality (VR) equipment in combination with gaze-tracking and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). While there are indications that 2D motion perception is impaired in Glaucoma, the effect of 3D motion perception in the disease is still underexplored. On the other hand, in eye disorders such as Strabismus – current tools measure only static features and do not take into account the dynamic mechanisms of the eye. Therefore, my two-pronged goal is to obtain excellent diagnostic information from dynamic perceptions of the eye, besides making the tests enjoyable by minimizing the use of attention-demanding tasks.

Personal links
1. Linkedin: https://in.linkedin.com/in/rijulsoans
2. Researchgate:  https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rijul_Soans