Interdisciplinary Neuroscience: Seminars/Events

May 2024 Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Seminar

The Interdisciplinary Neuroscience
Graduate Program and the Biomechanics and Movement Science program proudly present the following seminar:

Wednesday, May 8, noon
STAR North Atrium


Seminar speaker

Lena Ting

McCamish Foundation Distinguished Chair
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology

“Your brain on balance: Cortical activity in balance control across motor skill and impairment”


Engagement of cortical resources in balance control is an indicator of fall risk in older adults where people cannot “walk and talk” at the same time. However, there are few direct measures of cortical activity during balance control, and their relationship to balance and other brain functions is unclear. I will show evidence that various electroencephalography (EEG) measures of cortical activity during reactive balance recovery are associated with individual differences across perceptual, cognitive and motor domains. Specifically, we focus on the N1 evoked response in balance perturbations, as well as beta oscillations prior to and in response to perturbations. Direct measures of cortical activity can stratify healthy young and older individuals without clinically identifiable impairment. Further, relationships between cortical activity and function differ as a function of age, balance ability and neurological disorders such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease. The intersections across perceptual, cognitive and motor domains may help identify complex mechanisms underlying balance function. Our findings suggest that direct measures of hierarchical balance control mechanisms could enable development of mechanistic, precision-medicine efforts aimed at fall prevention.

About Lena Ting

Lena Ting is a professor and the McCamish Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Engineering in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, and a professor in rehabilitation medicine in the Division of Physical Therapy at Emory. Ting directs the Neuromechanical Laboratory at Emory, focusing on complex, whole-body movements such as walking and balance in healthy and neurologically impaired individuals, as well as skilled movements involved in dance and sport. Her work is highly interdisciplinary, drawing from neuroscience, biomechanics, rehabilitation, computation, robotics and physiology.

Her lab has developed several computational methods to characterize and understand individual differences in movement and movement control, and how these change in neurological disorders, as well as with rehabilitation and training. Ting also co-directs the Georgia Tech and Emory Neural Engineering Center and an NIH T32 in Computational Neural Engineering. A fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers (2016), she was awarded the Arthur C. Guyton Award for Excellence in Integrative Physiology by the American Physiological Society (2007), the Atlanta Business Chronicles Healthcare Hero Award (2018) and several teaching and mentoring awards from Georgia Tech and Emory. 

A light lunch will be provided following the seminar. Please RSVP below.

Upcoming Seminars

All seminars will be held at noon at the Audion in the Tower at UD’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. More information and registration links will be available as each date approaches.

If you have any questions about these seminars, please contact Wendy Feller.

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