Projects: Balance system identification
We use perturbations and control engineering techniques to identify the neural mechanisms underlying sensory integration and sensorimotor control of human balance. The principle is to use sensory or mechanical perturbations to evoke body sway responses and use the relation of perturbation (input) and sway response (output) to quantify how the brain transforms sensory cues into muscle action.
Using these techniques we try to understand how aging affects sensorimotor performance and how exercise interventions can be used to improve it.
Assländer, L., & Streuber, S. (2020). Virtual reality as a tool for balance research: Eyes open body sway is reproduced in photo-realistic, but not in abstract virtual scenes. Plos one, 15(10), e0241479.
Assländer, L., Gruber, M., & Giboin, L. S. (2020). Reductions in body sway responses to a rhythmic support surface tilt perturbation can be caused by other mechanisms than prediction. Experimental Brain Research, 238(2), 465-476.
Projects: Specificity of sensorimotor skill learning
We use peripheral electrical and transcranial magnetic stimulations to measure neural plasticity related to sensorimotor skill acquisition and learning. Using these techniques we aim to identify the sites and the time course of neural adaptations that accompany strength and balance training.
Giboin, L. S., Tokuno, C., Kramer, A., Henry, M., & Gruber, M. (2020). Motor learning induces time‐dependent plasticity that is observable at the spinal cord level. The Journal of Physiology, 598(10), 1943-1963.
Giboin, L. S., Loewe, K., Hassa, T., Kramer, A., Dettmers, C., Spiteri, S., ... & Schoenfeld, M. A. (2019). Cortical, subcortical and spinal neural correlates of slackline training-induced balance performance improvements. NeuroImage, 202, 116061.
Giboin, L. S., Weiss, B., Thomas, F., & Gruber, M. (2018). Neuroplasticity following short‐term strength training occurs at supraspinal level and is specific for the trained task. Acta physiologica, 222(4), e12998.