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Ellengene Peterson

Professor Emerita
Wilson 017

Recent News


Ph.D., University of California, Riverside

Research Interests

  • Lab: Wilson 014

The long-term goal of our research is to contribute to the diagnosis and treatment of disorders that affect balance and spatial orientation in humans and non-human animals. Our approach is to investigate mechanisms of balance and spatial orientation using the methods of neuroethology and an interdisciplinary team than includes neuroscientists, behavioral biologists, physicists, and engineers. Our experimental models are turtles and mice. These species offer a number of practical advantages for investigation of vestibular (balance) mechanisms. Because the vestibular system is highly conserved during evolution, knowledge gained from turtles and mice can be expected to generalize well to other vertebrates, including humans.


After studying Latin and Greek in college, I fell in love with neuroscience and have pursued that ever since ... through a Ph.D., two postdoctoral positions, and a lecturer appointment in Sydney, Australia. I came to Ohio University because I wanted to be part of a biology department and to conduct neuroscience research in that context. I have enjoyed developing an interdisciplinary team to analyze mechanisms of vestibular signaling, learning from team members, and helping to establish OHIO's neuroscience program.

Representative Publications

Xue, J. and E.H. Peterson 2006 Hair bundle heights in the utricle: Differences between macular locations and hair cell types. J. Neurophysiol. 95: 171-186.

Nam, J-H, J. R. Cotton, E.H. Peterson and J. W. Grant 2006 Mechanical properties and consequences of stereocilia and extracellular links in vestibular hair bundles. Biophys. J. 90: 2786-2795.

Rowe, M.H. and E.H. Peterson 2006 Autocorrelation analysis of hair bundle structure in the utricle. J. Neurophysiol. 96: 2653-2669.

Davis, J.L., J. Xue, E.H. Peterson and J. W. Grant 2007 Layer thickness and curvature effects on otoconial membrane deformation in the utricle of the red-ear slider turtle: Static and modal analysis. J. Vestibular Research 17: 145-162.

Li, A., J. Xue, and E.H. Peterson 2008 Architecture of the mouse utricle: macular organization and hair bundle heights. J. Neurophysiol. 99: 718-733.

Spoon, C., W. J. Moravec, M. H. Rowe, J.W. Grant, E.H. Peterson 2011 Steady state stiffness of utricular hair cells depends on macular location and hair bundle structure. J. Neurophysiol. 106: 2950-2963.