Tara L. McIsaac
B.S. 1992 Physical Therapy – University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse
Neurophysiology and Motor Learning Laboratory
I am interested in the principles involved in movement skill acquisition that are applicable to individuals with movement disorders and people recovering from neurological injury. Significant research has informed us of optimal training techniques to enhance motor learning in healthy individuals. However, much less is understood about the unique requirements in learning or re-learning movements after neurological injury such as stroke, or in individuals living with neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson disease. My research focuses on factors of attention and instruction that impact the learning of everyday more complex ‘dual-task’ movement skills like driving a car or walking while carrying a cup of coffee. To explore these issues we use neurophysiological measurements of muscle activity (EMG), movement patterns (kinematics) and forces (kinetics). This information will help in developing new approaches to therapeutic interventions for people with movement disorders and injury.