Ph. D. Physiology. 1976.
M.S. Electrical Engineering. 1970.
A.B. Physics. 1966.
My research is focused on the roles of the vestibular and oculomotor systems in coordinating gaze (eye and head movements) and in human postural control mechanisms. Particular interests include studies of how age, noise or ototoxins impact the vestibular system so as to increase fall risk in elderly humans and in a rat model of noise-induced vestibular loss.
In the animal laboratory we employ vestibular stimulators (e.g.,servo controlled rotators), sensitive eye movement monitors (ISCAN video or search coil in rodents) and inertial motion sensors to measure head and body movement and orientation in 3-dimensional space. The animal lab is also equipped to perform single cell and tetrode electrophysiological studies of central nervous neurons in behaving animals.
Our current project is a study, in a rat animal model, of how noise exposure impacts the peripheral vestibular system and causes impaired performance in behavioral tasks requiring balance and postural control (e.g., balance beam crossing) or changes in head stability or the vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) in response to abrupt angular rotations.
1. Takemuri, K and King W.M. Vestibulocollic reflex in mice. Experimental Brain Research 166: 1-5, 2005.
2 Shanidze N. Kim AH, Raphael Y. and King WM, (2010). Eye-Head Coordination in the Guinea Pig I: Responses to Passive Whole Body Rotations. Experimental Brain Research 205:395-404. PMCID: PMC2937539.
3. Shanidze N. Kim AH, Raphael Y. and King WM, (2010). Eye-Head Coordination in the Guinea Pig II: Responses to Self-generated (active) Head Movements. Experimental Brain Research 205 445-454. PMCID: PMC2937359.
4. Thatcher AL, Beckerman ML, Telian SA and King WM, (2016). Monothermal caloric screening to improve healthcare value. Ear and Hearing: May-Jun;37(3):e188-93.
5. Klimpel KEM, Lee MY, King WM, Raphael Y, Schacht, J, Neitzel RL. (2017) Vestibular dysfunction in the adult CBA/CaJ mouse after lead and cadmium treatment. Environ. Toxicol Mar;32(3):869-876. PMCID: PMC5235991.
6. Handelsman JA, Nasr SZ, Pitts C and King WM(2017) Prevalence of hearing and vestibular loss in cystic fibrosis patients exposed to aminoglycosides. Ped. Pulmon. 52(9):1157-1162.
7. Haggerty SE and King WM(2018). The interaction of pre-programmed eye movements with the vestibulo-ocular reflex. Front Syst Neurosci, doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2018.00004. PMCID: PMC5855878.
8 Stewart CE, Kanicki AC, Altschuler RA, King WM. (2018) Vestibular short-latency evoked potential abolished by low frequency noise exposure in rats, J Neurophysiol 119: 662-667. PMC5867388.