The Rehab Lab Complex consists of four different labs:
- Rehab Lab: This lab is co- directed by Alicia Flach, DPT: Stacy Fritz, PhD, PT; and Elizabeth Regan, DPT, PhD. This group of faculty are Physical Therapists who investigate changes in physical functional and health primarily for those with neurological diagnosis such as those with Parkinson’s disease, Stroke, and Multiple Sclerosis. We are principally interested in physical activity and physical therapy interventions to improve mobility and quality of life. Please see the Personnel page for more details. The lab is equipped with various exercise and assessment equipment that can be used for special populations.
- Sensory Motor Assessment and Robotic Technology (SMART): The Sensory Motor Assessment & Robotic Technology Lab (SMART Lab) at USC is directed by Dr. Troy Herter, PhD. The goal of our lab is to improve assessment and treatment of neurological impairments by using robotic and eye tracking technology to develop objective, quantitative measures of sensory, motor and cognitive function. In turn, these measures are used to: 1) improve our basic understanding of how the sensory, motor and cognitive systems interact to guide the selection and execution of actions; 2) characterize normal changes in sensory, motor and cognitive function that occur across adulthood; 3) identify the frequency and magnitude of sensory, motor and cognitive impairments resulting from stroke; and 4) monitor improvements in sensory, motor and cognitive function resulting from rehabilitation interventions.
- Motor Behavior and Neuroimaging Laboratory: This lab is directed by Dr. Jill Stewart, PhD, PT. The overall goal of the Motor Behavior and Neuroimaging Laboratory is to develop novel, effective, and individualized treatments to improve motor function and quality of life after stroke. To achieve this goal, our research focuses on the brain-behavior relationship during the control and learning of skilled motor tasks using detailed measures of movement (kinematics, EMG) and brain structure and function (functional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging) combined with clinical measures of impairment, function, and quality of life.
- Applied Neuromechanics Laboratory: This lab is directed by Dr. Sheri Silfies, PhD, PT. The goal of the lab is to investigate neural and mechanical mechanism of movement and postural control by combining neuroscience, biomechanics and rehabilitation. The lab uses biomechanical measures of movement (kinematics, kinetics), muscle activation (EMG), and neuroimaging (fMRI) to understand sensorimotor behavior. Current studies focus on the mechanism underlying movement impairment associated with musculoskeletal injury and persistent pain, and the neurophysiology of treatments designed to address changes in sensorimotor behavior. This laboratory is equipped with portable 8-sensor electromagnetic motion tracking (Polhemus, Ascension) systems, 16-Ch wireless surface EMG (Delsys), Force Platforms (Kistler), a seated balance platform and unstable seat, and a special jig for isolating the trunk in neutral sitting outfitted with tension load cells. Custom LabView software programs and a Motion Monitor system allow collection of synchronized kinematic, kinetic and EMG data. System capabilities include real-time feedback of force, muscle activity, and kinematics that can be utilized for assessment or treatment of movement impairments. Funding from the National Institutes of Health, and the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy support work in the lab.