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
Maintaining upright posture is a fundamental motor task accomplished through a complex postural control system. In our Angled Platform EMG study, we are investigating how sloped surfaces and vision influence the underlying strategies the body employs to maintain balance. We use different degrees of inclines and declines along with eyes opened and closed to induce postural perturbations. During these tasks, we examine balance through the center-of-pressure (COP) and muscle activity through electromyography (EMG).

There are several theories employed to investigate how an individual acquires new motor skills, and the most efficient and optimal way to do so. The differential learning theory explains how individuals can be more successful at a motor skill by practicing variation and adaptation of the skill, rather than traditional repetition. Differential learning takes advantage of the redundancy of the motor system to create movement patterns that are highly adaptable to different environments. The purpose of this investigation is to further examine the differential learning theory in comparison to traditional learning methods in the acquisition of a new motor skill.

Competitive athletes utilize various techniques in training to enhance performance in their sport, one of which is strategic focus of attention. Internal and external focus of attention are different types of focal points that an athlete can use to maximize his or her performance. The purpose of this study is to examine whether internal or external focus of attention will be most beneficial to increase stability in skilled and less skilled soccer players.

Lab Member

Graduate

Emily Potts – Springdale, Arkansas. I attended Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas where I was a member of the Track and Field team and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. I have research interests in reducing the risk of injury, especially with shin splints and other overuse running injuries. I hope to be able to travel to work on projects around the world and eventually work with athletes to perform movement analyses and produce reduction of injury risk protocols for each individual athlete.

Undergraduate

Sara Harris – McKinney, Texas. I will graduate in May 2021 with a major in Movement Science and a minor in Psychology. My goal is to continue on to Physical Therapy school after graduation. I enjoy being outdoors, golfing, and playing in the TCU Symphonic Band!

Diego Rivera – in Frisco, Texas. I’m a movement science major (class of 2023) and want to pursue a DPT in the future with the hopes of opening up my own outpatient while doing research on the side. I enjoy playing saxophone and piano, am a big baseball fan, and have recently picked up country music and partner dancing as a new hobby.

Tanner Robinson – Fort Collins, Colorado. I am a Movement Science major graduating in May of 2021. My goal is to carry on to medical school and pursue a career in women’s health. I love camping, hiking, skiing, and enjoying the outdoors in any way I can!

Undergraduates

  • 2019-2020
    • Max Butcher
    • Jack Dinnie
    • Jayne Kernodle
    • Josie Mootz
    • Max Power
    • Brooke Wertzberger
  • 2018-2019
    • Curtis Hansen
    • Joel Petri
  • 2017-2018
    • Dylan Hoover

Graduates

  • Kelci Hannan – May ‘18 (PhD, Utah State University)
  • Hadley Lindley – December ’18 (pursuing medical programs)
  • Jacey Baldridge – May ‘20 (seeking college instructor positions)

Lab Equipment

  • AMTI (OR6-7) force platform
  • Qualisys motion capture system with 8 Miqus cameras
  • 12 channel, wireless EMG system by Delsys
    • 2 adapters for elbow & knee angle goniometer
  • Balance apparatus (y-balance, angled platforms, wobble discs)

Software

  • Qualisys Track Manager
  • Delsys EMGworks
  • Matlab