Neuromechanics Lab

Students working in a research laboratory

About the Lab

The Neuromechanics Lab investigates the neural control of movement and its relationship with the mechanics of the human body. Our aim is to better understand, how sensory information is used to guide our actions through the use of sensory probes, electrophysiological recording devices and psychophysics.

Our senses are often described as the brain's window to the outside world. The information arising from the senses allow our brain to know what is happening both within and around us, and plan our behavior accordingly.  Sensation and motion are in fact so entwined that at some levels of the nervous system sensation directly drives our actions. The mission of the Neuromechanics Lab is to unveil these relationships, or mappings, between sensation and action by exposing a) the mechanisms underlying sensory information's role in generating human movement and b) how this mapping is shaped by the mechanics of the human body.

Application information for Undergraduate and Master's degrees in Kinesiology and Helath Science at Utah State University can be found through the KHS Website.

Students looking to pursue a PhD can do so through the Neuroscience specialization or the Pathokinesiology specialization.

History

The Neuromechanics lab was founded by Dr. Chris Dakin in September of 2016. The initial lab space was shared with USU's Biomechanics lab in room 203 of the HPER building. Since the lab's inception, the Neuromechanics lab now also shares space in the Center for Clinical Excellence providing access to both an aquatic and instrumented over ground treadmill.

Research Opportunities

Current Projects

Integration of Competing Theoretical Models of Vestibular Involvement in Balance Control During Stair Negotiation


This project is evaluating current models of vestibular involvement in balance control during dynamic tasks.

Optimization of Electric Vestibular Stimulation Methodology


This series of projects is looking to improve how we administer such stimulation.

Vestibular Stochastic Resonance


This Series of studies is examining the efficacy of using an electric current as a balance aid.

Visual Contrast Enhancement of Fall Risk Reduction


This study is examining whether manipulation of the stairwell environment can reduce fall frequency.

Vestibular Autonomic Interaction During Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation


Examination of the autonomic effects of galvanic vestibular stimulation.

Labs and Facilities

The Neuromechanics Lab is currently housed in the room 203 of the HPER building with the Biomechanincs Lab and shares space in the Human Movement Clinic in the new Sorenson Center for Clinical Excellence Building.

Researchers or students working in the Neuromechanics lab will have access to:

  • Vicon Motion Capture
  • Neurolog Electromyography
  • Delsys Trigno Wireless Electromyography
  • Bertec and AMTI Forceplates
  • Stmisola electrical Stimulators
  • Force transducers and switches
  • APDM Opals
  • Eye Tracking
  • Virtual Reality
  • Labview, Matlab

Available through collaboration:

  • Perception-Action lab: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Electroencephalography & FNIRs
  • Sensory-Motor Behavior lab: ASL eye tracking and Motion capture


School Resources:

  • Statistical Consulting Studio


Lab Equipment

lab instruments


Lab Facility 

Involvement

If you are interested in getting involved, contact Dr. Dakin. Please note that availability within the lab is determined by the needs of the current projects. Visit the Research Opportunities page for this lab to learn more.

Chris Dakin

Chris Dakin

Assistant Professor

Kinesiology and Health Science

Phone: 435-797-7324
Office Location: HPER 132