Natela Shanidze

Natela Shanidze
Ph.D. in Neuroscience, University of Michigan
M.S. in Neuroscience, University of Michigan
A.B. in Physics, University of Chicago
A.B. in Psychology, University of Chicago

My research interests are placed at a number of intersections, such as senses, modalities and effectors. Currently in my lab, we are investigating the effects of central vision loss on visual/vestibular interactions and the effects of lifetime noise exposure on vestibular function.

In the experiments that examine central field loss, I am interested in how changes in the visual and vestibular senses are reflected in eye-head coordination and how these changes, in turn, affect tasks of daily living (such as navigation and walking). Considering that central visual field loss is most commonly age-related, I am interested in teasing out how aging and sensory loss affect each other in this population.

Noise exposure is a known cause of hearing deficits and those with noise-induced hearing deficits often report dizziness and instability. This relationship is unsurprising given the close proximity of auditory and vestibular sensors in the head and that the two systems share the VIII nerve. However, direct research into how auditory noise can affect the vestibular system is rather limited. I would like to help fill this gap.

To study these questions, my lab uses a mixture of vestibular and visual stimulation, eye and head movements, psychophysics and other behavioral measures.