Housed in Grover Center, the Motor Control Lab consists of the Motion Monitor Lab, Vicon Lab, and Clinic Exam Room. This facility includes many custom-built devices giving us the unique ability to explore the complicated field of orthopedic impairments from the perspective of motor control science.
The Motor Control Lab's perturbation device is custom designed and fabricated. It allows us to deliver precision pulls to the torso in order to study trunk stiffness and motor coordination. This system consists of 4 parker motors which are controlled by custom labview software developed by Peter Pidcoe, Ph.D., PT, Medical College of Virginia. This perturbation system is fully integrated with our Vicon data collection system to allow us to colect real-time force and motion data during these suddenly applied perturbations. In addition to assessing motion and force, we utilize a 16-channel Delys Trigno wireless EMG system.
While we have the ability to assess the trunk stiffness and long altency reflexes to suddent perturbations, we have also developed a robust method to assess short latency reflexes of the erector spinae.
We have modified an activator device typically used in chiropractic practice to apply a short duration pulse to the erector spinae muscle which elicits the short latency reflex response.
We use a standardized reaching protocol developed in the late 90's by Dr. Thomas. It has been shown to be efective in assessing alterations in motor control strategy in individuals with both neurologic and orthopedic impairments.