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Dr. Mark Carpenter

Professor

UBC

School of Kinesiology

Faculty of Education

The first objective of my research is to identify the neural, musculo-skeletal and psychological factors that contribute to balance deficits and falls associated with age, Parkinson’s disease, vestibular loss and spinal cord injury. The second objective is to identify optimal exercise, training and treatment strategies to improve age and disease-specific balance deficits and reduce the occurrence and impact of falls. The Neural Control of Posture and Movement Laboratory features a comprehensive approach to studying dynamic control of balance by combining various neuro-physiological and biomechanical techniques, including surface and intra-muscular electromyography, 3D full-body motion analysis and force measurement coupled with quantitative and qualitative assessment of perceived and physiological effects of fear and anxiety. Virtual reality will be used to manipulate balance-related anxiety and recreate the environmental conditions that lead to falls in everyday life. Virtual environments will be integrated with a unique moving balance platform capable of producing unexpected multi-directional balance disturbances.