Research Interests

Dr. Christopher J. Arellano

Dr. Arellano has a broad interest in understanding the biomechanics, energetics, and balance of human and animal locomotion. Current projects focus on four main areas:

  • Locomotor Training: develop training interventions aimed at improving muscle-tendon function, economy, and balance.

  • Stability and Muscle-Tendon Mechanics: investigate how the intrinsic properties of muscle and tendon contribute to stability in response to perturbations.

  • Assistive Devices: engineer and test devices that reduce metabolic cost, with implications for rehabilitative gait training strategies in older adults and in individuals with balance disorders.

  • Human Performance: advance our understanding of locomotion biomechanics and apply these insights to improve performance in the context of athletics, space-flight, elderly, etc.

Dr. Stacey Gorniak

Dr. Gorniak's current areas of interest include (1) bimanual upper extremity function in ecological tasks (2) the interaction between motor behavior and cognition, and (3) the effect of neurological disorders on cognition and sensorimotor function.  Specifically, Dr. Gorniak is interested in evaluating neurological conditions that have not been previously regarded as 'movement disorders'.

Some of her current projects include:

  • Effect of medical and surgical management on upper extremity function in individuals with Parkinson's disease

  • Effect of type II diabetes on upper extremity actions

  • Role of task complexity and application of computational approaches in analyzing human behaviors

Dr. Charles Layne

Dr. Layne is interested in the development of human coordination primarily from a neuromuscular perspective. This interest is satisfied by investigating locomotion and posture processes. More recent interests include the role of somatosensory input on muscle contraction.

Some of his current projects include:

  • After-effects of mechanical vibration of the plantar sole and ankle musculature on postural control and body sway

  • Effect of vibration plate use on bipedal postural control

  • Active regeneration (AR) program for individuals paralyzed due to spinal cord injury

  • Identifying neuromuscular Inhibition in the human lower leg using mechanical stimulation to the foot

Dr. Beom-Chan Lee

His research interests are 1) designing and developing a real-time biofeedback technology to prevent and reduce falls by leveraging fall recovery performance in individuals with a high risk of falling, 2) designing and developing a cell phone based platform for home-based balance rehabilitation and fall prevention applications, 3) designing and developing a wearable sensory augmentation system via vibrotactile biofeedback for conveying motion instructions based on motion error between an expert and a trainee (patient) for potential clinical and home-based balance rehabilitation training applications, and 4) characterizing non-volitional human motor behavior (postural responses) to torso-based vibrotactile stimulation.

Dr. Pranav Parikh

Dr. Parikh is primarily focused on understanding the sensorimotor mechanisms for motor control and learning in healthy young individuals, older adults, and patients with neurological diseases and injury. He is also interested in developing therapeutic strategies to improve sensorimotor function in older adults and patient populations. His current research uses the human hand as a model to accomplish these goals. He uses a wide range of approaches including motion tracking, kinetic measurements, surface electromyography (muscle activity), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).

His current projects include:

  • Understanding the neural mechanisms underlying dexterous manipulation

Dr. Adam Thrasher

Dr. Thrasher is interested in neuromuscular physiology and motor learning; Biomechanics and gait analysis; Electrical stimulation of paralyzed muscles to restore function; Rehabilitation engineering; Pathological locomotion.

Some of his current projects include:

  • Rehabilitation of Locomotion in Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke

  • Preventing Pressure Ulcers using Functional Electrical Stimulation