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Cathy L. Ciolek

John P. Scholz

Physical Therapy Department
307 McKinly Lab/ 326 McKinly Lab

Research Interests

Dr. Scholz' research is directed toward understanding basic processes underlying the control and coordination of movement in healthy individuals and in patients with movement dysfunction, particularly individuals with stroke. This work combines mathematical modeling with experiments designed to understand how the nervous system solves the purported "problem" of motor redundancy to learn and achieve successful functional movement tasks. This work has focused to date on the coordination of postural tasks (standing and sit-to-stand) and skilled upper extremity activities such as reaching, pointing and drawing tasks. Another line of investigation studies recovery of walking in individuals surviving a stroke by using a novel approach combining robotics, functional electrical stimulation and motor learning. This latter work is in collaboration with other faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Physical Therapy.


  • 1986 The University of Conneticut – Ph.D.: Experimental Pyschology/Motor Control
  • 1978 The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – M.A. Degree: Pediatric Physical Therapy 
    Major Advisor: Suzann K. Campbell, Ph.D., P.T.
  • 1973 The University of Pennsylvania School of Allied Medical Professions – Certificate: Physical Therapy
  • 1971 West Chester State College – B.S.Major: Health Education
  • 1968 The Pennsylvania State University – Major: Education

Professional Experience

  • Sept., 2006-Present: Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, and Biomechanics and Movement Science Program, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716
  • Sept95-Aug06 University of Delaware, Department of Physical Therapy, Associate Professor
  • Sept02-Jun03 University of Delaware, Biomechanics and Movement Science Graduate Program; Acting Director
  • Jan97-Sept97 Pennsylvania State University, Motor Control Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology; Visiting Professor
  • Sept88-Aug94 University of Delaware, School of Life & Health Sciences, Assistant Professor
  • Sept86-Sept88 George State University, Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Sciences, Assistant Professor
  • Sept87-Sept88 George State University, Laboratory of Behavior and Neurobiology, Assistant Professor
  • Jan84-Aug86 Haskins Laboratory, New Haven, CT; Research Assistant
  • Sept80-Aug81 University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Program in Physical Therapy, Department of Allied Health, Assistant Professor
  • June78-Aug80 The University of Texas at San Antonio, Program in Physical Therapy, Division of Allied Health & Life Sciences, Instructor
  • Oct73-Aug76 Elizabethtown Hospital for Children & Youth, Elizabethtown, PA; Staff Physical Therapist

