You are here

Michael Barnett-Cowan

Associate Professor

michael barnett-cowan


Office: BMH 1042

Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 39177


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 457: Cognitive, Perceptual and Motor Assessment

KIN 654: Instrumentation in Neuroscience Research


HBA: Experimental Psychology (Guelph)

MA: Experimental Psychology (York)

PhD: Experimental Psychology (York)

Post-Doctoral Fellowship: Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics (Tübingen)

Post-Doctoral Fellowship: Brain and Mind Institute (Western University)

Selected publications

See Google Scholar for full list of publications.

Lupo J., & Barnett-Cowan, M. (2016). Perceived Timing of a Postural Perturbation. Neuroscience Letters. 639: 167-172

Bedard, G., & Barnett-Cowan, M. (2016). Impaired timing of audiovisual events in the elderly. Experimental Brain Research234: 331-340.

Open Science Collaboration. (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science349(6251), aac4716.

Barnett-Cowan, M., & Harris, L. R. (2009). Perceived timing of vestibular stimulation relative to touch, light and sound. Experimental Brain Research, 198(2-3), 221-231.

Barnett-Cowan, M., Dyde, R. T., Fox, S. H., Moro, E., Hutchison, W. D., & Harris, L. R. (2010). Multisensory determinants of orientation perception in Parkinson's disease. Neuroscience, 167(4), 1138-1150.

Barnett-Cowan, M. (2013). Vestibular perception is slow: a review. Multisensory research, 26(4), 387-403.

University of Waterloo