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  • Participate. Participate. Research may be right for you.
  • Collaborate. Collaborate. Help find answers.
  • Discover. Discover. Could you be part of the answer?


Currently recruiting participants for the following research

  relief This study is being done because we want to find out what types of treatments work best to treat low back pain, and we want to determine how these treatments work. Learn more here.  



The purpose of The LEARNING Study is to measure the effects of an interactive, whole-body video game on movement behavior in people with low back pain.┬áMore information is here.  


The purpose of The DAT Study is to measure the effects of an interactive, whole-body video game on movement behavior in healthy people.┬áMore information is here.  

Motor Control Lab - Participate in Research

Research made possible through your participation...


What is Participation like?

Participating in research is often a rewarding experience. Participation involves many activities and the experience can differ greatly among the various research studies. Participating in research includes many of the following activities:

Why participate?

Research participants often express positive feelings about helping researchers find better treatments, advancing knowledge, contributing to moving science forward, helping patients, and possibly receiving treatment and getting additional care and attention.

Lab Testing

What to wear?

Please wear comfortable, layered clothing which allows easy access to your back. Motor Control Lab provides comfortable, modest clothing for participants to wear during lab testing

How to prepare?

Get a good night's sleep and eat well. You will likely be spending a lot of time on your feet. Please refrain from drinking alcohol for 24 hours prior to lab testing. Follow any other special instructions provided by the lab staff.

Wear a hairstyle compatible with a hat. You will probably be asked to wear a specialized hat during lab testing. This won't be the best day to wear a fancy hairstyle.

What to expect

Suit up: The first thing you will do is change into lab attire. The Motor Control Lab provides comfortable, modest clothing for participants to wear during lab testing. The clothing and shoes we provide help make sure all of the markers are visible.

We provide a lab outfit from head to toe including:

  • shirt
  • shorts
  • socks
  • shoes
  • hat
  • hair tie

Place sensors: Almost all lab testing in the Motor Control Lab involves placing several adhesive "markers" and adhesive electrodes on the skin.

The electrodes have to be carefully placed in order to receive the best signal from the sensors. To get the best contact, even the finest body hair and dead skin must be removed. A lab technician will carefully and cleanly remove the hair using a single-use razor and prepare the skin with an exfoliating pad. We will only remove hair in areas where the electrodes are placed. Although not necessary, you are welcome to shave before you come in.

These are all easily removed.



What are those black boxes? Our electrodes probably look different than what you've seen in most clinics and hospitals. That's because they are wireless, leaving you free to move about without being "tied down" with lots of wires and cables.

Adhesive Markers

markers back markers front

The adhesive markers don't actually glow like you see in these photos - what you see is the reflection from the camera flash. They are reflective, like material on backpack, sports clothing, and street signs.

Lights. Camera. Action! You will notice several camera around the perimiter of the Motor Control Lab. These specialized cameras record the markers placed on your body and use them to render a 3D image of your skeleton on the lab computer. Rollover the image below with your mouse to see how the Motor Control Lab cameras work.

Reaching rollover

You will be asked to perform several easy tasks like moving your arms, reaching or bending.

Reaching Task

Another activity you might be asked to participate in is the Core Muscle Activation Testing (CMAT). You will be fitted with a harness and asked to sit in the half-kneeling stool. Cables from 4 pulleys will be attached to the harness. The pulleys will deliver precise pulls to the harness and gently tug your upper body in various directions. The video below shows several ways the pulleys tug.

Core Mucle Activation Testing (CMAT)

Our lab has developed Core Reflex Testing (CRT) to test the reflexes of the muscles of the spine. In CRT you will be asked to lie face-down on a padded table. Your upper body is supported by a padded scale and headrest. You will be asked to contract your back muscles a certain way and straps across your legs help you perform this maneuver. The lab team will then use a specialized tapping device to make the muscles respond.

Core Reflex Testing (CRT)


Your visit might include a treatment. If so, you will be escorted to the clinic room down the hall.

Virtual Reality Immersive Blah blah blah (VRI)

We combine state-of-the-art immersive technology with a real-time motion data collection system to study motor behavior in participants.



Ohio University   |   Athens, OH 45701   |   740.597.1762   |  MCL@ohio.edu

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