Irina Beloozerova Collaborations:

 

Dr. Boris Prilutsky

School of Applied Physiology, Center for Human Movement Studies,

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 

 

Research in the laboratory of Dr. Prilutsky focuses on the mechanisms of movement generation and control. This includes control of force by the arm during learning new movements, modeling of the spinal cord neural circuitry that controls locomotion, and studying the role of the motor cortex in different locomotor behaviors.

We collaborate with the laboratory of Dr. Prilutsky in the analysis of biomechanics of complex locomotion behaviors and involvement of motor cortex in the control of them. We conduct experiments together in Phoenix, in which we record whole-body kinematics and dynamics of subjects while they walk along a cluttered pathway, along series of elevated platforms, along a narrow strip, or on other complex surfaces. We also record the activity of muscles and the motor region of the cerebral cortex at the same time. Some of these measurements are then repeated in Atlanta where more advanced equipment for biomechanical recordings and analysis is available. The goal is to describe, analyze, and eventually understand biomechanics of complex locomotion behaviors, and their neural correlates.

Brad Farrell from the Georgia Institute of Technology has actively participated in these studies since he was an undergraduate student. In fall of 2006 Brad started his graduate studies in the PhD program of the School of Applied Physiology at Georgia Institute of Technology; research advisor Dr. Prilutsky, co-advisor Dr. Beloozerova. Brad’s research is focusing on the mechanisms of precise stepping. He defended his Ph.D. on October 29, 2012 and is currently a Research Associate at the Hulse Spinal Cord Injury Lab, Shepherd Center, in Atlanta, GA.


Drs. Tatiana Deliagina and Grigory Orlovsky,

Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden

 

The general goal of research in the laboratory of Dr. Deliagina is to understand the organization and operation of the neuronal networks responsible for maintenance of the basic body posture.

We collaborate with the laboratory of Dr. Deliagina in studies aimed at characterizing the commands, which are transmitted from the brain motor centers to the spinal cord during different postural tasks. In our joint experiments, we test subjects during balancing on a platform, which periodically tilts to the right and then to the left. We encourage the subjects to assume different postures (such as leaning to the right or to the left) or to perform stepping movements while still keeping balance on the platform. We record kinematics and dynamic parameters of limbs and body movements, the activity of limb muscles, and the neuronal activity of the motor cortex, motor thalamus, and midbrain. We then compare body mechanics, the activity of muscles, and the activity of brain areas during balancing with different postural configurations and reveal the parameters, which are associated specifically with each of the configurations. This allows us to understand the contribution of supraspinal mechanisms to the control of posture.

A graduate student from Karolinska Institute Anastasia Karayannidou defended her thesis on “Spinal and supraspinal mechanisms of postural control” in summer 2009 with 5 full size peer-reviewed publications, 3 of which resulted from her work in our laboratory. Anastasia did a full academic year rotation (2005-2006) in our laboratory during her second year in PhD program, and then visited for more experiments.

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