Recent Publications/Books & Publications

  • Kao P-C, Srivastava S, Agrawal SK, Scholz JP (2012). Effect of robotic performance-based error-augmentation versus error-reduction training on the gait pattern of healthy individuals, Gait & Posture, in press, Published online 7/24/2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gaitpost.2012.06.025.
  • Park ES, Scholz JP, Schöner G (2012). Functional synergies underlying the control of posture during changes in head orientation, PLoS One, in press.
  • Scholz JP, Park ES, Jeka JJ, Schöner G, Kiemel T (2012). How visual information links to the multijoint coordination of quiet standing, Experimental Brain Research, in press.
  • Hsu W-L, Scholz JP (2011). Motor abundance supports multi-tasking while standing. Human Movement Science, http://dx.doi.org.proxy.nss.udel.edu/10.1016/j.humov.2011.07.017.
  • Feitas SMSF, Gera G, Scholz JP (2011). Trajectory timing variability of reach trajectories in left versus right hemisphere stroke. Brain Research, 1419:19-33.
  • Mattos D, Park E, Kuhl J, Scholz JP, Latash ML (2011) Unpredictable elbow joint perturbation during reaching results in multijoint motor equivalence. Journal of
Neurophysiology, 106(3): 1424-36.
  • Scholz JP, Tseng YW, Dwight T, Lynch J, Martin V, Schöner G (2011) Motor equivalence and self-motion induced by different movement speeds. Experimental Brain
Research, 209: 319-332.
  • Latash ML, Levin J, Scholz JP, Schoner G (2010). Motor control theories and their applications. Medicina, 46(6): 382-392. PMID: 20944446
  • Noehren B, Scholz JP, Davis I(2010). The effect of real-time gait retraining on hip kinematics, pain and function in subject with patellorfemoral pain syndrom. British Journal of Sports Medicine. Doi:10.1136/bjsm.2009.069112.
  • Kim SH, Banala S, Agrawal SK, Krishnamoorthy V, Scholz JP (2010) Robot-assisted Modifications of Gait in Healthy Individuals. Experimental Brain Research, 2010 May;202(4). Epub 2010 Feb 23. PMID: 20186402
  • Banala SK, Agrawal SK, Kim SH, Scholz JP (2010). Novel gait adaptation and neuro-motor training results using an Active Leg Exoskeleton (ALEX). IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, in press.
  • Freitas SMSF, Scholz JP, Latash ML (2010). Analyses of joint variance related to voluntary whole-body movements performed in standing. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 2010 Apr 30;188(1):89-96. Epub 2010 Jan 25. PMID: 20105441
  • Freitas SMSF, Scholz JP (2010). Comparison of methods for identifying the Jacobian for uncontrolled manifold variance analysis. Journal of Biomechanics, 2010 Mar3;43(4):775-7. Epub 2009 Dec 14. PMID: 19922938
  • Gera G, Freitas SMSF, Latash ML, Monahan K, Schöner G, Scholz JP (2009) Motor abundance contributes to resolving multiple kinematic task constraints. Motor Control, in press.
  • Chang Y-H, Auyang A, Scholz JP, Nichols TR (2009). Control of whole limb kinematics is referentially conserved over individual joint kinematics after peripheral nerve injury. Journal of Experimental Biology, 212, 3511-3521.
  • Freitas SMSF, Scholz JP (2009) Does hand dominance affect the use of motor abundance when reaching to uncertain targets? Human Movement Science, 28: 169–190.
  • Martin V, Scholz JP, Schoner G (2009) Redundancy, self-motion and motor control. Neural Computation. 21(5): in press.
  • Tseng YW, Scholz JP, Galloway JC (2009). The organization of intralimb and interlimb synergies in response to different joint dynamics. Experimental Brain Research. 193: 239-254.
  • Banala SK, Kim SH, Agrawal SK, Scholz JP (2009). Robot assisted gait training with active leg exoskeleton (ALEX). IEEE Transactions On Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 17: 2-8.
  • Krishnamoorthy V, Hsu W-L, Kesar TM, Benoit D, Banala SK, Perumal R, Sangwan V, Binder-Macleod SA, Agrawal SK and Scholz JP (2008). Gait training following stroke: A pilot study combining a gravity-balanced orthosis device, functional electrical stimulation and visual feedback. Journal of Neurological Physical Therapy. 32; 192-202.
  • Tseng YW, Scholz JP, Galloway JC (2008). The organization of intralimb and interlimb synergies in response to different joint dynamics. Experimental Brain Research. [E-pub ahead of print]
  • Fetters L, Scholz JP (2008). Upper-extremity movements of infants with brain injuries. Physical Therapy. 88: 1034-1036.
  • Scholz JP, Kubo M. (2008). Implications of research on motor redundancy for rehabilitation of neurological patients. Journal of the Japanese Physical Therapy Association, in press, 35(8): 357-365.
  • Zhang W, Scholz JP, Zatsiorsky VM, Latash ML (2008). What do synergies do? Effects of secondary constraints on multidigit synergies in accurate force-production tasks. Journal of Neurophysiology. 99: 500-513
  • Agrawal SK, Banala SK, Fattah A, Sangwan V, Krishnamoorthy V, Scholz JP, Hsu W-L (2007). Assessment of motion of a swing leg and gait rehabilitation with a gravity-balancing exoskeleton. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering. 15: 410-420
  • Schöner G, Scholz JP (2007). Analyzing multi-degree-of-freedom movement systems based on variance: Uncovering structure vs. extracting correlations. Motor Control. 11: 258-274
