Douglas Wylie

Degrees / Credentials

PhD (Queen's University)


Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta


Associate Member

I obtained my BSc in Physiology and Psychology from the UWO (1987) under the supervision of Mel Goodale. Subsequently, I completed my PhD in Psychology (1991) at Queen’s University under the supervision of Barrie Frost. From 1992-1994 I pursued postdoctoral studies at NYU Medical Center with John Simpson. I was hired by the Department of Psychology at University of Alberta in 1994. My research concerns the neurophysiological basis of visual processing, in particular those parts of the brain involved in the processing of “optic flow” that results from self-motion. Because the world consists of stationary objects and surfaces, self-motion through the environment induces patterns of motion across the entire retina, known as optic flow. Optic flow provides a rich source of proprioceptive information, and can be used for several behaviors including determination of heading, control of posture and locomotion, perception of self-motion and navigation. Optic flow is analyzed by retinal-recipient nuclei in the brainstem, that project to the cerebellum, which is critical for motor control. These projections form channels that are specialized for processing particular patterns of optic flow that result from either self-rotation or self-translation. These different optic flow neurons are topographically organized into parasagittal “zones”, typical of cerebellar organization. My current work focuses on the neuroanatomical connections, neurochemistry, and functional response properties of these zones and how they are integrated with information from other sensory systems (vestibular and somatosensory) to generate effective locomotor responses. My research has been funded by both CIHR and NSERC.

Contact Info

Lab Manager
Cristian Gutierrez-Ibanez


  • systems neuroscience
  • neuroanatomy
  • electrophysiology
  • vision
  • sensori-motor integration
  • perception
  • brain evolution
  • birds