University of Lübeck | University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein | UK-SH Campus Lübeck
Department of Neurology
Research & Teaching
Eye movements are an excellent tool for studying sensorimotor systems in health and disease. This is related to highly accurate and easily applicable recording systems. Using electrophysiological and brain imaging techniques we are interested in studying basic sensorimotor mechanisms contributing to the control of gaze, visual exploration, postural balance and spatial orientation as well as cognitive processes (i.e. attention) which modulate their performance. Specifically, we study
short and long term memory of oculomotor (saccadic) learning
disorders of the vestibular systems and central mechanisms of compensation
spatial memory and orientation
predictive mechanisms of action planning
attention and action-related pain processing
Methods applied in the Lab:
brain imaging (fMRI incl. resting state analysis, VBM, DTI); transcranial magnetic stimulation, posturography, limb recordings (Zebris), eye movement recordings (scleral search coil, videooculography).
Christoph Helmchen, Andreas Sprenger, Peter Trillenberg, Björn Machner, Janina v.d. Gablentz, Maximilian Jandl, Jan-Birger Kirchhoff, Inga Könemund, Carina Palzer, Caroline Voges, Jann Wojak
Neural correlates of oculomotor disordes in cerebellar ataxia
Signs of cerebellar ataxia can be assessed by oculomotor parameters. Downbeat-nystagmus is one form of cerebellar ataxia. The eye drift velocity can be used for testing the efficacy of drug treatment or longitudinal control of disease progress.
On-line modification of visual stimuli gives new insights in memory and action planning
While exploring our visual environment we move our eye to the regions of interest, which are selected by task (top-down) or object properties (bottom-up). Using on-line modifications of stimuli during visual exploration we may simulate vision-related diseases.
The role of prediction in the vestibulo-ocular reflex
The head impulse test (HIT, Halmagyi-Curthoys test) is a sensitive clinical examination of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) indicating semicircular canal function (gain). Predictive mechanisms during passive head impulses can be used to improve passive VOR gain in BVF patients. Furthermore, active head movements can powerfully enhance deficient VOR response, presumably by extra-vestibular signals.