Motor control is concerned with issues of control and coordination of such fundamental motor activities as posture, locomotion, multi-joint reaching movement, and prehension.
Particular themes of research include: the coordination and control of movements in young healthy individuals, neurophysiological mechanisms of movement control and coordination, the importance of biomechanical factors for motor control, the development of movement control and coordination from a life-span perspective, changes in motor control with aging, and movement disorders. These research programs emphasize both basic and applied elements within the area of production of voluntary movements.
This program allows considerable flexibility in designing the course of study. Students may enroll in any courses offered in the department as well as in independent study courses designed to promote research involvement in a topic of their particular interest. Graduate students are involved in research under the direction of a faculty member of the Motor Control area. Collaborative research and educational arrangements are also available with a wide range of faculty in other departments of the University. Graduate studies in Motor Control at Penn State have gained national and international recognition through the research and other professional activities of the faculty.
The faculty in the Motor Control area have well-equipped laboratories to conduct their particular lines of research. These include systems for recording the kinematics of human movement, reaction forces during postural and movement tasks, electrophysiological setups for recording electromyographic and electroencephalographic signals, and instruments for a variety of other purposes.
There is a particular emphasis on the development of new techniques for data processing and visualization including computer-based analysis of time series.
Learn more about the faculty members who mentor Motor Control graduate students at Penn State:
- Mark L. Latash, Distinguished Professor of Kinesiology
- Kristina Neely, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology
- Karl M. Newell, Marie Underhill Noll Chair and Head of Department
- Robert Sainburg, Professor of Kinesiology and Neurology
Additional faculty who have an interest in this area: