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Structural and Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics

Houston, Texas

A BCM research lab.
Structural and Computational Biology & Molecular Biophysics
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Dora Angelaki, Ph.D.

Angelaki, Dora Ph.D.Wilhelmina Robertson Professor & Chair
Professor - Department of Psychology and Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University
Baylor College of Medicine


Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (1991)

Research Interests:

The main research goal of our laboratory is to understand the mechanisms underlying multisensory integration for motion perception and spatial orientation. Specifically our laboratory studies the processing of visual and vestibular spatiotemporal information, and how such information is used to generate neural representations of space as a function of time. We seek to understand how multisensory information is processed, integrated and transformed into either commands for movement or perceptual decisions. Recent work also characterizes the spatial orientation and spatial memory systems in the macaque limbic system.

To approach these very difficult problems, the work of our laboratory is directed along three main lines: (1) studies in both human and monkey psychophysics, (2) characterization and manipulation of population responses in areas of the cortex, thalamus, brainstem and cerebellum that are involved in visual and vestibular processing, (3) development and testing computational theories of how vestibular information is processed and integrated with visual signals for spatial perception. Our primary research approaches are: neurophysiology in awake behaving non-human primates, anatomical brain imaging, human and monkey psychophysics, and computational modeling. Across all of these endeavors we aim to develop innovative tools to facilitate this work in our laboratory and others.

Because multi-sensory processing is critical to so much of behavior, the understanding we seek will fundamentally influence the way we think about how the brain processes complex sensory information (that can often be conflicting). By systematically studying all neural components in the hierarchy of the vestibular system (all the way from primary sensory afferents to multiple cortical areas), our approach is vital for understanding the circuits and computational processing that underlie behavior. Our goal is to use this understanding to inspire artificial systems, to aid the development of prosthetics and other tools for understanding and treating deficits of spatial orientation, to provide guidance to molecular approaches to repair lost brain function, and to obtain deep insight into how the brain represents multisensory information in a way that is highly suited for cognition and action.

Selected Publications:

  • Klier EM, Meng H and Angelaki DE. Reaching the limit of the oculomotor plant: 3D kinematics after abducens nerve stimulation during the torsional vetibulo-ocular reflex. J Neurosci, 32(38):13237-43 (2012). PubMed
  • Gu Y, Yang Y, Liu S, Fetsch CR, Fok S, Sunkara A, DeAngelis GC and Angelaki DE. Perceptual learning reduces interneuronal correlations in macaque visual cortex, Neuron, 71(4):750-61 (2011). PubMed
  • Oshiro T, Angelaki DE and DeAngelis GC. A normalization model of multisensory integration. Nature Neuroscience, 14(6):775-82. (2011). PubMed
  • Gu Y, Fetsch CR, Adeyemo B, DeAngelis GC and Angelaki DE. Decoding of MSTd population activity accounts for variation in the precision of heading perception. Neuron, 66(4):596-609 (2010). PubMed
  • Liu S and Angelaki DE. Vestibular signals in macaque extrastriate visual cortex are functionally appropriate for heading perception. J. Neurosci., 29(28):8936-45. Featured in: "This Week in The Journal" (2009). PubMed
  • Nadler J, Nawrot M, Angelaki DE and DeAngelis GC. MT neurons combine visual motion with a smooth eye movement signal to code depth sign from motion parallax. Neuron, 63(4):523-32 (2009). PubMed
  • Gu Y, Angelaki DE and DeAngelis GC. Neural correlates of multi-sensory cue integration in macaque area MSTd. Nature Neuroscience, 11(10):1201-10. News and Views by Bennur S & Gold J.I. Nature Neurosci, 11:1121-1122 (2008). PubMed

For more publications, see listing on PubMed.

Contact Information

Department: Neuroscience
Address: Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza
Room S740
Houston, Texas 77030
Phone: 713-798-1468
Fax: 713-798-1476

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