Motion Perception & Spatial Orientation

The vestibular system senses motion using the semicircular canal and otolith organs in the inner ear. The system guides control of eye movement, posture, and equilibrium. Dizziness and vertigo, the most common clinical manifestations of the vestibular system, are disorders of motion perception. Current understanding of the vestibular system is centered on control of eye movement and posture, with very little understood about perception especially as it pertains to clinical symptoms. Research in our laboratory aims to better understand human motion perception and spatial orientation using psychophysical and engineering techniques to study head motion and its interaction with visual stimuli. Current studies involve healthy individuals, patients with vestibular hypofunction, and patients with dizziness symptoms related to common central integration disorders such as migraine associated vertigo.