Henrietta L Galiana
Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Dr. Galiana's research interests focus on biosignal processing, the modelling of control strategies for the orientation of eyes and head, and related issues of platform coordination and sensory fusion. The main systems approached are saccades, pursuit, optokinetic (OKN) and vestibulo-ocular reflexes (VOR), alone and in interactions. Theoretical predictions are tested in the clinic for patient evaluation, and by porting to biomimetic robot systems.
A particular aspect of this work concerns modelling with topologically relevant circuits to replicate both behavior and neural activity patterns in premotor circuits. Ocular responses during any sensory stimulus produce nystagmus records difficult to analyze. Her work on the analysis of nystagmus patterns has led to automated methods for the classification of switching segments, applicable to any eye reflex and to other non-linear signals in breathing or spectroscopy. Hence classification of reflex responses can now be combined with identification and classification of their dynamics objectively, without user intervention. These auto-classification algorithms have allowed the unmasking of unexpected reflex dynamics and led to new hypotheses for both gaze control and arm control. Feasibility is demonstrated in real robotic platforms (a mobile head with two cameras and a 3-segment arm) and suggests much simpler strategies for applications in prostheses.