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Post-Doc Position in Human Motor Control/Biomechanics

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  • Post-Doc Position in Human Motor Control/Biomechanics


    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
    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).

    Sainburg, R.L. and Kalakanis, D. Differences in control of limb dynamics
    during dominant and non-dominant arm reaching. (In Press, J.
    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


    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

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