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Billy R. Hammond

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences Program

Research Interests

The Vision Sciences Laboratory studies all aspects of the human visual system. This extends from basic studies of the cornea, lens and retina to applied studies of visual processing within the brain. A primary focus of the laboratory has been the investigation of how lifestyle, primarily dietary, influences both the development of degenerative disease and the normal function of the central nervous system. For example, we use psychophysical methods to measure the concentration of the dietary carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin within the fovea (termed macular pigment or the macula lutea) and have related those pigments to various aspects of retinal and brain function.

The combination of expertise and our interdisciplinary approach has led to insights in a diversity of areas. For example, we have published data relative to the development of age-related eye disease and we are currently studying preventive approaches to dementia (including Alzheimers and Cognitive decline). We are also working on issues in Sports Vision and other aspects of visual performance. Another strong area in our laboratory is the maturation of the infant visual system and brain.

Selected Publications

Bovier, ER and Hammond, B.R.  (2015).  A randomized placebo-controlled study on  the effects of lutein and zeaxanthin on visual processing speed in young healthy subjects. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. 572, 54-57.   

Hammond, B.R. (2015).   Attenuating glare disability and photostress in pseudophakes  through the addition of a short-wave absorbing filter.  Journal of Ophthalmology, 215, 1-8.   

Renzi, L. and Hammond, B.R. (2016). The effects of photochromic lenses on visual  performance.  Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 1-7.  

Hammond, B.R. and  Renzi-Hammond, L. (2016).  A critical look at the ancillary Age- Related  Eye Disease Study 2: Nutrition and cognitive function results in older individuals with age-related macular degeneration.  Advances in Nutrition, 7, 433- 37.   

Hammond, B.R.,  Miller, L.S.,  Bello, M.O.,  Lindbergh, C.A.,  Mewborn, C.M., Renzi- Hammond. L.M. (2017). Effects of a lutein/zeaxanthin intervention on cognitive function:  a randomized, double-masked, placebo- controlled trial of community dwelling older adults.  Frontiers, 9, 1-9. 

Hammond, B. R., & Renzi-Hammond, L. (2018). Individual variation in the transmission of UVB radiation in the young adult eye. PloS one, 13(7), e0199940

Hammond, B.R., Sreenivasam, V., and Suryakumar, R.  (2019).   The effects of blue-light filtering intraocular lenses on the  protection and function of the visual system.  Clinical Ophthalmology, 13, 2427-38.

Hammond, B. R., Buch, J., Hacker, L., Cannon, J., Toubouti, Y., & Renzi-Hammond, L. M. (2020). The effects of light scatter when using a photochromic vs. non-photochromic contact lens. Journal of Optometry

Hammond, B. R., & Buch, J. (2020). Individual differences in visual function. Experimental Eye Research, 108186.

Hammond, B. R., Wooten, B. R., Saint, S. E., & Renzi-Hammond, L. (2021). The effects of a blue-light filtering versus clear intraocular implant on color appearance. Translational Vision Science & Technology, 10(12), 25-25.

Hammond, B.R. & Renzi-Hammond, L.  (2022). The influence of the macular carotenoids on women’s eye and brain health. Nutritional Neuroscience, 1-7.

Hammond, B. R., Buch, J., Renzi-Hammond, L. M., Bosten, J. M., & Nankivil, D. (2023). The effect of a short-wave filtering contact lens on color appearance. Journal of Vision, 23(1), 1-13

Selected Professional Activites

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Adjunct Faculty

Foods and Nutrition Department, University of Georgia Faculty

Gerontology Program, University of Georgia

Articles Featuring Billy R. Hammond

UGA Psychology professor, Dr. Billy R. Hammond, was recently featured on the podcast "Open Your Eyes" where he discussed the eye and brain connection (podcast released July 20, 2020)


UGA Psychology neuroscientist, Dr. Randy Hammond, was featured in a recent article in The Washington Post discussing the importance of lutein! Dr. Hammond states, “the bottom line is that most people just don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables.”

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