Research

  • Project 1: Adaptive Locomotor Learning


    Adaptation and Met Pwr

     

    Walking is one of the primary means by which we move through our environment. As a result of development and experience, we ultimately acquire the ability to seamlessly adapt our walking pattern to accommodate changes in our environment (e.g. transitioning from walking on soft sand to walking on an icy sidewalk). Learning to switch between these types of environments requires the nervous system to adapt the calibrations used for one context to produce the appropriate motor commands for another. This process of locomotor adaptation is critical for normal behavior and may also underlie the processes by which the body adapts to damage of central or peripheral motor structures. We are interested in identifying the factors that drive this type of adaptive learning in both healthy individuals and in individuals with neuromotor impairments.


     

     

     Relevant Publications

     J.M. Finley, A. Long, A.J. Bastian, and G. Torres-Oviedo, (2015). Spatial and Temporal Control Contribute to Step Length Asymmetry during Split-Belt Adaptation and Hemiparetic Gait. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. 29:786-95.

     A. Long, J.M. Finley, A.J. Bastian. (2015). A Marching-Walking Hybrid Induces Step Length Adaptation and Transfers to Natural Walking. Journal of Neurophysiology. 113, 3905-3914.

    J.M. Finley, M.S. Statton, A.J. Bastian. (2014). A Novel Optic Flow Pattern Speeds Split-belt Locomotor Adaptation. Journal of Neurophysiology. 111, 969-976.

    J.M. Finley, A.J. Bastian, J.S. Gottschall. (2013). Learning to be Efficient: Metabolic Cost of Walking Tracks Motor Adaptation. Journal of Physiology. 591, 1081-1095.


    Project 2: Virtual Reality Approaches for Improving Skilled Locomotion


    Virtual Reality ApproachesSkillful locomotion is characterized not only by the ability to walk in a straight line, but also by the ability to execute more complex behaviors, such as turning, obstacle avoidance, and simultaneous performance of secondary tasks such as carrying a hot cup of coffee. It is critical to train these types of skills within a clinical setting to maximize independence outside of the clinic. Unfortunately, many current approaches to gait rehabilitation lack the specificity, intensity, and saliency to maximize gains in the ability to perform these skilled locomotor behaviors. In this project, we are utilizing recent technological advances in virtual-reality and sensing to design novel, game-based approaches for advanced gait skill training. These approaches have the potential to enhance the rehabilitation of stroke survivors, improve locomotor skill training in individuals with Parkinson's disease, and promote functional independence in the elderly.


    Relevant Publications

    • Kim, N. Darakjian, J.M. Finley, "Walking inFully Immersive Virtual Environments: A Feasibility Test for Older Adults and Individuals with Parkinson's disease," In Review  
    •   J.M. Finley, M.S. Statton, A.J. Bastian. (2014). A Novel Optic Flow Pattern Speeds Split-belt Locomotor Adaptation. Journal of Neurophysiology. 111, 969-976.