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Post Doctoral Position: Penn State University

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  • Post Doctoral Position: Penn State University

    A Post-doctoral research associate position is available in the Movement
    Neuroscience Laboratory at Penn State University.

    This position is funded by an NIH Project Grant (R01), entitled, ┬│Interlimb
    Differences in Control of Multijoint Dynamics┬▓. The focus of this research
    is to discern the neural mechanisms underlying handedness. This manual
    asymmetry appears to result from differences in the relative contributions
    of each cerebral hemisphere to unilateral limb control. Recent evidence from
    our laboratory has suggested that the dominant hemisphere/limb system is
    specialized for controlling the effects of intersegmental dynamics to
    specify limb trajectory shape and speed (Sainburg,and Kalakanis, 2000;
    Sainburg 2002; Bagesteiro and Sainburg, 2002; Sainburg and Wang, 2002).
    Interestingly, the non-dominant hemisphere/limb system seems best adapted
    for specifying and controlling static limb posture. A recent perturbation
    study supported this idea by demonstrating that dominant arm load
    compensation mechanisms lead to stabilization of velocity to the detriment
    of final position, whereas non-dominant arm load compensation responses lead
    to better final position accuracy. The successful applicant will continue
    studies along these lines of research, as well as, having the opportunity to
    contribute to research along other established lines within the Movement
    Neuroscience laboratory. This laboratory is described below.

    Position Requirements: Recent PhD in Neuroscience, Biomechanics,
    Kinesiology, Biomedical Engineering, Experimental Psychology, or other
    discipline focusing on control of human movement. Demonstration of scholarly
    progress, in terms of prepared, submitted, or published manuscripts, and
    presentations at conferences.

    Desired skills include: Psychophysical experimentation experience,
    biomechanical skills including inverse dynamic analysis, Experience with
    collection and analysis of human movement data, EMG collection and analysis
    is desirable, experience with forward simulations is a plus, but not a
    requirement; experience with computer programming is a plus: We use the
    following programming environments within the laboratory: Visual C++; Visual
    Basic; Igor Pro (Wavemetrics Scientific and Engineering package); Matlab.


    Please send CV and three References

    Robert L. Sainburg, PhD, Department of Kinesiology and Programs in
    Neuroscience and Physiology, Pennsylvania State University, 266 REC Bldg,
    University Park, Pennsylvania, 16802. (814) 865-7937

    NOTE: I will be attending the Annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting in
    Orlando, Florida from November 2nd through the 9th. Anyone, also attending
    the meeting, who would like to discuss this position can contact me at my
    posters (4 throughout the week), or by leaving a message at the message
    center, or by email. I would be happy to discuss the position during the

    ************************************************** *****************

    Movement Neuroscience Laboratory:

    The Movement Neuroscience Laboratory is located within the kinesiology
    department at The Pennsylvania State University. Our research program
    integrates biomechanical with neurobiological principles and techniques to
    elucidate the neural processes underlying the planning and execution of
    multi-joint reaching movements. This work is motivated by a commitment to
    improve clinical rehabilitation for neurologically impaired individuals.

    The Movement Neuroscience Laboratory is equipped with specialized, custom
    built hardware for recording arm movement, force/torque, and muscle
    activation profiles during the performance of computer game-like tasks. We
    have three experimental set-ups, including an air-jet supported friction
    free manipulandum, a 6-DOF recording system, and a programmable robot arm
    manipulandum to apply forces to the arm during movement.

    Our current program is split into three lines of work, focusing on the
    neural control of multi-joint reaching movements: 1) The roles of different
    sensory modalities in programming and executing reaching movements. 2)
    Learning and generalization of performance during practice under novel
    dynamic and visuomotor conditions. 3) The neural foundations of handedness.
    Handedness provides a natural window into the normal organization of the
    motor control system because interlimb differences in coordination appear to
    result from neurophysiological, in contrast to, biomechanical asymmetries.
    Recent findings from this laboratory indicate that handedness results from
    specialized contributions of each cerebral hemisphere to different aspects
    of motor control, which is consistent with other limbs of our research
    indicating that control of posture and control of movement are regulated
    through distinct neural processes. In summary, our research employs an
    interdisciplinary approach to studying basic mechanisms of motor control,
    and is ultimately directed toward effecting improvements in clinical

    Robert L. Sainburg, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Kinesiology, Physiology, and Neuroscience
    Pennsylvania State University
    266 Recreation Building
    University Park PA 16802
    Tel.: (814)-865-7937

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