Van Emmerik, Richard

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Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology, School of Public Health
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Van Emmerik
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Motor Control
Dr. Van Emmerik's research is in the area of motor control and coordination. In his research, he applies principles from complex and nonlinear dynamical systems to the study of posture and locomotion. The particularly emphasis in his research is on mechanisms of stability and adaptability in movement coordination. An important research focus is the role of variability in the control of movement. He has extensive experience in the area of balance and gait disorders due to aging and neurological disease, such as Parkinson's disease and Multiple Sclerosis.

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  • Publication
    Locomotor Coordination, Visual Perception and Head Stability during Running
    (2020-01-01) Hamill, Joseph; Lim, Jongil; Emmerik, Richard van
    Perception and action are coupled such that information from the perceptual system is related to the dynamics of action in order to regulate behavior adaptively. Using running as a model of a cyclic behavior, this coupling involves a continuous, cyclic relationship between the runner’s perception of the environment and the necessary adjustments of the body that ultimately result in a stable pattern of behavior. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how individuals relate visual perception to rhythmic locomotor coordination patterns in conditions during which foot–ground collisions and visual task demands are altered. We review the findings of studies conducted to illustrate how humans change their behavior to maintain head stability during running with and without various degrees of visual challenge from the environment. Finally, we show that the human body adapts specific segment/joint configuration and coordination patterns to maintain head stability, both in the lower extremity and upper body segments, together with an increase in coordinative variability. These results indicate that in human locomotion, under higher speed (running) and visual task demands, systematic adaptations occur in the rhythmic coupling between the perceptual and movement systems.