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Applied Motor Control Laboratory

The main objective of the Applied Motor Control Laboratory research group is to obtain an integrated understanding of the neural and behavioral aspects of human movement control. Thus, the studies developed in this lab focus on a better understanding of how the central nervous system creates, interprets, transmits, and processes information in order to control muscle activity and body movements needed to perform a motor task.

photo of woman in lab being evaluated while balancing on one leg

From a behavioral perspective, the focus of the analysis is the coordination between the body segments.

The lab investigations involve healthy individuals, older adults, and people with orthopedic and neurological diseases. The motor, sensory, and cognitive systems underlying “motor control” in these individuals are evaluated via electromyography, biomechanical instrumentation (kinematics and kinetics), and clinical assessment (questionnaires, motor function, physical performance scales, skill tests, and others).

In particular, the lab evaluates changes in postural balance, grip force control, and gait experienced by study participants and assesses potential physical therapy interventions to improve motor control.

Current doctoral students:

  • Abdalghani Yahya, DPT, PT
  • Eber Silveira Beck, PT
  • Yasir Alshehri, M.S., PT


  • Mamatha Pasnoor, M.D.
  • Patricia Kluding, Ph.D., PT
  • Paul Schroeppel, M.D.
  • Scott Mullen, M.D.
  • Wen Liu, Ph.D.
  • Winnie Dun, Ph.D.

Research projects currently conducted in the Applied Motor Control Laboratory

man shows computer display of research results

  • The impact of type 2 diabetes and associated diabetic peripheral neuropathy on grip force control and hand function
  • Dual task in people with diabetes: cognition and grip force control
  • Monitoring gait after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction via accelerometry
  • Balance perturbation exercises: how do subjects with chronic ankle instability control body balance?
  • Return of braking function following hip arthroscopy
Last modified: Sep 07, 2018

Lab Director

photo of Marcio Santos

Marcio Santos, Ph.D., PT
Assistant Professor

KU Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science

View Santos' publications on PubMed