Dr. Paloski’s main research interests are focused on understanding normal and abnormal sensory-motor control of balance and locomotion. He studies and models the biomechanics, neural control, and adaptive responses of this system to space flight, aging, injury, and disease. He is also interested in other manifestations of altered sensory-motor control, including eye-head coordination, eye-hand coordination, and spatial disorientation, especially the impacts of these changes on functional performance of activities of daily living as well as more challenging tasks, such as driving automobiles, piloting aircraft, operating other complex equipment, and participating in sporting activities.
Dr. Paloski is also interested in understanding multi-system physiological adaptations to acute and/or chronic changes in gravito-inertial loading. He studies the dynamics of adaptation as a means of developing efficient prescriptions for using rotational inertial loading (artificial gravity) to replace terrestrial gravitational loading during exploration-class space flight missions, with the goal of sparing space travelers from the physiological deconditioning caused by long-term exposure to microgravity.
Prior to joining the UH faculty in the Fall of 2008, Dr. Paloski spent 23 years as a researcher in the Neurosciences Laboratory at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC). His primary research during this period was directed toward understanding postural stability, control, and performance before and after space flight. He maintained satellite laboratories the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Dryden Flight Research Center in California, and the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, where his experiments quantified postflight balance control in more than 150 astronauts and cosmonauts. He also maintained a satellite laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, TX, where he quantified balance control deficits associated with prolonged bed rest in more than 50 space flight analog test subjects. At UTMB he also developed an artificial gravity research facility that was designed for testing the protective effects of intermittent inertial loading on human test subjects being deconditioned by prolonged bed rest.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Paloski spent three years as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at Boston University and a research affiliate in the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT, four years as the supervising biomedical engineer at the Trauma Research Center at Albany (NY) Medical College, and one year as a staff engineer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Paloski is a member of Sigma Xi, the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, the Barany Society, the Aerospace Medical Association, and the International Academy of Astronautics. He holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at UTMB, and he was formerly an Honorary Professor of Physiology at University College London (England). Dr. Paloski has published and/or presented more than 200 scholarly research articles.
Recent Refereed Publications
Wood, S.J., Reschke, M.F., Kaufman, G.D., Black, F.O., and Paloski, W.H. Effects of eccentric rotation on the human pitch vestibulo-ocular reflex. Acta Otolaryngologica, 2008. (In press)
Abercromby, A.F.J., Amonette, W.E., Layne, C.S., McFarlin, B.K., Hinman, M.R., and Paloski, W.H. Vibration exposure and biodynamic responses during whole-body vibration training. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 39(10): 1794-1800, 2007.
Abercromby, A.F.J., Amonette, W.E., Layne, C.S., McFarlin, B.K., Hinman, M.R., and Paloski, W.H. Variation in neuromuscular responses during acute whole-body vibration exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 39(9): 1642-1650, 2007.
Forth, K.E., Metter, E.J., and Paloski, W.H. Age associated differences in postural equilibrium control: A comparison between EQscore and minimum time to contact (TTCmin). Gait & Posture 25(1): 56-62, 2007.
Heer, M. and Paloski, W.H. Space Motion Sickness: Incidence, Etiology, and Countermeasures. Autonomic Neuroscience-Basic and Clinical 29(1-2): 77-79, 2006.
Paloski, W.H., Wood, S.J., Feiveson, A.H., Black, F.O., Hwang, E.Y., and Reschke M.F. Destabilization of human balance control by static and dynamic head tilts. Gait & Posture 23(3): 315-323, 2006.
Reschke, M.F., Somers, J.T., Leigh, R.J., Krnavek, J.M., Kornilova, L., Kozlovskaya, I.B., Bloomberg, J.J., and Paloski, W.H. Sensorimotor recovery following spaceflight may be due to frequent square-wave saccadic intrusions (Case Report). Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine 75(8): 700-704, 2004.
Paloski, W.H., Black, F.O., and Metter, E.J. Post–flight balance control recovery in an elderly astronaut, a case report. Otology & Neurotology 25(1): 53-56, 2004.
Feiveson, A.H., Metter, E.J., and Paloski, W.H. A statistical model for interpreting computerized dynamic posturography data. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering 49(4): 300–309, April 2002.
Kaufman, G.D., Wood, S.J., Gianna, C.C., Black, F.O., and Paloski, W.H. Spatial orientation and balance control changes induced by altered gravito–inertial force vectors. Experimental Brain Research 137: 397–410, 2001.
Wood, S.J., Ramsdell, C.D., Mullen, T.J., Oman, C.M., Harm, D.L., and Paloski, W.H. Transient cardio-respiratory responses to visually-induced virtual tilts. Brain Research Bulletin 53: 25–31, 2000.
Black, F.O., Paloski, W.H., Reschke, M.F., Igarashi, M., Guedry, F., and Anderson, D.J. Disruption of balance control recovery by inertial stimulation following the first international microgravity (IML-1) spacelab mission (STS-42). Journal of Vestibular Research 9: 369–378, 1999.
Reschke, M.F., Bloomberg, J.J., Harm, D.L., Paloski, W.H., Layne, C.S. and McDonald, P.V. Posture, locomotion, spatial orientation, and motion sickness as a function of space flight. Brain Research Reviews, 28: 102–117, 1998.
Speers, R.A., Paloski, W.H., and Kuo, A.D. Multivariate changes in coordination of posture control following space flight. Journal of Biomechanics, 31(10): 883–889, 1998.
Wood, S.J., Paloski, W.H., and Reschke M. F. Spatial coding of eye movements relative to perceived earth and head orientations during static roll tilt. Experimental Brain Research, 121: 51–58, 1998.
Nicholas, S.C., Doxey-Gasway, D.D., and Paloski, W.H. A link-segment model of upright human posture for analysis of head–trunk coordination. Journal of Vestibular Research, 8: 187–200 1998.
Paloski, W.H. Vestibulo-spinal adaptation to microgravity. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery 118(3): S38–S43, 1998.
Black, F.O. and Paloski, W.H. Computerized dynamic posturography: what have we learned from space? Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery 118(3): S44–S50, 1998.
Black, F.O., Paloski, W.H., Doxey-Gasway, D.D., and Reschke, M.F. Vestibular plasticity following orbital space flight: recovery from postflight postural instability. Acta Otolaryngologica (Stockholm) Supplement 520(2): 450–454, 1995.
Huebner, W.P., Reschke, M.F., Paloski, W.H., Bloomberg, J.J., Harm, D.L., and Berthoz, A.F. Geometric adjustments to account for eye eccentricity in processing horizontal and vertical eye and head movement data. Journal of Vestibular Research 5(4): 299–322, 1995.
Reschke, M.F., Bloomberg, J.J., Harm, D.L., and Paloski, W.H. Space flight and neurovestibular adaptation. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 34: 609–617, 1994.
Paloski, W.H., Black, F.O., Reschke, M.F, Calkins, D.S., and Shupert, C. Vestibular ataxia following shuttle flights: effect of transient microgravity on otolith-mediated sensorimotor control of posture. American Journal of Otology 14(1): 9–17, 1993.
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, 1975
M.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, 1977
Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, 1982