Kathleen Cullen, Ph.D.
We are continually in motion. This self-motion is sensed by the vestibular system, which contributes to an impressive range of brain functions, from the most automatic reflexes to spatial perception and motor coordination. The objective of Dr. Cullen's lab's research program is to understand the mechanisms by which self-motion (vestibular) information is encoded and then integrated with signals from other modalities to ensure accurate perception and control of gaze and posture. Our studies investigate the sensorimotor transformations required for the control of movement, by tracing the coding of vestibular stimuli from peripheral afferents, to behaviorally-contingent responses in central pathways, to the readout of accurate perception and behavior. Our experimental approach is multidisciplinary and includes a combination of behavioral, neurophysiological and computational approaches in alert behaving non-human primates and mice. Funding for the laboratory has been and is provided by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), FQRNT / FQRSC (Quebec).
Research Areas: otolaryngology, biomedical engineering, surgery, neuroscience