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Robert L. Sainburg, Ph.d.
03-14-2000, 10:54 PM
POST-DOCTORAL POSITION

We are currently seeking a post-doctoral fellow to train in the Human
Movement Laboratory in the graduate program in Exercise Science at
SUNY/Buffalo. The project involves psychophysical studies that focus on
discerning the neural mechanisms underlying motor adaptation during reaching
movements in neurologically intact subjects and patients with specific
neurological lesions. Applicants must possess skills in kinematic and
kinetic analysis of human movement. Experience in computer programming (any
languages) and computer assisted mathematical modeling is encouraged, but
not required. This project includes collaborative research with Claude
Ghez's Lab at Columbia University, and will require occasional visits to
NYC. You may email or call Dr. Sainburg for more information, or send your
CV directly to the address listed below.

The Human Movement Laboratory has multiple experimental set-ups for
recording human movement during controlled psychophysical experiments.
Custom developed software and hardware for recording 3-D and 2-D arm
movements is used to present computer-game like experimental tasks. Three
dimensional recordings are achieved via Ascension technology 6DOF "flock of
birds" system, which allows real-time data presentation during experiments.
Up to 16 Channels of Electromyography can also be synchronized with movement
recordings. The following is a brief description of current and past
projects from our laboratory.

The Human Movement Laboratory, Graduate Program in Exercise Science
SUNY/Buffalo
Robert L. Sainburg, Ph.D.

The aim of our research program is to discern the neural mechanisms
underlying control of multijoint reaching movements in humans. We combine
both psychophysical experiments and computer assisted biomechanical
simulations to determine the neural processes underlying control of the
complex mechanics of the musculoskeletal system. Because of such dynamics,
the relationships between muscle activation and movement kinematics are
complex and non-linear. Studies in proprioceptively deafferented patients,
who lack sense of joint position and movement, have allowed us to examine
the role of differenttypes of sensory information in controlling
intersegmental coupling forces (Sainburg et al., 1993, 1995; Ghez and
Sainburg, 1995). More recent work, in neurologically intact subjects, has
confirmed that the nervous system uses sensory information to develop
transient representations, or internal models, of musculoskeletal dynamics,
in accord with task specific constraints (Sainburg, Kalakanis, and Ghez,
1999). Computer simulations suggest that such representations are utilized
to take advantage of specific mechanical properties of the limb during
movement planning (Kalakanis and Sainburg, 1999). Recent findings (Sainburg
and Kalakanis, in press) indicate that such control is lateralized, such
that the dominant arm displays advantages in controlling intersegmental
dynamics. These findings are critical in understanding how novel tasks are
learned and the degree to which this learning can generalize across
different task parameters. We are currently examining interlimb differences
in motor adaptation (associated with handedness).

References:
Sainburg, R.L. and Kalakanis, D. Differences in control of limb dynamics
during dominant and non-dominant arm reaching. (In Press, J.
Neurophysiol.)
Sainburg, R.L., Kalakanis, D. and Ghez, C. Intersegmental dynamics are
controlled by sequential anticipatory, error correction, and positional
control mechanisms. J. Neurophysiology 81: 1045-1056, 1999.
Sainburg, R.L., Ghilardi, M.F., Poizner, H., and Ghez, C. The Control of
limb dynamics in normal subjects and patients without proprioception. J.
Neurophysiology 73:2 820-835, 1995.
Sainburg, R.L., Poizner, H., and Ghez, C. Loss of Proprioception Produces
Deficits in Interjoint Coordination. J. Neurophysiology 70: 2136-2147, 1993.
Ghez, C. and Sainburg, R.L. Proprioceptive control of interjoint
coordination. Can. J. Physiol. & Pharm. 73:273-284, 1995.
Ghez, C., Krakauer, J., Sainburg, R.L., Ghilardi, M.F. Spatial
representations and internal models of limb dynamics in motor learning. The
Cognitive Neurosciences, second edition. Eds. Gazzaniga, M.S. MIT Press,
Cambridge Mass. (In Press,1999).
Kalakanis, D. and Sainburg R.L. The quickest path between two points is not
a straight line. Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 760.11, 1999.
Sainburg, R.L. and Kalakanis, D. Control of multijoint inertial dynamics is
lateralized. Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 264.7, 1998

Contact:

Robert L. Sainburg, Ph.D.
Director, Human Motor Control Laboratory
90 Farber Hall
School of Health Related Professions
State University of New York at Buffalo
3435 Main Street, Buffalo NY 14214
voice&fax: 716-829-3258
email: sainburg@acsu.buffalo.edu

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