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.

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.

Learning in the Sighted and the Blind through Different Sensory Modalities: Structure and Dynamics of Cortical Reorganization

This project focuses on the emerging area of the neuroscience of art learning. It addresses the important issue of how the brain learns complex skills, specifically the process of drawing, through two different sensory modalities. Visual art, and drawing in particular, engages an orchestrated system of cognitive elements extending beyond mere visual perception. This brain system involves an array of cross-cognitive interactions for advanced learning in diverse sensory environments. However, there is a lack of systematic studies of the neural mechanisms of learning in visual art, or of the…