People who have suffered a stroke or who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, could benefit from new research at Queen’s University Belfast.

Cathy Craig, PhD, from Queen’s School of Psychology, is researching the development of new sensory devices for those who normally have difficulty controlling their movements.

“By using engineered timing aids that will provide sensory information that can be picked up through our eyes, ears, or sense of touch, the brain can learn to guide these types of movements in a more controlled way," Craig says. “We hope that the findings from this project will help us further understand how we control our movements and will provide a tangible way of helping those who have difficulty controlling their movements in a wide range of applications.”

Craig’s project, known as TEMPUS-G (Temporal Enhancement of Motor Performance Using Sensory Guides), will use theories about how the brain controls self-paced movements as a basis for designing sensory devices (visual, acoustic, and haptic). The potential beneficial effects of  these devices will be tested in a sports (eg golf) and rehabilitative (eg stroke) context.

Craig will also be using the expertise of colleagues across the University in her project, including those in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and the School of Music and Sonic Arts.

The work is being funded by a grant from the European Research Council.

[Source: Science Daily]