  • Latash ML, Scholz JP, Schoner G (2007). Toward a new theory of motor synergies. Motor Control, 11:275-307.
  • Hsu W-L, Scholz JP, Schöner G, Jeka J, Kiemel T (2007). Control and estimation of posture during quiet stance depends on multijoint coordination. Journal of Neurophysiology, 97(4):3024-35.
  • De Freitas SMSF, Scholz JP, Stehman AJ (2007). Effect of motor planning on use of motor abundance, Neuroscience Letters, 417: 66-71
  • Scholz JP, Schöner G, Hsu W-L, Jeka JJ, Horak F, Martin V (2007) Motor equivalent control of the center of mass in response to support surface perturbations, Experimental Brain Research, 180: 163-79
  • Reisman D, Scholz JP (2007). Deficits in surface force production during seated reaching in people after stroke, Physical Therapy, 87: 326-366
  • Krishnamoorthy V, Scholz JP, Latash, ML (2007). The use of flexible arm muscle synergies to perform an isometric stabilization task. Clinical Neurophysiology, 118: 525-537
  • Yang JF, Scholz JP, Latash ML (2007). The role of kinematic redundancy in adaptation of reaching. Experimental Brain Research, 176: 54-69
  • Banala SK, Agrawal SK, Fattah A, Krishnamoorthy V, Hsu WL, Scholz J, Rudolph K (2006). Gravity-balancing leg orthosis and its performance evaluation. Robotics, IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 22(6): 1228-1239
  • Tseng YW, Scholz JP (2006) Effect of frequency scaling and arm dynamics on joint coordination underlying the control of circle-drawing. Journal of Motor Behavior, 38: 383-404
  • Tseng Y-W, Scholz JP (2005). Unilateral vs. bilateral coordination of circle-drawing tasks. Acta Psychologica, 120: 172-198
  • Lewek MD, Scholz JP, Rudolph KS, Snyder-Mackler L (2006) Stride-to-stride variability of knee motion in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Gait and Posture , 23: 505-11
  • Reisman D, Scholz JP (2006) Workspace location influences joint coordination during reaching in post-stroke hemiparesis. Experimental Brain Research. 170:265-76
  • Hsu W-L, Krishnamoorthy V, Scholz JP (2006) Evaluation of an alternative test of MVIC for EMG normalization in patient populations. Muscle and Nerve. 33(2): 232-241
  • Latash ML, Krishnamoorthy V, Scholz JP, Zatsiorsky VM. (2005). Postural synergies and their development. Neural Plasticity. 12(2-3):119-30
  • Krisnamoorthy V, Yang J-F, Scholz JP (2005) Joint coordination during quiet stance: Effects of vision. Experimental Brain Research, 164: 1-17
  • Yang J-F and Scholz JP (2005) Learning a throwing task is associated with differential changes in the use of motor abundance. Experimental Brain Research, 163: 137-158
  • Tseng Y-W, Scholz JP (2005)The effect of workspace on the use of motor abundance. Motor Control, 9: 75-100
  • Latash M.L., Jaric S., Scholz J.P., Zatsiorsky V.M. (2004) Motor synergies and their changes with practice. Journal of Human Kinetics,12: 3-14
  • Latash ML, Danion F, Scholz JP, Schoner JP (2004). Coordination of multi-element motor systems based on motor abundance. Progress in Motor Control III.
  • Krishnamoorthy V, Latash ML, Scholz JP, Zatsiorsky V (2004). Muscle modes during shifts of the center of pressure by standing persons: Effect of instability and additional support. Experimental Brain Research, 157: 18-31
  • Shinohara M, Scholz JP, Zatsiorsky VM, Latash ML. (2004). Finger interaction during accurate multi-finger force production tasks in young and elderly persons. Experimental Brain Research, 156:282-92
  • Reisman, D, Scholz JP (2003). Aspects of joint coordination are preserved during pointing in persons with post-stroke hemiparesis. Brain, 126:2510-2527
  • Krishnamoorthy V, Latash ML, Scholz JP, Zatsiorsky V (2003). Muscle synergies during shifts of the center of pressure by standing persons. Experimental Brain Research, 152:281–292
  • Scholz JP, Kang N, Patterson D, Latash ML (2003). Uncontrolled manifold analysis of single trials during multi-finger force production by persons with and without Down syndrome. Experimental Brain Research, 153(1):45-58
  • Latash ML, Scholz JP, Danion F, Zatsiorsky V, Schöner G (2003). Approaches to analysis of handwriting as a task of coordinating a redundant motor system, Human Movement Science, 22: 153-171
  • Tseng Y, Scholz, JP, Schöner G, Hotchkiss L (2003). Effect of accuracy constraint on the underlying joint coordination of pointing movements. Experimental Brain Research, 149: 276:288
  • Danion F, Sch öner G, Latash ML, Li S, Scholz JP, Zatsiorsky VM (2003). A mode hypothesis for finger interaction during multi-finger force production tasks. Biological Cybernetics, 88: 91-98
  • Reisman D, Scholz JP, Schöner G (2002). Differential Joint Coordination in the Tasks of Standing Up and Sitting Down. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 12: 493-505
  • Latash ML, Scholz JP, Danion F, Schöner G (2002). Finger coordination during discrete and oscillatory force production tasks. Experimental Brain Research, 146: 419-432
  • Tseng Y-W, Scholz JP, Schöner G (2002). Goal-equivalent joint coordination in pointing: Affect of vision and arm dominance. Motor Control, 6: 183-204
