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Sensory-Motor Rehabilitation Technology Laboratory

Sensory-Motor Rehabilitation Technology Laboratory

Head of Laboratory: Erika G. Spaich, Associate Professor (ESpaich)
This lab is affiliated to the Integrative Neuroscience Research Group

Aim

The aim of the laboratory is to develop techniques for assisting gait rehabilitation after cerebral stroke. The nociceptive withdrawal reflex is the underlying method for generating joint flexion/extension during the swing phase of gait. Basic understanding of the motor control of the reflex during gait is also in focus.

                                      

Main Research Areas

  1. Organisation of the human withdrawal reflex during different postural conditions and gait
    The spinal organisation and control of withdrawal reflexes receives substantial attention in the lab. A method for quantifying the reflex receptive field has been derived. The method has revealed an intrinsic modular organisation of the human withdrawal reflex in accordance with findings in animals but this organisation is highly modulated by posture and during gait. Further studies into the nature of the reflex and the interaction between reflex control and motor program execution are ongoing.
  2. Gait support in hemiplegics:
    Knowledge on the spinal organisation of the reflex is utilized for designing the most optimal support of the hemiplegic gait by changing stimulation site, intensity, and timing during the gait cycle. Identification of strategies for controlling the reflex size and the reflex direction during gait is underway. This includes stimulation configuration, sensor technology, machine learning, and experimental validation. The goal is to establish a tool for sub-acute rehabilitation of gait in stroke patients.

Key Collaborators

  • Mariano Serrao and Giorgio Sandrini, University Center for Adaptive Disorders and Headache, IRCCS C. Mondino Institute of Neurology Foundation, University of Pavia, Italy.
  • E. Paul Zehr, Rehabilitation Neuroscience Laboratory, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada
  • Dario Liebermann, Department of Physical Therapy, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel.
  • Zlatko Madjacic, Institute for Rehabilitation, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
  • Niels Svaneborg, Brønderslev Rehabilitation Center, Vensyssel Hospital, Denmark.

Location

Fredrik Bajers Vej 7D, 3-102