Coordinated muscular contraction and movement is one of the primary functions of the central nervous system (CNS). Sensory information from several sensory systems is integrated with learned motor patterns to guide the limbs, head and trunk through space. The research carried out in my laboratory focuses on how the kinematics of movement are represented in sensory input and how this input is used by the CNS to coordinate muscle contraction. Accordingly, the experimental techniques employed in our studies include electrophysiology at the single neuron level, stimulution of sensory receptors with vibration, biomechanics and motor behavior--all carried out with human subjects. Most research carried out in my laboratory is basic, i.e., investigating sensorimotor control mechanisms, although a portion of our effort is focused on related areas of clinical research (e.g., stroke rehabilitation).
This device treats the right or left arm or leg of individuals with motor disability with a combination of assisted movement (produced robotically) and proprioceptive stimulation (produced by tendon vibration). The device also performs diagnostic testing to track recovery of motor function.
Three-degree of freedom robotic device that rotates the elbow, wrist, and/or fingers in the flexion-extension directions with programmed waveforms. Clutches on each degree of freedom allow unconstrained movement, if desired.
This amplifier is used to record from individual sensory afferent and motor efferent nerve fibers in the peripheral nerves of awake, behaving human subjects.
Voice-coil actuator, mounted on a multi-articular stand, with force and position servocontrol to produce arbitrary stimulus waveforms with controlled background force and pulse amplitude. Designed to stimulate muscle spindle Ia afferents in humans.
This instrument is a body-length horizontal platform instrumented with 4 load-cells, one at each corner of the platform. When an individual performs a sit-up upon the platform, the load cells record the vertical and horizontal reaction forces.
This device torsionally rotates the body axis (small, slow movement) at the level of the hips, trunk, or neck, and it measures the resistance to motion in the torsional direction. Motion is restricted in only the torsional direction so that the standing subject must naturally support his/her body against gravity. Designed to measure active postural tone at each level of the body axis.
Includes quantification of long-term changes in postural tone.
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