  • Reisman D, Scholz JP, Schöner G (2002). Coordination underlying the control of whole body momentum during sit-to-stand. Gait and Posture, 15(1): 45-55
  • Latash ML, Scholz JP, Schöner G (2002). Motor control strategies revealed in the structure of motor variability. Exercise and Sport Science Reviews, 30: 26-31
  • Scholz JP, Danion F, Latash ML, Schöner G (2002). Understanding finger coordination through analysis of the structure of force variability. Biological Cybernetics, 86: 29-39
  • Latash ML, Scholz JP, Danion F, Schöner G (2001). Structure of motor variability in marginally redundant multi-finger force production tasks. Experimental Brain Research, 141: 153-165
  • Scholz JP, Reisman D, Schöner G (2001). Effects of Varying Task Constraints on Solutions to Joint Control in Sit-to-Stand. Experimental Brain Research. 141: 485-500
  • Reisman D, Sholz JP (2001). The structure of joint coordination underlying the control of body CM during standing up and sitting down. Control of Posture and Gait.
  • Scholz JP, Schöner G, Latash ML (2000). Motor control of pistol shooting: Identifying control variables with the uncontrolled manifold. Experimental Brain Research, 135(3):382-404.
  • Rudolph KS, Axe MJ, Buchanan TS, Scholz JP, Snyder Mackler L (2001). Dynamic stability in the anterior cruciate ligament deficient knee. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthroscopy,9(2): 62-71.
  • Rao R, Agrawal SK, Scholz JP (2000). A Robot test-bed for assistance and assessment in physical therapy. Advanced Robotics, 14(7): 565-578
  • McMillan AG, Scholz JP (2000). Early development of coordination for the sit to stand task. human Movement Science, 19:21-57.
  • Scholz JP, Schoner G (1999). The uncontrolled manifold concept: Identifying control variables for a functional tast. Experiemental Brain Reseach, 3:289-306.
  • Rao R, Agrawal SK, Scholz JP (1999). A robot test-bed for assistance and assessment in physical therapy. Proceedings fo the International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics.
  • Scholz JP, Latash ML (1998). A study of a bimanual synergy associated with holding an object. Human Movement Sceince, 17: 753-779.
  • Scholz JP, Brandt C (1997). Trajectory stability and the development of control for standing up from sitting. Motor Control, 1:314-339.
  • Scholz JP, Millford JP, McMillan AG (1995). Neuromuscular coordination of squat-lifting I: Effect of load magnitude. Physical Therapy, 75:119-132.
  • Scholz JP, McMillan AG (1995). Neuromuscular coordination of squat-lifting II: Individual differences. Physical Therapy, 75:133-144.
  • Scholz JP (1993). Analysis of movement dysfunction: Control parameters and coordination stability. Proceedings of the 13th annual Eugene Michels Research's Forum. Alexandria, VA: American Physical Therapy Association, pp. 3-13.
  • Scholz JP (1993). Organized principles for the coordination of lifting. Human Movement Science, 12:537-576.
  • Scholz JP (1993). The effect of load scaling in the coordination of manual lifting. Human Movement Science 12:427-459.
  • Scholz JP, Millford JP (1993). Accurancy and precision of the Peak Performance Technologies motion measurement system. Journal of Motor Behavior, 25:2-7.
  • Cummings G, Scholz JP, Barnes K (1993). The effect of imposed leg-length difference on pelvic bone symmetry. Spine, 18:368-373.
  • Scholz JP (1992). Low back injury and manual lifting: Review and new perspective. Physical Therapy Practice, 1(3): 20-31.
  • Scholz JP (1990). Dynamic pattern theory - some implication for therapeutics. Physical Therapy, 70: 827-843.
  • Scholz JP, Kelso JAS (1990). Intentional switching between patterns of bimanual coordination depends on the intrinsic dynammics of the patterns. Journal of Motor Behavior, 22:98-124.
  • Scholz JP (1989). Reliability and validity of the WATSMART three-dimensional optoelectric motion analysis system. Physical Therapy, 69:679-689.
  • Scholz JP, Kelso JAS (1989). A quantitative approach to understanding the formation and change of coordinated movement patterns. Journal of Motor behavior, 21:122-144.


  • BCS-0957920. National Science Foundation. (P.I.; Scholz, John Jeka, University of Maryland). June 15, 2010 - June 14, 2012. Multijoint estimation and control of upright posture.
  • NIH 2R01HD38582-06A1 (PI: Sunil Agrawal) 7/2008-6/2012
    Robotic exoskeletons, FES, and Biomechanics: Treating Movement Disorders
  • NIH 2286-UD-DHHS-5032 (PT: Mark Latash) 2/2002-1/2010
    Organization of a Simple Synergy


  • 13th Annual Eugence Michels Researcher's Forum Lecturer, American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting, San Antonio, TX. Feb. 1993.
  • Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association, June 2011.

Professional Membership

Courses Taught

  • PHYT 623: Clinical Neuroscience - Motor Control; Spring Semester
  • PHYT/BMSC 630: Human Movement Control - Graduate Seminar; Spring Semester
  • PHYT 803: Medical Science III: Neurology; Fall Semester
  • PHYT 804: Neurophysiologic Evaluation and Treatment; Fall Semester

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