NeuroMotor Control Laboratory @ MU

 
 

The mission of the NeuroMotor Control Laboratory is to develop an understanding of how the human nervous system uses information from its senses to optimize movements and interactions with the physical environment. Because moving and manipulating objects are key objectives in many daily tasks (e.g., attaining elite athletic performance and maintaining a high quality of life after stroke), our work seeks to develop knowledge needed to develop technologies, training strategies and therapeutic interventions for facilitating motor learning in healthy individuals and for promoting rehabilitation in patients with neuromotor injury or neurodevelopmental disorders.  Current work follows three inter-related lines of experimentation.


The first uses behavioral psychophysics to examine how the brain integrates information from multiple senses to optimize arm and hand movements in the presence of uncertain environmental influences.  We ask whether stochastic features of the limb’s mechanical environment influence how sensory information is combined to guide motor learning. 


The second uses MR-compatible robotic devices and functional neuroimaging, we also seek to identify the neural structures mediating sensorimotor integration for the control of limb movement (e.g. shooting a free-throw) and limb posture (i.e. holding the hand at a desired position despite unexpected perturbations). We hope this work will shed new light on the neural basis of sensorimotor control across the full spectrum of human experience (e.g., in elite athletes, adult survivors of stroke and in children with autism spectrum disorders).


The third seeks to understand how human motor performance can be optimized through the manipulation of sensory feedback, either by augmenting intact senses through technological means, or by replacing lost sensation after sensorimotor injury.


Lab News

Alexis Krueger successfully defended her thesis “ENGINEERING SYNTHETIC FEEDBACK TO PROMOTE RECOVERY OF SELF-FEEDING SKILLS IN PEOPLE WITH SENSORY DEFICITS DUE TO STROKE.” Sept. 2016.


Alexis Krueger and Dr. Scheidt received MU’s Office of International Education Best Poster Award: “Engineering synthetic feedback to promote recovery of self- feeding skills in stroke survivors” Dec. 2014.


Nicole Salowitz successfully defended her dissertation “MULTIMODAL SENSORY INTEGRATION FOR PERCEPTION AND ACTION IN HIGH FUNCTIONING CHILDREN WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER.” Nov. 2014.


Alexis Krueger has been awarded a prestigious Whitaker Foundation International Fellowship to pursue her Masters Degree, which will establish a new collaboration between the NMCL and Dr. Maura Casadio’s lab at the Università degli Studi di Genova, Genova, Italy.


Congratulations to Nicole Salowitz, for winning the “Best Paper” award for her conference paper “Salowitz NMG, Dolan B, Remmel R, Van Hecke A, Mosier KM, Simo L, Scheidt RA (2013) Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Goal-Directed Reaching in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Feasibility Study. Conf Proc World Multi-Conf Syst, Cybern & Inform, Orlando, FL”.


Congratulations to Maria Bengtson for successfully defending her dissertation proposal June 2013.



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. BES 0238442, by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development under grant Nos. R01HD53727, R01NS053581 and R24HD039627 and by the Whitaker, Birnschein, Way-Klingler and Falk Foundations. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and/or the foundations supporting this work.

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last edited: Dec  2014

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