Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Bart Albers (Donders series 255)

19 december 2016
Promotor: prof. dr. P. Medendorp, copromotor: dr. ing. L. Selen

Sensory (re)Weighting in Spatial Orientation

Determining the orientation of our body as well as objects in space, more commonly referred to as spatial orientation, involves the processing of various sensory signals, including visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive signals. The brain needs to integrate these sensory signals, which are noisy and ambiguous, to build an optimal percept. In this thesis, we challenge recently accepted Bayesian models of multisensory integration in spatial orientation to extend our knowledge about the brain’s underlying computational mechanism. Using behavioral analyses, Bayesian reverse engineering, and model simulations on data of healthy subjects and vestibular patients, we show that the architecture of these models is generally correct, but need to be extended with sensory specific details. We further offer a novel approach to determine how sensory contributions are reweighted in individual patients, which makes this approach suitable for personal rehabilitation programs.