LCSR Seminar – Eli Peli: The Risk of Pedestrian Collisions with Peripheral Visual Field Loss

February 8, 2017 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
B17 Hackerman Hall


Patients with peripheral field loss complain of colliding with other pedestrians in open-space environments such as shopping malls. Field expansion devices (e.g., prisms) can create artificial peripheral islands of vision. We investigated the visual angle at which these islands can be most effective for avoiding pedestrian collisions, by modeling the collision risk density as a function of bearing angle of pedestrians relative to the patient. Pedestrians at all possible locations were assumed to be moving in all directions with equal probability within a reasonable range of walking speeds. The risk density was found to be highly anisotropic. It peaked at ≈ 45° eccentricity. Increasing pedestrian speed range shifted the risk to higher eccentricities. The risk density is independent of time to collision. The model results were compared to the binocular residual peripheral island locations of 42 patients with forms of retinitis pigmentosa. The natural residual island prevalence also peaked at about 45° nasally but at about 80° temporally. This asymmetry results in a complementary coverage of the binocular field of view. Field expansion prism devices will be most effective if they can create artificial peripheral islands at about 45° eccentricities. The collision risk and residual island findings raise interesting questions about normal visual development.



Dr. Eli Peli earned a BSc in Electrical Engineering and an MSc in Biomedical Engineering from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology.  He then came to Boston where he received his OD degree from the New England College of Optometry.   Currently Dr. Peli is the Moakley Scholar in Aging Eye Research at Schepens Eye Research Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, and Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. He also serves as Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine.  Since 1983 he has been caring for visually impaired patients as the director of the Vision Rehabilitation Service at the New England Medical Center Hospitals (now Tufts-Medical Center). Dr. Peli is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, a Fellow of the  SID (Society for Information Display), and a Fellow of the SPIE (The International Society of Optical Engineering). He was presented the 2001 Glenn A. Fry Lecture Award and the 2009 William Feinbloom Award by the American Academy of Optometry, the 2004  Alfred W. Bressler Prize in Vision Science (shared with Dr. R. Massof) by the Jewish Guild for the Blind, the 2006 Pisart Vision Award by the Lighthouse International, the 2009 Alcon Research Institute award (shared with Dr. R. Massof), the 2010 Otto Schade Prize from the SID (Society for Information Display) and the 2010 Edwin H Land Medal awarded jointly by the Optical Society of America and the Society for Imaging Science and Technology. He was awarded an Honorary Degree of Master in Medicine by Harvard Medical School in 2002 and an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) in 2006. Dr. Peli’s principal research interests are image processing in relation to visual function and clinical psychophysics in low vision rehabilitation, image understanding and evaluation of display-vision interaction. He also maintains an interest in oculomotor control and binocular vision. Dr. Peli is a consultant to many companies in the ophthalmic instrumentation area and to manufacturers of head mounted displays (HMD). He served as a consultant on many national committees, including the National Institutes of Health, NASA AOS, Aviation Operations Systems advisory committee, US Air Force, Department of Veterans Affairs, US Navy Postdoctoral Fellowships Program, US Army Research Labs, and US Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Dr. Peli has published more than 200 peer reviewed scientific papers and has been awarded 9 US Patents. He edited a book entitled Visual Models for Target Detection with special emphasis on military applications and co-authored a book entitled Driving with Confidence: A Practical Guide to Driving with Low Vision.

Laboratory for Computational Sensing + Robotics