Ellen Svarverud

Associate professor
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
Department of Optometry, Radiography and Lighting Design
Campus Kongsberg (5305)


Research groups 

Areas of interest 

  • Immersive technologies and extended reality (XR/VR/AR)
  • Perception of depth and space
  • Visual development and binocular vision in children and young adults
  • Clinical optometry 

Teaching and supervision

  • Visual perception
  • Clinical optometry and clinical procedures
  • Ocular pathology
  • Supervision of master and doctoral candidates


I am an optometrist with contact lens diploma from University of South-Eastern Norway (former KIH/HiBu, 1992/1994). In 1999 I was awarded an MSc from University of Manchester, UK, in Clinical Optometry and Investigative Techniques and, in 2006, an MSc in Clinical Optometry from Salus University, USA. In June 2010, I finished my PhD at University of Reading, UK, on the topic of investigating representation of visual space for freely moving participants in a virtual expanding room. 

In my doctorate, I used virtual reality to understand more about  how human observers represent visual space and, in particular, which factors are involved when we string together all the information available to us. It is believed that this process is computationally advanced for the brain, especially because the incoming information causes a retinal image which is constantly moving due to eye movements and/or self- or object motion. However, quite how the human brain solves this is yet to be found out, and my work brings a piece to this big puzzle.

Currently, I do research related to how the visual system is affected by immersive technologies (XR/VR/AR) and how the visual system and common vision problems impact on the use of these technologies. My research interests also include vision in children and young adults, particularly on the topics of refractive errors and binocular vision. 

Publications in Cristin