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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

Hammond, B.R., Fletcher, L. and Elliott, J. (2013) Glare disability, photostress recovery, and chromatic contrast: relation to serum and retinal lutein and zeaxanthin.Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 54(1), 476-81.

Renzi, L.M., Dengler, M.J., Puente, A., Miller, L.S. and Hammond, B.R. (2014). Relations between macular pigment optical density and cognitive function in unimpaired and mildly cognitively impaired older adults. Neurobiology of Aging, 35(7), 1695-1699.

Bovier, E.R., Renzi, L. and Hammond, B.R. (2014). A double-blind, placebo-controlled  study on the effects of lutein and zeaxanthin on neural processing speed and  efficiency. PLoS ONE 9(9): e108178. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108178.  

Hammond, B.R., Johnson, B.A., George, ER. (2014).  Oxidative photodegradation of  ocular tissues: beneficial effects of filtering and exogenous antioxidants.   Experimental Eye Research, 129, 135-50.   

Hammond, B.R., Fletcher, L., Roos, F., Wittwer, J. and Schalch, W. (2014) A double- blind, placebo-controlled study on the  effects of lutein and zeaxanthin on  photostress recovery, glare disability and chromatic contrast.  Investigative Ophthalmology and  Visual Science, 55, 8583-89.   

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

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
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 1:44pm

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)


Thursday, October 3, 2019 - 12:18pm

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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