Dr. Bastian's research focuses on the mechanisms of human movement disorders. Movement disorders commonly occur following neurological damage. Her laboratory studies the movements of adults and children who have damage or disease of the central nervous system. She and her team are interested in understanding the mechanisms of different types of movement disorders, as well as how and why different treatments improve movement. They are actively studying how new movements are "learned" and what the course of movement recovery following different types brain damage is.
Much of their work has focused on understanding how damage to the cerebellum causes movement incoordination or "ataxia." Their research suggests that one important role of the cerebellum is to adjust the motor output controlling a given part of the body to compensate for mechanical effects caused by movement of other body parts (interaction torques). Dr. Bastian's current studies of people with cerebellar damage are aimed at understanding the mechanisms of walking ataxia and motor learning deficits, and are beginning studies of impairments in motor "prediction." They are also studying locomotor disorders in people with stroke, as well as visuomotor control and learning in children with autism.
Dr. Bastian's lab interacts with neurologists, physical therapists, biomedical engineers and neuroscientists. Her team employs several techniques to quantify movement, including: 3-dimensional tracking and reconstruction of movement kinematics; recordings of muscle activity; force plate recordings; and calculation of joint forces and torques.
They also use novel devices to test learning, including a split-belt treadmill and simple computer generated virtual environments. These techniques allow them to make very precise measurements of many different types of movements, including walking, reaching, leg movements, hand movements and standing balance. This also makes it possible to detect very small changes in movement performance over time or with treatment.
Lab Website: Motion Analysis Lab
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Jayaram G, Tang B, Pallegadda R, Vasudevan EV, Celnik P, Bastian A. "Modulating locomotor adaptation with cerebellar stimulation." J Neurophysiol. 2012 Jun;107(11):2950-7. doi: 10.1152/jn.00645.2011. Epub 2012 Feb 29.
Bhanpuri NH, Okamura AM, Bastian AJ. "Active force perception depends on cerebellar function." J Neurophysiol. 2012 Mar;107(6):1612-20. doi: 10.1152/jn.00983.2011. Epub 2011 Dec 21.
Torres-Oviedo G, Bastian AJ. "Natural error patterns enable transfer of motor learning to novel contexts." J Neurophysiol. 2012 Jan;107(1):346-56. doi: 10.1152/jn.00570.2011. Epub 2011 Sep 28.
Malone LA, Vasudevan EV, Bastian AJ. "Motor adaptation training for faster relearning." J Neurosci. 2011 Oct 19;31(42):15136-43. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1367-11.2011.
Bastian AJ. "Moving, sensing and learning with cerebellar damage." Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2011 Aug;21(4):596-601. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2011.06.007. Epub 2011 Jul 5. Review.