Vision contributes essentially to walking by allowing us to detect and define properties of the environment, receive and process self- and object-motion cues, and determine the position of the limbs and body relative to our surroundings. These visual processes, which depend both on an intact visual system and appropriate gaze behaviour, facilitate the identification of hazards, negotiation of obstacles, and control of foot placement. For optimal control of walking the nervous system must integrate the input it receives from vision with vestibular and somatosensory sources to accurately estimate body and limb state.
The overall goal of the Sensorimotor Neuroscience Lab is to understand how the nervous system integrates and uses visual input to control and to adapt walking in healthy as well as neurologically and visually impaired adults.
- Factors and brain regions underlying visuomotor learning.
- Integration/re-weighting of sensory input with normal or degraded vision during walking.
- Factors that influence the allocation of gaze while walking, and the spatiotemporal relationship between gaze and limb movement when learning a novel motor skill.
- Mechanisms underlying mobility deficits associated with age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.
- The role of the posterior parietal cortex in visually guided movement.
Current and/or Past Research Funding:
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
Glaucoma Research Society of Canada
Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)
Simon Fraser University - Office of the VPR