Motor Behavior Lab

Take the lead on enhancing human motor ability.

The Motor Behavior Lab conducts innovative research in the areas of motor control, motor learning, skill acquisition, and biomechanics that adds to our theoretical understanding of human movement as well as practically relevant knowledge.  Our long-term goal is to enhance motor skill performance and learning through the development of novel training paradigms that can be applied to the contexts of athletic enhancement, injury prevention, and movement rehabilitation.

If you are interested in joining the Motor Behavior Lab, please reach out to Dr. Adam King and clearly express your interest in this area.

Current Laboratory Projects

Postural control refers to the ability to maintain upright stance in static and dynamic conditions.  Numerous investigations have been conducted to examine the complex underlying mechanisms that allow humans to stand upright.  Our current lab projects address how healthy individuals control posture when standing on sloped surfaces.  The center-of-pressure trajectory can be analyzed in numerous manners to quantify postural variability and postural stability. This project is also being applied to the concussion populations to determine whether persistent balance impairments occur with asymptotic individuals.

Movement variability is an inherent feature to the human motor system and provides a window into understanding the potential set of movement solutions available to a given motor task (rather than a single ideal solution).  This projects uses a dynamical systems perspective to focus on defining the range of variability – i.e., a set of movement solutions – during a double leg squat at different speeds.  Using various analytical methods, one of the goals is to capture a reliable index of overall movement variability with future applications to clinical populations, such as ACL rehabilitation, to gain an understanding around the presence of movement variability in injury populations

The músculo-skeletal system poses more degrees of freedom (DOF) than needed to complete a given motor tasks and this is particularly present when considering the overall organization of muscle activity.  The electrical activity of muscles is recorded through electromyography (EMG) and provides various indices of muscle function.  The focus of this project is to examine the DOF problem relative to lower limb muscle activity during bodyweight squats and gain a better understanding of the control properties across those muscles.

Current Lab Members

Graduate

  • Hadley Lindley
  • Sheena Maynard
  • Jacelyn Patton

Undergraduate

  • Max Power