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  • Systems Neurobiology Laboratory

    The Systems neurobiology Laboratory is a group of laboratories that all study various aspects of neurobiology. These laboratories include: (1) computational neurobiology Laboratory: The goal of their research is to build bridges between brain levels from the biophysical properties of synapses to the function of neural systems. (2) computational Principles of Natural Sensory Processing: Research in this lab focuses on the computational principles of how the brain processes information. (3) Laboratory for Cognitive neuroscience: This laboratory studies the neural and genetic underpinnings of language and cognition. (4) Sloan-Swartz Center for Theoretical neurobiology: The goal of this laboratory is develop a theoretical infrastructure for modern experimental neurobiology. (5) Organization and development of visual cortex: This laboratory is studying the organization and function of neural circuits in the visual cortex to understand how specific neural components enable visual perception ...and to elucidate the basic neural mechanisms that underlie cortical function. (6) Neural mechanism of selective visual attention: This laboratory studies the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention at the level of the individual neuron and cortical circuit, and relates these findings to perception and conscious awareness. (7) Neural basis of vision: This laboratory studies how sensory signals in the brain become integrated to form neuronal representation of the objects that people see. view less

    Research Areas: cognition, systems biology, brain, vision, neuroscience, perception

  • The Swenor Research Group

    The Swenor Research Group focuses on examining the interrelationship between vision loss and aging. This includes determining the effects of visual impairment and eye disease on physical and cognitive functioning in older adults, and identifying interventions that could enhance the health of older adults with visual impairment and eye disease.

    Research Areas: cognitive functioning, access to care, vision impairment, reading, frailty, physical functioning, dual sensory impairment

  • Vestibular NeuroEngineering Lab

    Research in the Vestibular NeuroEngineering Lab (VNEL) focuses on restoring inner ear function through “bionic” electrical stimulation, inner ear gene therapy, and enhancing the central nervous system’s ability to learn ways to use sensory input from a damaged inner ear. VNEL research involves basic and applied neurophysiology, biomedical engineering, clinical investigation and population-based epidemiologic studies. We employ techniques including single-unit electrophysiologic recording; histologic examination; 3-D video-oculography and magnetic scleral search coil measurements of eye movements; microCT; micro MRI; and finite element analysis. Our research subjects include computer models, circuits, animals and humans. For more information about VNEL, click here.
    VNEL is currently recruiting subjects for two first-in-human clinical trials:
    1) The MVI Multichannel Vestibular Implant Trial involves implantation of a “bionic” inner ear stimulator intended to partially restore sensation... of head movement. Without that sensation, the brain’s image- and posture-stabilizing reflexes fail, so affected individuals suffer difficulty with blurry vision, unsteady walking, chronic dizziness, mental fogginess and a high risk of falling. Based on designs developed and tested successfully in animals over the past the past 15 years at VNEL, the system used in this trial is very similar to a cochlear implant (in fact, future versions could include cochlear electrodes for use in patients who also have hearing loss). Instead of a microphone and cochlear electrodes, it uses gyroscopes to sense head movement, and its electrodes are implanted in the vestibular labyrinth. For more information on the MVI trial, click here.
    2) The CGF166 Inner Ear Gene Therapy Trial involves inner ear injection of a genetically engineered DNA sequence intended to restore hearing and balance sensation by creating new sensory cells (called “hair cells”). Performed at VNEL with the support of Novartis and through a collaboration with the University of Kansas and Columbia University, this is the world’s first trial of inner ear gene therapy in human subjects. Individuals with severe or profound hearing loss in both ears are invited to participate. For more information on the CGF166 trial, click here.
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    Research Areas: neuroengineering, audiology, multichannel vestibular prosthesis, balance disorders, balance, vestibular, prosthetics, cochlea, vestibular implant

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