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

Giulia Ballardini has joined NMCL as Visiting Research Technician, from the University of Genoa, Italy.  Welcome Giulia!  Feb 2018.


Maria Bengtson successfully completed her PhD dissertation “MUSCLE COORDINATION CONTRIBUTES TO FUNCTION AFTER STROKE: PROPRIOCEPTION CONTRIBUTES TO CONTROL OF POSITION, MOVEMENT.” Dec 2017.


Dr. Scheidt has joined the National Science Foundation as a Program Director for the Mind, Machine and Motor Nexus (M3X) Program within the Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation Division of the Engineering Directorate. He will continue active research and co-direction of the lab in partnership with Dr. Mrotek under an IR/D plan supported by NSF grant CMMI-1801216.   Oct 2017.


Giovanni Huang successfully completed his MS thesis “INFLUENCE OF VIBROTACTILE SENSORY AUGMENTATION ON MOTOR PERFORMANCE AND PROPRIOCEPTION IN THREE DIMENSIONAL REACHING TASKS.” Oct 2017.


Francesca Bucci successfully completed her MS thesis “USER-CENTERED DESIGN OF A UBIQUITOUS CUEING WEARABLE DEVICE TO IMPROVE LIMB AWARENESS AFTER STROKE.” Oct 2017.


Dr. Leigh Ann Mrotek has assumed the role of Director of the Neuromotor Control Lab.  Welcome Leigh Ann!  Aug 2017.


Drs. Mrotek and Scheidt were awarded a 3-year NIH R15 grant titled “AUGMENTING KINESTHETIC FEEDBACK TO IMPROVE HEMIPARETIC ARM CONTROL AFTER STROKE.” Jun 2017.


Dr. Casadio, in collaboration with Dr. Scheidt was awarded a 2-year EU ERASMUS K107 award to support student, faculty and staff mobility between the University of Genoa (UniGe) and Marquette University. May 2017.


Nicoletta Risi was awarded the prestigious SIAMOC “Best Thesis Award” for a thesis in the field of movement analysis in a clinical environment. Congratulations Nicoletta! May. 2017.


Valay Shah has been awarded a prestigious Whitaker Foundation International Fellowship to pursue an Aim of his Doctoral Degree, which will strengthen the strong collaboration between the NMCL and Dr. Maura Casadio’s lab at the Università degli Studi di Genova, Genova, Italy. - Apr 2017.


Nicoletta Risi successfully completed her MS thesis “LEARNING TO USE SUPPLEMENTAL VIBROTACTILE OF LIMB POSITION ENHANCES GOAL_DIRECTED REACH PERFORMANCE.” Oct. 2016.


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


The material presented on this website is based upon work that has been supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants CMMI 1801216 and  BES 0238442, by the National Institute Health under grants. R15HD093086, R01HD53727, R01NS053581 and R24HD039627, by the Whitaker, Birnschein, Way-Klingler and Falk Foundations, and by the Italian government’s Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MUIR) through the Fondo Giovanni (youth fund), which supports Italian student international mobility and research. 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, the National Institutes of Health and/or the organizations supporting this work.

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last edited: Dec  2016

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