We have been investigating impedance control and acquisition of internal models during adaptation to novel mechanical environments both at the Computational Neuroscience Laboratories of the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, located in the scenic Kansai region of Japan, between Kyoto and Osaka and at Simon Fraser Unversity.
This on-going project is the collaborative effort of Dr. Ted Milner, Dr. Mitsuo Kawato, Dr. Etienne Burdet (below), Dr. Rieko Osu, Dr. David Franklin and Dr. Andrew Chapman. At McGill University, we will be investigating the mechanisms of interference in motor learning and performance.
Functional Brain Imaging
We are investigating the role of different areas of the brain in sensorimotor processing in the context of adaptation and representation of physical interaction with the mechanical environment.
We are investigating the factors that govern the changes in activation of leg muscles to changes in the mechanical load while cycling. We are testing the hypothesis that metabolic cost is an important factor as well as the force-velocity properties of muscle.
Robot Assisted Rehabilitation
We have developed two novel haptic interfaces for hand rehabilitation after stroke. One is a haptic knob to train opening and closing of the hand, together with pronation and supination of the wrist. The other is a cable-driven device to train finger flexion and extension and finger independency. Subjects perform exercises customized to their functional impairments using these interfaces. The interfaces can be used both for training and assessment. Measurements of force and displacement are combined with EMG measurements to monitor progress.