University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Departmental Seminar: Biomedical Engineering in Walking Rehabilitation: Optimizing Motor Learning


Monday, December 1, 2014 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm


Julia T Choi, PhD Assistant Professor of Kinesiology


Kellogg Room, ELab II



The ability of animals to maneuver over obstacles and uneven surfaces is unparalleled by any man-made robots. This has inspired researchers to investigate neuromechanical mechanisms of animal locomotion and to incorporate biological principles into the design of robots capable of agile locomotion in complex environments.

Basic walking patterns and voluntary control are both often disrupted after neurological injuries (e.g., stroke). My laboratory’s long-term goals are to integrate knowledge about the neural mechanisms for walking control in humans, and to develop neurorehabilitation tools that can improve complex walking function after brain injury.

In my talk, I will discuss the following questions related to walking adaptation: How does the human nervous system adapt walking patterns to novel contexts (e.g., split-belt treadmill walking)? What are the affects of brain damage? Can we augment adaptation using visual feedback? Can we extend training effectively using home-based devices (e.g., Microsoft Kinect, passive split-belt treadmill)?