P. Matthew Bronstad, Ph.D.

Harvard Medical School

Instructor in Ophthalmology

Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear


Research Summary

Center/Research Area Affiliations


Dr. Bronstad is a cognitive psychologist who specializes in low-vision rehabilitation. He studies visual impairment to better understand the mechanisms underlying perception and to provide useful information to patients and practitioners about the effects of vision loss. He has studied the effects of vision loss on driving and has recently started investigating how strabismus may develop in pediatric hemianopia as a compensatory mechanism.

To learn more, download his CV [PDF].


Ph.D., Cognitive Psychology, University of Texas at Austin (2004)

Postgraduate Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Neuroscience, Brandeis University

His Story

Dr. Bronstad has worked in visual perception and low-vision rehabilitation for more than 10 years. This interest started while he was at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin studying visual perception with Dr. Judith Langlois and web accessibility with Dr. John Slatin. His research there led to a fruitful collaboration with IBM, where his group obtained a patent on the automated evaluation of website accessibility.

Following his work at UT, Dr. Bronstad entered a postdoctoral fellowship program in social neuroscience with Dr. Leslie A. Zebrowitz at Brandeis University, which prepared him to master the literature on the neural mechanisms underlying cortical visual impairment.

Since 2007, he has studied low vision rehabilitation with Dr. Eli Peli at Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear, where he has led a study of the impact of central visual field loss on driving.

Dr. Bronstad has developed expertise in eye-tracking methodology and vision assessment in patients who have low vision. His research training and experience is important to a current project: conducting and completing a pilot study of children with hemianopia and strabismus from Boston Children’s Hospital. This exciting project, done in collaboration with Dr. Peli and Dr. Anne Fulton at Boston Children’s Hospital, has clear translational significance and great potential to improve pediatric healthcare.


Research Interests

  • Low vision rehabilitation
  • Mechanisms underlying visual perception

Current Projects

  • Development of an innovative test/treatment for strabismus in children with hemianopia
  • Is ARC compensatory to hemianopia, and can it be reinstated after strabismus surgery?

Previous Research

  • Origins and significance of appearance-based stereotypes
  •  Face over-generalization, prejudice, and stereotypes: identification of the neural mechanisms underlying stereotyping based on facial appearance
  • Can a dynamic attention test effectively predict medically at-risk older drivers?
  • Driving simulator for vision research
  • Engineering approaches to low-vision rehabilitation
  • Mid-level vision systems for low vision



13 (Google Scholar, as of May 2017)

Selected Publications

Dr. Bronstad has published more than 20 peer-reviewed articles. Below is a list of selected publications. View his publications on PubMed or Google Scholar.

  1. Bronstad PM, Albu A, Goldstein R, Peli E, Bowers AR. Driving with central field loss III: vehicle control. Clin Exp Optom. 2016. Sep;99(5):435-40.
  2. Bronstad PM, Albu A, Bowers AR, Goldstein R, Peli. Driving with Central Visual Field Loss II: How Scotomas Above or Below the Preferred Retinal Locus (PRL) Affect Hazard Detection in a Driving Simulator. PLoS One. 2015; Sep 2;10(9).
  3. Germine L, Russell R, Bronstad PM, Blokland GA, Smoller JW, Kwok H, Anthony SE, Nakayama K, Rhodes G, Wilmer JB. Individual Aesthetic Preferences for Faces Are Shaped Mostly by Environments, Not Genes. Curr Biol. 2015. Oct 19;25(20):2684-9.
  4. Alberti CF, Horowitz T, Bronstad PM, Bowers AR. Visual attention measures predict pedestrian detection in central field loss: a pilot study. PLoS One. 2014. Feb 18;9(2):e89381
  5. Satgunam PN, Woods RL, Bronstad PM, Peli E. E. Factors affecting video quality preferences. IEEE Trans Image Process. 2013. Dec;22(12):5146-57.