Dr. Mustari was born and raised in Chicago, IL. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Southern Illinois University in physiology. He earned his Ph.D. in Neuroanatomy studying visual system organization at in the Department of Biological Structure at the University of Washington. Dr. Mustari and his wife Sharyn live in Edmonds Washington. Their pastimes include hiking, nature photography and spending time with their young adult children.

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Undergraduate Education:  BA, Physiology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, 1970
Graduate Education:  MA, Physiology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, 1971, PhD, Neuroanatomy, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 1976
Post-Doctoral Education:   Post-doctoral Fellow, Dept. of Psychology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 1976-78, Research Fellow, Dept. of Ophthalmology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. 1978-79, Research Fellow, Department of Physiology and Biophysics and The Regional Primate Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 1982-84
Previous Faculty Positions: Associate Professor, Dept. of Anatomy and Neuroscience, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas. Professor, Dept. of Neurology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Memberships: National Eye Institute Visual Sciences Training Grant Faculty, University of Washington, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Society for Neuroscience (SFN), Society for the Neural Control of Movement (NCM),American Physiological Society

Academic Interests

Dr. Mustari’s research is directed at understanding neural mechanisms for normal and pathological visual-oculomotor behavior. We seek to advance our understanding of early development of visual and eye movement function to help improve diagnoses, treatment and develop cures for disorders that compromise visual function. My research is conducted in visual, oculomotor and vestibular systems of macaques using current behavioral, neurophysiological, computational and neuroanatomical approaches.


Awards & Honors 

2001-2002  President, Atlanta Chapter, Society for Neuroscience 
2000-2005 Chief, Division of Visual Science, Yerkes National Primate Research Center
2005-2009 Chief of Sensory-Motor Systems Division, Yerkes National Primate Research Center
2005-present Partner Principle Investigator of the Visual Science Center of Excellence, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
2009-present Research Affiliate, Center on Human Development and Disability, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
2013-present Director, Washington National Primate Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA


Nuding U, Ono S, Mustari MJ, Büttner U, Glasauer S.  A theory of the dual pathways for smooth pursuit based on dynamic gain control. J Neurophysiol. 99:2798-808, 2008.

Ono S. and Mustari MJ.  Smooth pursuit related information processing in frontal eye field (FEF) neurons that project to the NRTP.  Cerebral Cortex, 19: 1186-1197, 2009.

Crowder NA, Price NS, Mustari MJ and Ibbotson MR. Direction and contrast tuning of MSTd neurons during saccades.  J Neurophysiol  101: 3100-3107, 2009.

Ono S, Brostek L, Glasauer S, Buttner U and Mustari MJ.  The response of MSTd neurons to perturbations in target motion during ongoing smooth pursuit eye movements.  J Neurophysiol. PMID: 19923249, 2009.

Ono S, Mustari MJ. Visual error signals from the pretectal nucleus of the optic tract guide motor learning for smooth pursuit.  J Neurophysiol. 103: 2889-99.  PMID: 20457849, 2010.

Cloherty SL, Mustari MJ, Rosa MG, Ibbotson MR. Effects of saccades on visual processing in primate MSTd. Vis Res, PMID: 20732345. 2010.

Lienbacher K, Mustari MJ, Ying H, Buttner-Ennever, JA and Horn AKE. Do the palisade endings in extraocular muscles arise from neurons in the oculomotor nucleus? Invest Ophthal Vis Sci, PMID: 21228383, 2011.

Brostek L, Eggert T, Ono S, Mustari MJ, Büttner U and Glasauer S. An information-theoretic approach for evaluating probabilistic tuning functions of single neurons.  Front. Neurosci. 5:36. doi: 10.3389/fnins, 2011.

Willoughby CL, Christiansen SP, Mustari MJ, McLoon LK.  Effects of the Sustained Release of IGF-1 on Extraocular Muscle of the Infant Non-Human Primate: Adaptations at the Effector Organ Level. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. Nov 28. [Epub ahead of print], PMID: 22125277, 2011.

Ono S, Das VE, Mustari MJ. Conjugate Adaptation of Smooth Pursuit during Monocular Viewing in Strabismic Monkeys with Exotropia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 53: 2038-45. PMID: 22410567.



Washington National Primate Research Center
University of Washington
1705 NE Pacific Street
Box 357330
Seattle WA 98195
Phone: 206-616-3476


Vision Research Scientist