- Ph.D., Indiana University, 1989
- M.S., Indiana University, 1983
- B.S., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1981
My research interests focus on the neuromuscular control of human movement. I am currently investigating the role of the spinal reflex system in controlling normal postural sway and recovery from perturbations in elderly subjects.
The goal of these projects is to develop short- and long-term intervention programs to improve the quality of life for elderly individuals. In directing various graduate students, I have also investigated the role of dysfunctional states on neuromuscular function—particularly anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and persons with arthritis.
Most of my research is conducted in the Motor Control Research Laboratory in the Public Health building, where I work with graduate assistants to perform balance tests on older adults. Through strategically placed electrodes, we can test the response of neurons and muscles in an individual's balance and postural control.
If the tests indicate that one or more of the subject's balance systems is malfunctioning, we recommend physical activity designed to retrain neurons so the person can regain the use of dormant neurons and muscles. After training, elderly subjects show more muscle activation following a postural disturbance.
Our mission is to motivate older adults to lead more active lives and enjoy better balance and health. We work in partnership with a number of groups to share the results of this research with elderly citizens in our community and with health and wellness practitioners.