Valeriya Gritsenko, PhD
PO Box 9226
W.V.U. School of Medicine
Department of Physical Therapy
Morgantown, WV 26505
The Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation Laboratory (NERL) under Dr. Gritsenko’s leadrship studies human sensorimotor control and develops new rehabilitation methods. We use a multidisciplinary approach that combines experiments and modeling to investigate the functional organization of the motor system in healthy people and in neurological patients. With a variety of techniques, such as motion capture, electromyography, transcranial magnetic stimulation, functional electrical stimulation, and biomechanical modeling, we are looking for answers to big questions in neuroscience.The overall goals of our research are to understand all the pathways and their interactions in the human sensorimotor system and to design maximally-efficient rehabilitation approaches to help people recover from damage to these pathways.
- One of the fundamental questions in motor control research is how the information from body sensors is used to control movement
We conduct basic sensorimotor research that addressed this question in humans using experimental and computational techniques. We have shown that proprioception is combined with internal predictive signals to optimally sense limb state. We have also shown that this optimal state estimation signal is used as part of a rapid error feedback to respond to external and internal perturbations of ongoing movement. We found that this "online correction" relies on proportional dynamic error feedback to adjust movement and that it has limited plasticity in presence of visuomotor transformations. These studies revealed specific mechanisms of how proprioception is combined with vision and internal predictive signals for movement execution.
- There is a general drive in the clinical and scientific community to translate scientific knowledge of mechanisms into improved medical care.
We develop quantitative methods of impairment assessment using low-cost motion capture systems. Such tools are urgently needed to standardize assessment and therapy and to track patient’s progress with objective outcome measures. This research has led to the development of automated clinical tests that could be administered and scored in minutes prior to a clinical visit.