Pathokinesiology Specialization

Disability Disciplines Doctoral Program

The specialization

The Pathokinesiology specialization within the Disability Disciplines Doctoral Program focuses on the scientific study of human movement (kinesiology) as it relates to any abnormal condition (patho) affecting movement or postural dysfunction.

The PhD in Pathokinesiology is an interdisciplinary program designed to prepare students to be productive in research and to pursue a career in academia or industry.  The program offers training to investigators who seek to answer questions about human movement, its functions and dysfunctions.  Students will be exposed to three core areas: motor control, motor learning and biomechanics.  For further information, please visit the Pathokinesiology website .

Program Contact

Dr. Eadric Bressel

Department Head, Kinesiology & Health Science

Office Location: HPER 122A
Phone: 435-797-7216
Email: eadric.bressel@usu.edu



Research Opportunities

Biochemics Lab
Research in the Biomechanics laboratory focuses on relationships between anatomical structures, mechanics, and injuries and how they pertain to the physical rehabilitation of people with disabilities.

Opportunities include focus on aquatic-based research for a number of applications, including aquatic therapy for spinal cord injury, stroke, obesity, low back pain, osteoarthritis, and strength conditioning.
Body Composition lab
The Body Composition Lab contains the Bod Pod air displacement plethysmography system, hydrostatic weighing tank, RJL Quantum II bioelectrical impedance analyzer, Omron HBF-500 full body analyzer, Omron HBF-306 hand-held BIA machines, Lange skinfold calipers, Harpenden skinfold caliper, anthropometers, and wall mounted stadiometer.

Provides research opportunities to conduct body composition determination through the use of skin folds, bioelectrical impedance, hydrostatic weighing and body plethysmography.
Sensory Motor Behavior Lab Banner
Numerous treadmills, cycle ergometers, elliptical trainers and select resistance exercise equipment provide a diverse exercise mode selection in the Exercise Physiology Lab. Lactate analysis through fingertip sampling plus hypoxia simulation using an oxygen extraction system allows for monitoring simulated high altitude environments. Measurement of energy expenditure through the ParvoMedics True 2400 metabolic cart along with heart rate and blood pressure monitoring during rest and exercise.
Neuromechanics Lab
The Neuromechanics Lab investigates the neural control of movement and its relationship with the mechanics of the human body.

Our aim is to understand better, how sensory information is used to guide our actions through the use of sensory probes, electrophysiological recording devices and psychophysics
. 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.
Neuromuscular Research Lab
The Neuromuscular Research Lab is focused on the physiological- and performance-based aspects of neuromuscular function ranging from the characteristics of neuromuscular fatigue to adaptations and beneficial responses of strength training.

A particular area of this research application emphasizes occupational and aging populations with the intent to enhance understanding of impaired performances and improve and/or restore optimal functionality and longevity in populations undergoing negative stressors which impair the neuromuscular systems.
Perception-Action Lab
The Perception-Action lab is focused on how higher brain processes adapt our movements in complex, choice-demanding environments. Specifically, this lab studies how sophisticated brain processes prevent us from falling in the cluttered environments we face everyday.  Although a complex nervous system allows for the production of goal-oriented movements, time delays associated with traversing an expansive neural network are at odds with the demand for rapid action.
Sensory Motor Behavior Lab
The Sensory Motor Behavior laboratory is interested in understanding how people physically interact with their environment. Specifically, we are interested in how people plan and execute sequential actions, and how examination of movement variability can inform us about mechanisms of control involving both the brain and body. 

Resources


Planning Guides

Admission Deadline

Applications to the PhD Program are due January 15th for the following Fall semester. 

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Financial Aid

Excellent financial assistance is available to qualified students in the Disability Disciplines program. Support includes a monthly living stipend, tuition waiver, participation in professional conferences, and computer technology.