Scott H. Seidman
- Ph.D., Case Western University, 1993
- Biomedical Engineering
- Neurobiology & Anatomy
- Center for Navigation and Communication Sciences
- Center for Visual Science
The vestibular system, through the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) maintains vision during angular (aVOR) and linear (lVOR) head movements by producing compensatory eye movements that stabilize images on the retina. The vestibular system also contributes to the perception of motion and orientation in space. Since the otolith organs serve as the body's transducers for acceleration information, they respond similarly to tilt with respect to gravity and linear accelerations experienced during translational motion, and are thus ambiguous. Failure to accurately differentiate these two types of stimuli (i.e., resolve the ambiguity) would lead to failures in behavior such as gaze perturbations, falls, and inappropriate percepts of movement and associated reflex responses (such as compelling perceptions of translational acceleration when lying prone, for example). I am investigating how the vestibular system differentiates these two forms of acceleration in both perceptual and eye movement systems in humans.
Further, the lVOR is kinematically demanding, requiring adjustment in the size stabilizing eye movements in response to a variety of geometric factors such as gaze angle and target distance. I am studying how the vestibular system incorporates this information into the eye movement response, and the capabilities and nature of adaptive control of such influences.