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John Scholz
Department of Physical Therapy

What are your general research interests?

Understanding movement coordination in functional tasks, including impairments of coordination in persons with stroke and their impact on function.

What are your current projects and how are they funded?

  1. Motor synergies underlying human movement (NIH subcontract with Mark Latash, PSU)
  2. Robotic Exoskeletons, FES and Biomechanics: Treating Movement Disorders (NIH)
  3. Linking information about self-motion to multi-joint coordination of upright stance (NSF)

Who are your collaborators on these projects?

Sunil Agrawal, Columbia University, New York, NY (formally UD faculty in ME)
Stuart Binder-Macleod, University of Delaware
Mark Latash, Penn State University, University Park, PA
Gregor Schöner, Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany
John Jeka, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

What are the likely next steps in your work?

We have a new NSF proposal pending to extend our studies of postural control, using a model-experiment approach to try to explain motor equivalence of postural states. In addition, we continue to work to better understand which stroke survivors would benefit most from robotic training using error-augmentation versus error-reduction, depending on their level of initial impairments and muscle synergies.

How would you describe your work’s importance to an interested lay audience?

Our postural control work attempts to develop a better understanding of various aspects of multi-joint/multi-muscle coordination. The tools developed for this project can prove useful for differentiating differences in coordination impairments in various types of postural disorders, which may lead to differences in treatment. Depending on the results, our work on gait retraining in stroke survivors could help us triage patients, selecting the gait retraining approach that will best work for them, rather than taking a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

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