PUBLICATION: June 2012, Research on multisensory fusion in children from Cognitive Motor Neuroscience team accepted for publication in PLoS ONE.
LAB NEWS: Congratulations to lab team members David Logan and Eric Anson who were awarded summer research fellowships from the University of Maryland.
GRANT NEWS: Drs. Jeka and Kiemel's recent NSF grant proposal on "Collaborative Research: Understanding the rules for human rhythmic coordination: From Walking to Juggling" was funded. In addition to Drs. Jeka and Kiemel, the other PIs are Dr. Norm Werely (Aerospace Engineering) and Dr. Noah Cowan (Johns Hopkins U - Mechanical Engineering). The project will study the common rules through which sensory information (vision, inner ear, etc.) is used to stabilize rhythmic behaviors such as walking and juggling. It is a 3-year grant totaling $625,000.
John Jeka elected to the Barany Society. The aim of the Bárány Society is to facilitate contacts between basic scientists and clinicians engaged in vestibular research and to stimulate otoneurological research.
Consider the problem : standing on a small tippy boat on ocean water illustrates a problem for people with a balance deficit. The surface on which they stand is not the firm surface that healthy people take for granted. Instead many people with balance problems are constantly making adjustments for the unstable surface which their brain perceives. The environment through which we move is not determined solely by its physical properties, but is shaped by how our senses process those properties. When those senses stop working properly, we perceive a very different world and our ability to move through it suffers enormously.
In my laboratory, we study how the brain combines sensory information about the environment and one's own body movement to better understand patient populations with neurological disease and injury that lead to balance problems.
RESEARCH METHODS ::
Behavioral, computational and genetic methods are used in conjunction with virtual reality techniques to study human motor control and orientation in simulated sensory environments.
We use room-sized advanced visualization that combines high-resolution, stereoscopic projection and 3-D computer graphics to create a complete sense of presence in a virtual environment.
Combined with techniques that precisely manipulate input from vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile sensory systems, postural control mechanisms are then studied with particular regard for the processes involved in fusing information from different sensory systems to provide an overall estimate of body dynamics. Computational methods combine mechanisms of multisensory fusion with biomechanical investigations of multilink body dynamics to develop realistic models of human postural control.
The combination of experimental studies with computational models is applied to the development of new techniques and assistive devices for treatment of patient populations with balance disorders including Parkinson’s disease, individuals with the loss of inner ear (vestibular) function, elderly individuals at risk of falling and the genetic basis of vestibular dysfunction.
RESEARCH GROUP :: Our multidisciplinary lab group, which includes physical therapists, kinesiologists, biomechanists, engineers and mathematicians, (including various party-planners and extreme sports enthusiasts) reflects the basic-to-applied range of problems we are investigating.
TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES ::
I welcome students and postdocs with clinical, engineering, neuroscience, psychology or kinesiology background to join my lab in one of two routes.
or... Search for John Jeka in PubMed (National Library of Science)
This is an automatic search for PubMed listings of John Jeka's research publications and their abstracts. You can order here as well as find related articles.