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    Magic Map

    The Magic Map is an interactive 3D map is installed at the Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto, California.

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    Cartoon of falling apple

    Vestibular Function in AMD: Verticality Perception

    To accurately perceive one’s own state and that of the surrounding environment, visual, vestibular and somatosensory inputs must be appropriately weighted and dynamically reweighted depending on the environment and task difficulty, as well as signal reliability (and availability). Aging is associated with an increase on visual dependence (a greater weighting of visual information). In this project we investigate how loss of visual information due to AMD affects this reweighting process and if an increase in visual dependence may be maladaptive in AMD.

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    drawing of an ear with sound waves coming towards it

    Effects of Noise Exposure Across the Lifespan on Balance and Stability in Older Adults

    Falls in older adults are common, have high societal and monetary costs, often lead to injury and can even be fatal. It is known that noise can damage the vestibular periphery resulting in postural instability and compromised balance. This project investigates how natural aging is accelerated by lifetime noise exposure, and how that can lead to impaired vestibular function, contributing to propensity to fall.

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    pencil drawing of the robot design

    Robotic Oculomotor Simulator

    Current eye tracking and calibration algorithms do not accommodate eccentric viewing and the capacity for accurate eye tracking is difficult to assess in individuals with central visual field loss, and few studies of naturalistic oculomotor behavior exist. To address this problem, we are developing a binocular robotic model of the human eyes that can simulate fixation and eye movements with an eccentric preferred retinal locus in one or both eyes and allow for precise assessment of eye tracking performance of head mounted computer vision-based eye tracking systems.

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    Model of smooth pursuit

    Modeling Smooth Pursuit Eye-Movement Deficits in Macular Degeneration

    The project investigates the deficits in smooth pursuit in individuals with age-related macular degeneration within the framework of a Bayesian model.

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    Headphone surrounding an image of the earth.

    Hearing the World: A Remote Study of Auditory Perception

    We aim to investigate the nature of auditory perception and how the brain learns rules for interpreting sounds.

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    Mechanisms of Photophobia in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Human Subjects: Therapeutic Implications

    The purpose of this grant is to identify the mechanisms responsible for generating photophobia in patients who have suffered mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Currently, estimates indicate that this painful condition persists in about 60% of those who suffered from blast-related traumatic brain injury and 30% of those who suffered non-blast-related concussive injuries.

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    Causal Brain Connectivity between Hippocampus and Early Visual Subareas in Memory-Visualization

    SL-CN: Harnessing the Power of Drawing for the Enhancement of Learning across Levels of Vision Function

    This Science of Learning Collaborative Network brings together researchers and experts from the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, University of Bamberg (Germany), Columbia University and Emory University to investigate how the visual art of drawing can enhance learning. Underlying learning principles and neural mechanisms will be considered, and how these can be harnessed for real-life learning enhancement. Though humans have been drawing for at least 30,000 years, little is understood about brain processes involved in this activity.

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    Stereopsis in Macular Degeneration

    Macular degeneration affects the central retina, often causing asymmetrical damage to the two eyes. How does this asymmetrical loss affect stereopsis — the percept of depth generated by the small separation of image features in the two eyes?