My main research interest is how humans are able to walk on two legs with such remarkable ease. I am convinced that this is due to two things; 1) the way the human body is build, and 2) remarkable control from the central nervous system. In my research, I try to disentangle how this control is achieved.
For instance, during my time as postdoc in Leuven, I combined kinematic measures of gait with brain imaging methods, in order to focus on the neural control of gait stability. I designed a gait-related dual-task paradigm combining fMRI and state-of-the-art diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). This project helped to identify (some) gait-related brain areas and corresponding pathways.
Recently, in my NWO-Veni funded project, I've used measurements of brain activity during walking, by means of Electro-EncephaloGraphy to see which parts of the brain are involved in making us walk stable on two legs.
Currently, I am starting up and NWO-VIDI project, to follow up on my Veni project. In this project, I will test the hypothesis that gait stability is controlled only in certain moments in the gait cycle. A project page on this project will be online soon.
Other research interests
- I did my internship on the coordination of transverse pelvis and thorax rotations during walking, and continue to have an interest in the coordination of the trunk while walking (see Bruijn et al., 2008; Wu et al., 2008), and am currently supervising a PhD student on this topic.
- Together with Myrthe Plaisier, I'm working on a more applied project, in which we look into the possibility of improving tactile pavement for navigation. Find more details on the project here.
- There are currently no news available
- There are currently no news available
- Building on research on kinematic measures and neural correlates of gait stability, we hypothesize that several distinct phases of the gait cycle require active control.
- Studying motor-related changes of synchronized neural activity and its network-like distribution elucidates how the brain can operate as functional unit despite numerous anatomical connections between simultaneously active neurons.
- Walking on two legs is inherently unstable. Still, we humans perform remarkable well at it, mostly without falling. We measure and perturbed walking to gain more insight into the role of the central nervous system in controlling gait stability.
- No activities at the moment.
Excerpts of scientific work
- The influence of postural threat on strategy selection in a stepping-down paradigm
- Head orientation and gait stability in young adults, dancers and older adults
- The effect of anteroposterior perturbations on the control of the center of mass during treadmill walking
- Modulation of soleus muscle H-reflexes and ankle muscle co-contraction with surface compliance during unipedal balancing in young and older adults
- Gait stability at early stages of multiple sclerosis using different data sources
- A novel Movement Amplification environment reveals effects of controlling lateral centre of mass motion on gait stability and metabolic cost
- Does misjudgement in a stepping down paradigm predict falls in an older population?
- The effect of external lateral stabilization on the use of foot placement to control mediolateral stability in walking and running
- Axial pelvis range of motion affects thorax-pelvis timing during gait
- The effect of a passive trunk exoskeleton on metabolic costs during lifting and walking
- Influence of arm swing on cost of transport during walking
- On the manipulability of swing foot and stability of human locomotion
- Does a Perturbation Based Gait Intervention Enhance Gait Stability in Fall Prone Stroke Survivors? A Pilot Study
- Axial Thorax-Pelvis Coordination During Gait is not Predictive of Apparent Trunk Stiffness
- Gait stability in response to platform, belt, and sensory perturbations in young and older adults
- Do older adults select appropriate motor strategies in a stepping-down paradigm?
- Different neural substrates for precision stepping and fast online step adjustments in youth
- Improved prediction of falls in community-dwelling older adults through phase-dependent entropy of daily-life walking
- Evidence of splinting in low back pain? A systematic review of perturbation studies
- On the validity and consistency of misjudgment of stepping ability in young and older adults
- Changes in gait characteristics of women with early and established medial knee osteoarthritis: Results from a 2-years longitudinal study
- Virtual obstacle crossing: Reliability and differences in stroke survivors who prospectively experienced falls or no falls
- Dynamic and static knee alignment at baseline predict structural abnormalities on MRI associated with medial compartment knee osteoarthritis after 2 years
- Fractional stability of trunk acceleration dynamics of daily-life walking: Toward a unified concept of gait stability
- How to measure responses of the knee to lateral perturbations during gait? A proof-of-principle for quantification of knee instability
- Responses to gait perturbations in stroke survivors who prospectively experienced falls or no falls
- Do clinical assessments, steady-state or daily-life gait characteristics predict falls in ambulatory chronic stroke survivors?
- Over-and underestimation of older adults: How older adults judge their own gait ability
- Slow maturation of planning in obstacle avoidance in humans
- Age-related neural correlates of cognitive task performance under increased postural load
- Gait stability in children with Cerebral Palsy
- Are stability issues a potential cause for adaptations in split belt walking? (vol 36, pg 1, 2012)
- Selective bilateral activation of leg muscles after cutaneous nerve stimulation during backward walking
- Split-belt walking: adaptation differences between young and older adults
- Is interlimb coordination during walking preserved in children with cerebral palsy?
- Determinants of co-contraction during walking before and after arthroplasty for knee osteoarthritis
- The effects of knee arthroplaste on walking speed. A meta-analysis.
- Understanding the Active Straight Leg Raise (ASLR): An electromyographic study in healthy subjects
- Control of the lateral abdominal muscles during walking.
- Mechanical coupling between transverse plane pelvis and thorax rotations during gait is higher in people with low back pain
- Maximum Lyapunov exponents as predictors of global gait stability: A modelling approach
- Control of angular momentum during walking in children with cerebral palsy
- Sensitivity of Local Dynamic Stability of Over-Ground Walking to Balance Impairment Due to Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation.
- The validity of stability measures: a modeling approach
- Gait adaptations in low back pain patients with lumbar disc herniation: Trunk coordination and arm swing
- Is the psoas a hip flexor in the active straight leg raise?
- Sensitivity of trunk variability and stability measures to balance impairments induced by galvanic vestibular stimulation during gait.
- Muscle activity during the active straight leg raise (ASLR), and the effects of a pelvic belt on the ASLR and on treadmill walking
- The effects of stride length and stride frequency on trunk coordination in human walking
- The effects of arm swing on human gait stability