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   Dagmar Sternad

   Professor
   Departments of Biology, Electrical & Computer Engineering,
   and Physics
 

Northeastern University
134 Mugar Life Science Building

360 Huntington Avenue

Boston, MA 02115

Phone : 617.373.5093

e-mail : dagmar@neu.edu

 

 

 

 

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Research in the Action Lab

 

The Action Lab is a research facility dedicated to the experimental study of human motor control. More specifically, we study human action and perception focusing on physical and mechanical aspects of both the performer and the task.

Five major lines of our research investigate the generation of perceptually controlled behavior in biological systems.

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Discrete and rhythmic elements in single- and multi-joint movements. The hypothesis is that unconstrained multi-joint movements can be understood in terms of two fundamental units of action: discrete movements and rhythmic movements. 

 

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Brain activity in rhythmic and discrete movements. Using functional magnetic imaging we examine the neural substrates involved in the generation of rhythmic and non-rhythmic finger movements.

 

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Tuning into dynamic stability. The complex task of bouncing a ball is studied in a task-based approach, where dynamical stability provides the framework for defining successful performance.

 

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The role of resonance properties of the limb in rhythmic movements. We show that resonance properties are essential in understanding rhythmic variability and tracking performance.

 

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Variability and stability in skill acquisition. We developed a new approach to quantify performance and change in redundant tasks. The method decomposes variability into three components that quantify different aspects and stages of skill improvement.