Uma is a neuroscientist. She set up the Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy lab in 2007. The technique of functional near infrared (fNIR) optical brain imaging is an emerging non-invasive technology for measuring the dynamic changes in blood haemoglobin levels in the activated brain areas during perceptual and cognitive tasks. The main projects in her laboratory concern the imaging of the activated brain’s response to a variety of stimuli. To study brain processing, she has used the following complementary techniques: electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), psychophysics. The question that interests her is how the brain correlates and combines the plethora of inputs that it receives to produce a more or less coherent behaviour pattern. She believes that using multiple neuroimaging techniques to record varied behaviour patterns displayed by the brain provides an insight into how neural and vascular responses are coupled. To this end she uses electrophysiology and fNIRS.
She supervises graduate and undergraduate research projects.
Uma also teaches optometry, orthoptics and ophthalmic dispensing undergraduates basic anatomy, physiology and neuroscience.