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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
December 20, 2014
 
 
Canadian Excellence

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Projects



Motor Dominance Development Over the Lifespan

The objectives of this research project are to examine the trends and determinants of the lateralization of motor dominance throughout the lifespan. This research was sparked by the lack of documentation outlining what direction laterality will drift towards as we progress through adulthood and into old age. The goal of this examination is to provide an understanding of normative, healthy aging in regards to the lateralization of motor ability. In doing so this knowledge would identify deviants as ‘at risk’ of an emerging movement disorder. 

 

Examining Concussion Progression

This research is focused on applying a highly destabilizing task such as gait initiation to analyze concussion progression. By biomechanically analyzing the early stages in a step cycle we are able to identify differences between concussed and non-concussed individuals to provide a representation of the stage of their concussion. The long-term goal of this research is to clarify and eliminate the guesswork employed in current return-to-play measures for athletes.

Improving Dynamic Stability through Static Stability Training

The research interests of this project involve the mechanics of balance control in populations with mobility impairments (i.e., clinical populations and aging). The specific focus is on understanding how static stability training may lead to improvements in static and dynamic stability control when each of these forms of stability are challenged (i.e., during changes in direction and elevation during locomotion and reduced sensory information during stance). One of the paradigms utilized is training on the Nintendo Wii © Balance Board. The long term goal of this research is to not only identify promising interventions to increase balance, but to better understand the neural and biomechanical mechanisms involved in the control of balance and posture during locomotion.