VESTIBULAR

Dissociating active from passive self motion from sound source motion

Jose Garcia Uceda Calvo (Project 2)

The aim of my research is to perform behavioral/psychophysical experiments on cross-sensory (auditory-vestibular) spatial behavior in healthy humans. In particular, the behavioral experiments concern human sound localization and its relation with the vestibular system. Humans can localise sounds accurately and consistently, and can make fast head movements towards static sound sources. However, real-world sound sources, such as animals, humans and objects are in constant motion. Moreover, the observer is moving too, by rotating and translating the head through space. My first research question is: Can the human auditory system localise and accurately trace moving sound sources? Second: How does the brain dissociate object motion from self-motion? Third: What is the weight of the vestibular signal in audio-vestibular integration during a whole-body rotation and/or during static tilt? Fourth: Can proprioceptive perturbation of the neck muscles alter the spatial representation of sounds?

Spatial orientation in health and disease

Antonella Pomante (Project 12)

Spatial orientation is the sense of body orientation and self-motion relative to the stationary environment, fundamental to normal waking behavior and control of everyday motor actions including eye movements, postural control, and locomotion. Spatial orientation and self-motion perception depends heavily on how the brain interprets signals mediated by visual, somatosensory and vestibular systems in combination with motor signals and internal beliefs. This project aims to understand this process by developing statistical models, and testing these models in healthy subjects and patients that lack particular sensory or motor functions.

Integrating ego motion in eye-hand coordination

Johannes Keyser (Project 13)

Voluntary eye-hand coordination primarily relies on signals mediated by our eyes, proprioception, and vestibular system. Acting based on these sensory sources means combining them with motor signals and internal beliefs, creating a closed sensorimotor control loop. Often, manual tasks are performed during whole-body movements, initiated either actively or passively. This project aims to understand this process by developing statistical models, and testing these models in healthy subjects and patients that lack particular functions of sensorimotor integration.

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