The BAS lab is broadly interested in human movement control and skill learning. Here we provide an overview of some of our specific topics of interests:
Motor Skill Learning
Understanding how the brain learns and improves new movement patterns is a question with both fundamental and clinical application.
Our group has developed paradigms that allow us to study motor learning over longer timescales than typical laboratory experiments. Our work has examined learning in stroke and older adults populations, while more fundamental research aims to develop approaches to enhance the learning process.
Motor Imagery and Action Observation
“Motor Stimulation” theories suggest imagining an action, or observing another person perform an action, recruits the same brain areas used when physically performing that action.
Our lab has conducted large-scale meta-analytic work on neuroimaging studies to compare the brain regions involved in action imagery, observation, and execution. Applied studies in this area have examined how observing the actions of others affects our own movements, and how the intention we observe an action with can affect the excitability of our own motor system.
While studies in animals have been able to establish habits in the laboratory, this has been more difficult to achieve in humans.