Startseite » Forschung und Wissenschaft » » Young scientist group YSG-6


Group leader: Nadine Lehnen MD MPhil (Cantab)

Address: Marchioninistr. 15, 81377 Munich, Germany
Phone: + 49 (0) 89 7095 7824
Fax:     + 49 (0) 89 7095 4801
E-mail: Nadine.Lehnen[at]


Main topic
Eye-head control and vestibular function: principles, diagnosis, and treatment


I.) Mathematical modeling

We are interested in the principles that govern movement choice. We pose the question why – through evolution or learning – stereotyped eye-head movement characteristics are selected over an infinite number of other possibilities. Using optimal control theory, we recently showed that gaze shift characteristics are chosen to minimize the effect of uncertainty, i.e., noise affecting motor performance.


II.) Functional anatomy

We study the role of brain structures involved in eye-head motor control. In particular, we are interested in the interaction between preprogrammed feedforward control and sensory feedback. By increasing the head moment of inertia in patients with sensory and cerebellar disease, we demonstrated that head movements during gaze shifts are guided online by vestibular input and that this feedback loop involves the cerebellum.


III.) Clinical application

We aim to improve the diagnosis and treatment of oculomotor and vestibular disease. Therefore, we are working to evaluate and establish a tool (EyeSeeCam, developed by Erich Schneider’s group, Department for Clinical Neurosciences) to measure 3D eye-head movements at the bedside in children and adults. At the moment, we characterize vestibular function in disease, e.g., Menière’s, and are interested in the effect of drugs on the vestibular system.

Bild1-5cm Bild-2-5cm Bild3-5cm

Recent Publications

  • Sağlam M, Glasauer S, Lehnen N (2014). Vestibular and cerebellar contribution to gaze optimality. Brain. In press.
  • Aw ST, Todd MJ, Lehnen N, Aw GE, Weber KP, Eggert T, Halmagyi GM (2013). Electrical vestibular stimulation after vestibular deafferentation and in vestibular schwannoma. PLoS One. 8(12):e82078.
  • Agrawal Y, Schubert MC, Migliaccio AA, Zee DS, Schneider E, Lehnen N, Carey JP (2013). Evaluation of Quantitative Head Impulse Testing Using Search Coils Versus Video-oculography in Older Individuals. Otol Neurotol. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Lehnen N, Glasauer S, Jahn K, Weber KP (2013). Head impulses in complete bilateral vestibular loss: catch-up saccades require visual input. Neurology. 81(7):688-90.
  • Lehnen N, Schneider E, Jahn K (2013). [Do neurologists need the head impulse test?]. Nervenarzt. 84(8):973-4.
  • Sağlam M, Lehnen N, Glasauer S (2011). Optimal control of natural eye-head movements minimizes the impact of noise. J Neurosci. 31(45): 16185-93.



lehnenformal1 Saglam Todd Ramaioli heuberger
Nadine Lehnen
MD MPhil
Murat Sağlam
Nicholas S. Todd
Cecilia Ramaioli
B BiomedE
Maria Heuberger


Main collaborators

- Stefan Glasauer PhD (IFB, Institute for Clinical Neurosciences, BCCN)
- Robert Gürkov, MD (IFB, ENT)
- Klaus Jahn MD (IFB, Neurology)
- Erich Schneider PhD (IFB, Institute for Clinical Neurosciences)
- Swee T. Aw MBBS, PhD (Sydney University, Australia)
- Stefano Ramat PhD (Pavia University, Italy)
- Michael J. Todd BE, MBiomedE (RPA Hospital, Sydney, Australia)
- Konrad P. Weber MD (University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland)