The research interests of Michael J. Cevette, Ph.D., span several areas that involve the function of the vestibular system and human hearing. Over the past several years, he and the Aerospace Medicine & Vestibular Research Laboratory (AMVRL) team have investigated vestibular illusions underlying spatial disorientation in the aerospace environment.
By stimulating the inner ear using small amounts of electrical current, sensations of rotation and tilt are produced. When coupled with vision, flight simulation may be enhanced and the unwanted side effects of simulator sickness decreased. The mitigation of motion sickness and improvement of balance is also being studied using the technique called galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS).
Dr. Cevette has also worked for several years in the area of magnesium and hearing, particularly related to the protection of hearing and the reduction of tinnitus by the daily supplementation of magnesium.
- Electrical stimulation of the inner ear to treat motion sickness, cybersickness and vertigo
- Magnesium supplementation to lessen the perception of tinnitus
- Re-coupling the inner ear with vision by creating a virtual head movement to enhance fidelity of flight simulation and entertainment
- Use of high-frequency amplification to enhance word understanding by improving the audibility of the soft consonant sounds important for those with acquired hearing
- Tests and treatment of visual preference for concussion and head injury patients with balance disorders
Significance to patient care
The basic research of selectively altering the function of the inner ear has promise as a tool to help patients with acute and chronic vertigo, motion sickness, and cybersickness, as well as space motion sickness in the spaceflight environment. In addition, electrical stimulation of the inner ear coupled with vision holds promise as a technique to improve overall balance.
Tinnitus affects millions of individuals worldwide with varying degrees of severity. The impact on quality of life can be significant. Research in the treatment of tinnitus continues to advance in many areas. Magnesium supplementation is one avenue of research that may have promise in helping a select group of those suffering from acute and chronic tinnitus.
- Assistant Editor, Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 2005-present
- Alumni Achievement Award, Utah State University, 2010-2011
- Distinguished Educator, Mayo Clinic, 2006
- Fellow, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2006