Neurophysiology Laboratory

Neurophysiology Laboratory

Research Interests

Our research is focused on the manner in which coordinated motor behavior arises from the interactions between the musculoskeletal and central nervous systems. These two systems are linked through sensory feedback, which is altered for different motor tasks. The functions of this feedback and the mechanisms of its modulation constitute a major topic in our work. We use the tools of neurophysiology, neuropharmacology and biomechanics, including electromyographic recording, measurement of muscular forces and motion analysis.

Current Research Projects
  • Altered coordination following peripheral nerve injury and the sensory mechanisms underlying the motor deficit.
  • The modulation of feedback from Golgi tendon organs for different motor tasks.
  • The role of fascia in motor coordination.
  • Spinal mechanisms of postural stability.
  • The role of vestibular and neck afferent feedback on spinal pattern generators and sensory pathways.

Research Opportunities

Opportunities are available for undergraduate and graduate students, and postodoctoral fellows.

Recent Publications
  • Nichols TR, Wilmink RJH, Burkholder TJ (2002) The multidimensional and temporal regulation of limb mechanics by spinal circuits. In: Progress in Motor Control II: Structure Function Relations in Voluntary Movements. Ed. Latash ML. Champaign: Human Kinetics. pp. 179-194.
  • Nichols, T.R. and Cope, T.C. (2004) Cross-bridge mechanisms underlying the history-dependent properties of muscle spindles and stretch reflexes. Can. J. Physiol. & Pharm. 82: 569-576.
  • Lay, A.N., Hass, C.J., Nichols, T.R. and Gregor, R.J. (2007). The effects of sloped surfaces on locomotion: An electromyographic analysis. J. Biomechanics 40:1276-1285.
  • Maas, H., Prilutsky, B.I., Nichols, T.R. and Gregor, R.J. (2007) Hindlimb kinematics in slope walking following self-reinnervation of medial and lateral gastrocnemius muscles in the cat. Exp Brain Res 181: 377-393.
  • Gottschall, JS, Nichols TR (2007) Head pitch affects muscle activity in the decerebrate cat hindlimb during walking. Exp Brain Res 182: 131-135.