Post Doctoral Research Fellow
Biomechanics Laboratory

Department of Kinesiology

Penn State University

With Dr. Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky and

Dr. Mark L. Latash


Postdoc position in hand biomechanics and motor control
at The Pennsylvania State University
The Biomechanics Laboratory at Penn State University is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow interested in hand and finger biomechanics and motor control of hand function. The research is conducted together with the Motor Control lab and is performed under the guidance of Prof. V. M. Zatsiorsky (biomechanics) and Prof. M.L. Latash (motor control). The position is for two years with the possibility of renewal. The position is funded by an NIH grant.


CURRENT RESEARCH

The current research program is aimed at understanding of the hand biomechanics and finger coordination/control in prehension tasks involving several digits, force sharing among fingers as a model of the redundancy problem, biomechanics and control of manipulation in elderly and in patients with central and peripheral motor disorders, e.g. in carpal tunnel syndrome patients. A continuing focus for many of the research projects will be analyzing the biomechanical aspects of motor control problems especially related to manipulation of the hand-held objects. This direction of research combines biomechanics, motor control, robotics and clinical disciplines. The Laboratory has unique equipment to perform this research.

The Laboratory is highly productive with a total number of publications per year exceeding 10 papers in peer-reviewed journals. A short list of recent publications is presented at the end of this letter.



REQUIREMENTS

An ideal candidate would have earned a PhD in the area of biomechanics, motor control, robotics, biomechanical engineering, neuroscience, or a related field. Outstanding young scientists from the biological and engineering sciences with a record of scientific excellence and a strong interest in interdisciplinary approach to motor control are encouraged to apply.

Candidates should have strong interest in pursuing research in Biomechanics, Neuroscience and/or Motor Control of hand function. The applicant is expected to get involved in existing research projects but is also encouraged to bring to bear his/her own research topics.

Technical expertise using data collection systems such as force/torque
transducers and EMG is desired. Experience with computers and programming
is expected. Previous experience in analyzing and interpreting kinetic and kinematic data using LabView and/or MatLab software would be advantageous. Fluent English and good writing skills are expected.



ENVIRONMENT

The successful applicant will join a multidisciplinary team of
investigators with complementary research programs examining various
aspects of the musculoskeletal system. The Penn State Department of Kinesiology provides an intellectually stimulating and scientifically fertile environment. Several excellent seminars attract prominent scientists from around the globe. The Department regularly hosts international visiting scientists, and have frequent scientific and social interactions between and within laboratories. Our group has interactions and occasional collaborations with the laboratories of Karl Newell, Robert Sainburg, Dagmar Sternad, David Rosenbaum, Steve Piazza, John Challis, Neil Sharkey, and Phil Martin among many others.



APPLICATION

Interested candidates are kindly requested to send a letter of interest by email to: Prof. Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, . The letter should describe the candidate's motivations, previous research experience, and relevant skills. The letter should be accompanied by a short CV with the list of publications. In addition, three letters of reference will be requested.





Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky,

Professor

Biomechanics Laboratory

39 Rec. Bldg

Department of Kinesiology

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park,

PA 16802



Phone: (814) 865-4445

(814) 865-3446

Fax: (814) 865-2440

Email:



P.S. Recent publications on hand function

2006

1. Aoki, T.; Niu, X.; Latash, M. L., and Zatsiorsky, V. M. Effects of friction at the digit-object interface on the digit forces in multi-finger prehension. Exp Brain Res. 2006 Jul; 172(4):425-38.

2. Gao, F.; Latash, M. L., and Zatsiorsky, V. M. Maintaining rotational equilibrium during object manipulation: linear behavior of a highly non-linear system. Exp Brain Res. 2006 Mar; 169(4):519-31.

3. Kim, S. W.; Shim, J. K.; Zatsiorsky, V. M., and Latash, M. L. Anticipatory adjustments of multi-finger synergies in preparation for self-triggered perturbations. Exp Brain Res. 2006 May 25.

4. Latash ML; Shim JK; M. Shinohara, and Zatsiorsky VM. Changes in finger coordination with advanced age. Latash ML and Lestienne F, eds. Motor Control and Learning. New York: Springer; 2006; pp. 141-160.

5. Latash ML; Shim JK; Shinohara M, and Zatsiorsky VM. Changes in finger coordination and hand function with advanced age. Latash ML and Lestienne F, eds. Motor Control and Learning. Springer; 2006; pp. 141-159.

6. Shim, J. K.; Park, J.; Zatsiorsky, V. M., and Latash, M. L. Adjustments of prehension synergies in response to self-triggered and experimenter-triggered load and torque perturbations. Exp Brain Res. 2006 Jun 28.

7. Zatsiorsky, V. M.; Gao, F., and Latash, M. L. Prehension stability: experiments with expanding and contracting handle. J Neurophysiol. 2006 Apr; 95(4):2513-29.

8. Zhang, W.; Zatsiorsky, V. M., and Latash, M. L. Accurate production of time-varying patterns of the moment of force in multi-finger tasks. Exp Brain Res. 2006 May 24.



2005

1. Gao, F.; Latash, M. L., and Zatsiorsky, V. M. Control of finger force direction in the flexion-extension plane. Exp Brain Res. 2005 Mar; 161(3):307-15.

2. Gao, F.; Latash, M. L., and Zatsiorsky, V. M.. Internal forces during object manipulation. Exp Brain Res. 2005 Aug; 165(1):69-83.

3. Goodman, S. R.; Shim, J. K.; Zatsiorsky, V. M., and Latash, M. L. Motor variability within a multi-effector system: experimental and analytical studies of multi-finger production of quick force pulses. Exp Brain Res. 2005 May; 163(1):75-85.

