Gary D. Paige, M.D., Ph.D.

Gary D. Paige, M.D., Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 603
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 275-6395
Fax: (585) 442-8766

Lab Information

Spatial Orientation Research

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Research Bio

Multisensory Interaction and Adaptive Plasticity in Spatial Localization and Orientation.

The sensori-neural processes underlying our abilities to localize, track, and interact with a cluttered environment are crucial attributes of daily life, and are among the most fundamental tasks of the nervous system. The integration of multiple sensory inputs are required to guide spatial behaviors, ranging from mundane tasks such as reaching for objects to complex ones such as navigating to and from the workplace. These functions are also among the first (and often most subtle) to register problems after head trauma, neurological disease, and aging. The goal of our research is to understand how the brain integrates sensory inputs from the outside world (location and motion of visual and auditory targets) with those of the internal senses (vestibular and somatosensory depictions of orientation and motion of the body and its parts,) to achieve meaningful spatial perceptions and behaviors (eye, head and postural movements and reflexes). An equally important interest is how plastic neural mechanisms register errors and adaptively adjust performance in order to maintain proper spatial calibration across sensory modalities, or analogously, recover normal function after suffering pathologic loss. Finally, an important translational concern is how the neural degeneration of natural aging affects spatial behavior and plasticity.

Current experiments address two intriguing areas of interest. One is understanding how the brain utilizes auditory and visual information about target location and motion in order to maintain accurate and congruent spatial calibration across modalities, as assessed through different forms of orienting movements ("pointing"). These include visually-guided manual pointing by laser joystick, and more natural gaze (eye and head) pointing. Since gaze shifts activate vestibular reflexes (vestibulo-ocular and –collic reflexes: VOR and VCR) as well as somatosensory feedback from the neck, we are studying how the senses interact with each other and with volitional and reflex motor control. We are also investigating the important challenges of spatial memory when targets are transient, as occurs frequently in nature. Finally, we are interested in how spatial sensory modalities are plastically co-calibrated by cross-sensory experience--an essential feature normal spatial behavior over a lifetime.

A second focus is how vestibular inputs during both angular (from the semicircular canals) and linear (from the otoliths) head motion interact with each other, despite an intriguing limitation in the physics of the linear form (Einstein's "equivalency principle"). As biological linear accelerometers, the otolith organs cannot readily distinguish accelerations due to head tilt (relative to gravity) from those arising during translational (as opposed to angular) motion, and yet relevant behaviors and perceptions associated with these two forms of motion differ greatly. We are characterizing the compromised but fascinating solutions that have evolved to help resolve (albeit imperfectly) this sensory ambiguity.

Our research environment is unique in structure and instrumentation, as well as broad and translational in character. We benefit from a collegiate and multi-disciplinary group of faculty working on problems of common interest.

Awards & Honors (Local)

Commencement Address | Master's Ceremony | Kilbourn Hall, University of Rochester 2013
President | Society for the Neural Control of Movement 2010 - Present
Vice President and Program Director | Society for the Neural Control of Movement 2007 - 2010
President | Association of Medical School Neuroscience Department Chairs. 2002 - 2004
Stadium Generale (keynote) Presentation | Nijmegen Institute of Neuroscience 1999
Arthur Kornberg Research Award | University of Rochester 1997
Honory Life Member | Neuro-Otological Society of Australia 1995 - Present
Traveling Fellowship | Royal College of Surgeons Foundation | Ossining, New York 1991
Michael J. Hogan Award | Dept. Opthalmology, University of California | San Francisco, Calif. 1984
Medical Scientist Training Program (MD, PhD) | University of Chicago 1975 - 1981
J. Franks Fund Scholarship Award | University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine 1974 - 1975
B.S. Cum Laude and With Honors | University of California - Irvine 1974
National Science Foundation Research Participation Award | Department of Psychobiology, University of California - Irvine 1972
Academic Honors Award | Interlochen Arts Academy 1970
Dow Foundation Scholarship | Interlochen Arts Academy 1966 - 1970

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 54 available »

2017 Feb
Bosen AK, Fleming JT, Allen PD, O'Neill WE, Paige GD. "Accumulation and decay of visual capture and the ventriloquism aftereffect caused by brief audio-visual disparities." Experimental brain research. 2017 Feb; 235(2):585-595. Epub 2016 Nov 11.
2016 Dec
Bosen AK, Fleming JT, Brown SE, Allen PD, O'Neill WE, Paige GD. "Comparison of congruence judgment and auditory localization tasks for assessing the spatial limits of visual capture." Biological cybernetics. 2016 Dec; 110(6):455-471. Epub 2016 Nov 04.
2012 Dec
Dobreva MS, O'Neill WE, Paige GD. "Influence of age, spatial memory, and ocular fixation on localization of auditory, visual, and bimodal targets by human subjects." Experimental brain research. 2012 Dec; 223(4):441-55. Epub 2012 Oct 14.
Greene NT, Paige GD. "Influence of sound source width on human sound localization." Conference proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. 2012 2012:6455-8.
2011 May
Dobreva MS, O'Neill WE, Paige GD. "Influence of aging on human sound localization." Journal of neurophysiology. 2011 May; 105(5):2471-86. Epub 2011 Mar 02.

Current Appointments

Professor Emeritus - Department of Neurology (SMD) - Primary
Professor - Department of Otolaryngology (SMD)
Professor Emeritus - Department of Neuroscience (SMD)
Professor Emeritus - Department of Ophthalmology (SMD)
Professor - Department of Brain/Cognitive Sciences RC (RC)
Professor - Center for Visual Science A&S (RC)


Ophthalmology - American Board of Ophthalmology


MD | Medicine | Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago1981
PhD | Neurophysiology | University of Chicago1980
BS | Biological Sciences | University of California Irvine1974
Secondary Education | Major in music, minor in broadcasting | Interlochen Arts Academy1970

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Residency in Ophthalmology at University of California, San Francisco Medical Center07/01/1982 - 06/30/1985
Internship in Anesthesiology at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center07/01/1981 - 06/30/1982