Associate Professor

michael barnett-cowan


Office: BMH 1042

Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 49177


Website: Multisensory Brain and Cognition Lab


Research interests

The brain receives information about the environment from all the senses. To efficiently interact with the environment, the brain must make sense of this converging information in order to form a reliable and accurate percept with which to guide decision-making and behaviour. I am the Director of the Multisensory Brain and Cognition Lab, which seeks to determine how the brain integrates multisensory information. The lab has a specific interest in the vestibular (balance) system and determining how information about head movement and orientation is combined with the other senses to enable optimal object recognition, decision-making, and coordinated movement in the normal, injured, diseased, and aging brain.

Graduate supervision and student opportunities

  • Research volunteer
  • Undergraduate thesis
  • MSc thesis
  • Coursework interns
  • PhD thesis
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Research assistant/coordinator

Please email me to discuss current available opportunities.

Graduate studies application details

Teaching, expertise, tools and technologies

  • Psychophysics
  • Sensory assessment
  • Virtual reality
  • Motion simulation
  • Eye and head movement
  • Brain imaging and stimulation (EEG/ERP, TMS,tDCS)
  • Aging


KIN 255: Introduction to Neuroscience for Kinesiology

KIN 356: Information Processing in Human Perceptual Motor Performance

KIN 457: Cognitive, Perceptual and Motor Assessment

KIN 470: Multisensory Perception & Action

KIN 654: Instrumentation in Neuroscience Research


BA Experimental Psychology (with Honors), Univeristy of Guelph

MA Experimental Psychology, York Univeristy

PhD Experimental Psychology, York University 

Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, University of Tübingen

Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Brain and Mind Institute, Western University

Selected publications

See Google Scholar for full list of publications.

Bansal, A., Weech, S., & Barnett-Cowan, M. (2019). Movement-Contingent Time Flow in Virtual Reality Causes Temporal Recalibration. Scientific reports, 9(1), 4378.

Weech, S., Kenny, S., & Barnett-Cowan, M. (2019). Presence and cybersickness in virtual reality are negatively related: a review. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 158.

Sachgau, C., Chung, W., & Barnett-Cowan, M. (2018). Perceived timing of active head movement at different speeds. Neuroscience letters, 687, 253-258.

Barnett-Cowan, M., Ernst, M. O., & Bülthoff, H. H. (2018). Gravity-dependent change in the ‘light-from-above’prior. Scientific reports, 8(1), 15131.

Weech, S., Varghese, J. P., & Barnett-Cowan, M. (2018). Estimating the sensorimotor components of cybersickness. Journal of neurophysiology, 120(5), 2201-2217.

Wise, A., & Barnett-Cowan, M. (2018). Perceived simultaneity and temporal order of audiovisual events following concussion. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 12, 139.

Basharat, A., Adams, M. S., Staines, W. R., & Barnett-Cowan, M. B. C. (2018). Simultaneity and temporal order judgments are coded differently and change with age: an event-related potential study. Frontiers in integrative neuroscience, 12, 15.

University of Waterloo