4. Latash, M. L.; Shim, J. K.; Smilga, A. V., and Zatsiorsky, V. M. A central back-coupling hypothesis on the organization of motor synergies: a physical metaphor and a neural model. Biol Cybern. 2005 Mar; 92(3):186-91.

5. Olafsdottir, H.; Yoshida, N.; Zatsiorsky, V. M., and Latash, M. L. Anticipatory covariation of finger forces during self-paced and reaction time force production. Neurosci Lett. 2005 Jun 10-2005 Jun 17; 381(1-2):92-6.

6. Olafsdottir, H.; Zatsiorsky, V. M., and Latash, M. L. Is the thumb a fifth finger? A study of digit interaction during force production tasks. Exp Brain Res. 2005 Jan; 160(2):203-13.

7. Pataky, T. C.; Latash, M. L., and Zatsiorsky, V. M. Viscoelastic response of the finger pad to incremental tangential displacements. J Biomech. 2005 Jul; 38(7):1441-9.

8. Shim, J. K.; Kim, S. W.; Oh, S. J.; Kang, N.; Zatsiorsky, V. M., and Latash, M. L. Plastic changes in interhemispheric inhibition with practice of a two-hand force production task: a transcranial magnetic stimulation study. Neurosci Lett. 2005 Feb 10; 374(2):104-8.

9. Shim, J. K.; Latash, M. L., and Zatsiorsky, V. M. Prehension synergies in three dimensions. J Neurophysiol. 2005 Feb; 93(2):766-76.

10. Shim, J. K.; Latash, M. L., and Zatsiorsky, V. M -. Prehension synergies: trial-to-trial variability and principle of superposition during static prehension in three dimensions. J Neurophysiol. 2005 Jun; 93(6):3649-58.

11. Shim, J. K.; Olafsdottir, H.; Zatsiorsky, V. M., and Latash, M. L. The emergence and disappearance of multi-digit synergies during force-production tasks. Exp Brain Res. 2005 Jul; 164(2):260-70.

12. Zatsiorsky, V. M.; Gao, F., and Latash, M. L. Motor control goes beyond physics: differential effects of gravity and inertia on finger forces during manipulation of hand-held objects. Exp Brain Res. 2005 Apr; 162(3):300-8.

2004

1. Gao F; Latash ML, and Zatsiorsky VM. Neural network modeling supports a theory on the hierarchical control of prehension. Neural Computing & Applications. 2004; 13(4):352-359.

2. Goodman, S. R.; Latash, M. L., and Zatsiorsky, V. M. Indices of nonlinearity in finger force interaction. Biol Cybern. 2004 Apr; 90(4):264-71.

3. Kang, N.; Shinohara, M.; Zatsiorsky, V. M., and Latash, M. L. Learning multi-finger synergies: an uncontrolled manifold analysis. Exp Brain Res. 2004 Aug; 157(3):336-50.

4. Latash, M. L.; Shim, J. K.; Gao, F., and Zatsiorsky, V. M. Rotational equilibrium during multi-digit pressing and prehension. Motor Control. 2004 Oct; 8(4):392-404.

5. Latash, M. L.; Shim, J. K., and Zatsiorsky, V. M. Is there a timing synergy during multi-finger production of quick force pulses? Exp Brain Res. 2004 Nov; 159(1):65-71.

6. Latash ML; Jaric S; Scholz JP, and Zatsiorsky VM. Motor synergies and their changes with practice. Waskiewicz Z; Juras G, and Raczek J. (eds.) Current Research in Motor Control II. Katowice, Poland: University School of Physical Education in Katowice; 2004; pp. 10-17.

7. Li, S.; Latash, M. L., and Zatsiorsky, V. M. Effects of motor imagery on finger force responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation. Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2004 Jul; 20(2):273-80.

8. Pataky, T.; Latash, M., and Zatsiorsky, V. Tangential load sharing among fingers during prehension. Ergonomics. 2004 Jun 22; 47(8):876-89.

9. Pataky, T. C.; Latash, M. L., and Zatsiorsky, V. M. Prehension synergies during nonvertical grasping, I: experimental observations. Biol Cybern. 2004 Sep; 91(3):148-58.

10. Pataky, T. C.; Latash, M. L., and Zatsiorsky, V. M.. Prehension synergies during nonvertical grasping, II: Modeling and optimization. Biol Cybern. 2004 Oct; 91(4):231-42.

11. Shim, J. K.; Latash, M. L., and Zatsiorsky, V. M. Finger coordination during moment production on a mechanically fixed object. Exp Brain Res. 2004 Aug; 157(4):457-67.

12. Shim, J. K.; Lay, B. S.; Zatsiorsky, V. M., and Latash, M. L. Age-related changes in finger coordination in static prehension tasks. J Appl Physiol. 2004 Jul; 97(1):213-24.

13. Shinohara, M.; Scholz, J. P.; Zatsiorsky, V. M., and Latash, M. L. Finger interaction during accurate multi-finger force production tasks in young and elderly persons. Exp Brain Res. 2004 Jun; 156(3):282-92.

14. Zatsiorsky, V. M. and Latash, M. L. Prehension synergies. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2004 Apr; 32(2):75-80.

15. Zatsiorsky VM; Latash ML; Danion F; Gao F; Li ZM; Gregory RW, and Li S. Inter-finger connection matrices. Bubak M; van Albada GD; Sloot PMA, and Dongarra JJ, Eds. Computational Science - ICCS 2004, 4th International Conference; Krakow, Poland. Berlin: Springer; 2004: 1056-1064.

16. Zatsiorsky VM; Latash ML; Gao F, and Shim JK. The principle of superposition in human prehension. Robotica. 2004; 22:231-234.