Dr Aleksandra Birn-Jeffery
I am interested in understanding what the underlying control priorities of movement are, how these are affected by steady and non-steady scenarios, and how they may change with musculoskeletal disease. Determining the key control factors during locomotion will lead to developing validated measures of assessing the severity of movement deficits, and help to identify the crucial elements and focus of rehabilitation programmes. Additionally, control factor identification could potentially lead to novel ideas and designs of robotic devices.
Currently, I use a variety of different systems to assess the neuromechanics of locomotion, and in particular focus on using non-steady movements, where control is pushed further to help identify parameters important for movement success. Challenging the movement control increases the variability of the movement paths which additionally may be a more sensitive indicator of where the neuromechanical system is not able to cope with the given demands, which could potentially lead to injury. Identifying key neuromechanical control parameters could lead to improved classification of the musculoskeletal disease severity, changes in rehabilitation programmes and development of assistive robotic devices for gait deficits.