The brain changes with aging, disease, and trauma. Traditionally change is assessed at the unisensory level (e.g., hearing and visual acuity tests) or in high-order cognitive and motor assessment. We believe that basic screening should involve assessment of multisensory integration, which has the potential to detect changes in brain function that follow unisensory detection of stimuli and precede motor control and cognition.
Working with differently abled populations, our research program is dedicated to determine how different neural circuits in the normal, aging, diseased and damaged brain analyze multisensory information, generate perceptions of the external world, make decisions, and execute movements. With a comprehensive assessment of unisensory, multisensory, cognition and motor control we can be better equipped to translate basic research findings to development and validation of applications that have an impact on better human health and well-being.
The ultimate goal of this research is to identify sensitive markers of disorientation and disease and test the effectiveness of training, therapeutic and rehabilitation efforts to combat disorientation from nursing homes to the space industry.
Learn more about how we are translating basic research to the clinic:
- Barnett-Cowan M, Dyde RT, Fox SH, Moro E, Hutchison WD & Harris LR (2010) Multisensory determinants of orientation perception in Parkinson’s disease. Neuroscience 167: 1138-1150