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vbaltzopoulos26
05-22-2006, 02:50 AM
PhD Studentships for 2006/07
Institute for Biophysical and Clinical Research into Human Movement (IRM)
Manchester Metropolitan University

a partner in the European Consortium for Research into Biological Movement
(BIOMOVE)

Two PhD studentships are available to start in September 2006/07 in the area
of human motor control and biomechanics. "The effect of ageing and disease
on the neuro-motor control of human balance" and "Biomechanical mechanisms
for sustaining the human postural attitude". Studies are conducted at the
whole body level in a variety of normal, athletic, clinical, and elderly
populations. Further details are given below.

If you are interested, please make immediate contact by expressing an
interest and sending a full c.v. to Dr Ian Loram at I.Loram@mmu.ac.uk

The closing date is Friday 9 June 2006.

"The effect of ageing and disease on the neuro-motor control of human
balance"

Maintaining balance is skill that we all depend upon for a healthy and
satisfying life and yet it is a task that can stretch human motor skill to
the limits of its biological capability. It is known that humans process
information imperfectly and only at a moderate and limited rate and this
restriction is tested by our ability to balance and control unstable loads.
Using a variety of multi-sensory balance apparatus, the student will
investigate the fine control of balance as a model for testing the effect of
ageing and disease on visual, proprioceptive and vestibular mechanisms of
motor control. In particular, the interest is on how the bandwidth of
control, perceptual thresholds, sensory uncertainty and motor noise alter in
relationship to age and, for example, cerebellar and Parkinson's disease.
The project will use portable apparatus and will require experimental work
to be carried out away from the laboratory in clinical settings. A degree
in physical/physiological science is desirable and the project will involve
development of analysis and experimental techniques using MATLAB.


"Biomechanical mechanisms for sustaining the human postural attitude"

All humans maintain a chronic postural attitude that is both characteristic
of our species and idiosyncratic of the individual. The configuration that
is maintained is a product of biomechanical, neuromuscular realities and of
individual learning and experience. Biomechanics dictates that some
configurations of structure and muscular activity are more economical than
others and are more advantageous for human movement. This project
investigates biomechanical principles that will distinguish optimal from
suboptimal balance. In particular, we are interested in the biomechanical
mechanisms that result in stability with minimum multi-joint stiffness. The
student will use a combination of electromyography and dynamic
ultrasonography for measuring muscle activity and will use the VICON motion
system for whole body configurational analysis. Mechanical perturbation
techniques will be used for testing stiffness at the key joints such as the
ankle, knee, hip and neck. A degree in physical/physiological science is
desirable and the project will involve development of analysis and
experimental techniques using MATLAB.

If you are interested, please make immediate contact by expressing an
interest and sending a full c.v. to Dr Ian Loram at I.Loram@mmu.ac.uk

The closing date is Friday 9 June 2006.

Please visit the IRM website for further information on the Research
Institute: www.irm.mmu.ac.uk


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