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Motor Learning & Control

Department of Biobehavioral Sciences

Motor Learning Newsletter

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Movement Sciences Home | Biobehavioral Sciences Home | Gentile Scholarship | Gysin Scholarship

Meet the Faculty

In September 2015, the Motor Learning program welcomed Dr. Lori Quinn (PT, Ed.D. '96) as Associate Professor. Dr. Quinn earned her Ed.D. in Movement Sciences from Teachers College in 1996. She earned her M.A. and Ed.M. also from Teachers College, and B.A. from University of Connecticut in Physical Therapy. Dr. Quinn has most recently lived in London, UK, where she was a Senior Research Fellow at Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK for the past eight years. From 1996-2003, Dr. Quinn was an Assistant and then Associate Professor at New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY, in the Physical Therapy Program. Dr. Quinn's current research is on developing clinical trials to assess the benefits of physical activity and exercise in people with neurodegenerative diseases, and specifically Huntington's Disease. Dr. Quinn is also the co-author, alongside James Gordon (Ed.D. '85, PT), of the textbook, Documentation for Rehabilitation: a guide to clinical decision making in physical therapy, with the 3rd edition due to be published this fall. Her related clinical and research interests are in the areas of goal setting for both adult and pediatric populations, interventions to facilitate motor learning in people with neurological diseases, and development of physical activity interventions in people with long term neurological conditions.

Dr. Richard Magill is an Adjunct Professor in the Motor Learning and Control area of the Movement Sciences program, in the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences. Dr. Magill joined the motor learning team in 2012 , and has become a indispensable member of our faculty. Dr Magill is a leading lecturer and researcher in the areas of motor learning and motor control, and he has written extensively about applications of motor learning concepts to both sports and rehabilitation. He is the author of the textbook Motor Learning and Control, currently in its 10th edition. Dr. Magill is Professor Emeritus at Louisiana State University, where he spent much of his career as a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology. Dr. Magill teachers Motor Learning in the fall semester and Motor Development in the Spring.

Scholarship Support

We are pleased to announce that we have two scholarships, made possible by generous donations from former faculty, students and members of the TC community. The aim of both scholarships is to provide direct support for doctoral students in the motor learning area. Consider giving to these scholarships as part of your #GivingTuesday gift on December 1. We welcome any contribution – however big or small!

A.M. Gentile Scholarship Fund in Motor Learning
Antoinette Gentile, Professor Emeritus of Movement Sciences, is a leader in movement sciences and neuromotor research who championed the revolutionary concept of "neuroplasticity," which holds that, following trauma, the brain can recover certain physical functions, such as swallowing, by switching the brain activity that governs it to new, uninjured regions. Neuroplasticity launched a new era in treating movement disorders. It underlies much of today's brain research. This fund, created in honor of Gentile's retirement, provides a partial scholarship for doctoral or masters students in the Motor Learning Program. To support this program, please visit the A.M. Gentile Scholarship Fund in Motor Learning page.

Dr. Priska Gysin International Memorial Scholarship
This fund, supports international doctoral or masters students in the Motor Learning and Control program area, honoring the memory of Dr. Priska Gysin, coordinator of TC's Motor Learning and Control masters specialization (2004-2008). A physical therapist who earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Motor Learning at Teachers College, Dr. Gysin was mentored by TC faculty member Ann Gentile. To make a gift, please see the Dr. Priska Gysin International Memorial Scholarship page.

Program News

TC’s doctoral program in Movement Sciences & Education/Kinesiology, in the College’s Department of Biobehavioral Sciences, has tied for fourth in the rankings of 52 programs nationally by the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK) for the period 2010-2014.

“Our faculty indicators were quite high in comparison to other institutions, and since we were the smallest program faculty in the analysis it means all our faculty are producing,” said Stephen Silverman, Professor of Education, who served as Chair of the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences during this period.

Dr. Carol Ewing Garber, Carol Ewing Garber, Professor of Movement Sciences, is the current Department Chair. Also at the meeting, Garber was officially inducted as an NAK Active Fellow (the organization maintains a maximum of 165 members). All three full professors in TC’s program (Silverman, Garber and Andrew Gordon, Professors of Movement Sciences) are NAK Active Fellows, and Professor Emerita Ann Gentile is an Emeritus Fellow of NAK.

Read the Full Article Here >>

Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Jim Gordon (Ed.D. '85) is the Associate Dean and Chair of the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California. His research has been focused on neural control of arm movements, especially the roles of proprioceptive information in control of reaching movements. His current research is in the area of neuro-rehabilitation and motor control has been published extensively. He is considered one of the foremost thinkers in the area of motor learning and its application to people with neurological conditions.

Dr. Gordon's primary teaching has been in the neurosciences, motor learning and motor control, and the application of these areas to neurologic physical therapy. He has also taught courses in professional practice and documentation in physical therapy. Dr. Gordon has written several influential papers examining the interplay between theory and practice in developing better methods for treating patients, and in establishing innovative links between biokinesiology and physical therapy practice and research. He also co-authored a widely used textbook on documentation in rehabilitation, now in its third edition.

In 2014, Dr. Gordon received the highest honor bestowed by the American Physical Therapy Association, when he delivered the 45th McMillan Lecture Award at the APTA annual conference. In his speech, he said, "We are the architects of our profession's future. Through our efforts today, we design and build the foundations and frameworks that will make it possible for a strong and vibrant and creative profession to emerge in the next decade, in the next 40 years, in the next century.” Gordon was also the recipient of the Teachers College's Distingushed Alumni Award during the signature homecoming event, Academic Festival 2014.

Research Update

In summer 2015, we completed our 29th intensive rehabilitation training camp for children with cerebral palsy (CP). Seventeen children from as far away as Chile participated. The projects started with constraint-induced movement therapy in 2002, expanded to include bimanual training (HABIT) in 2004, and recently adapted the approach to include combined upper and lower extremity training for children with hemiplegia and children with bilateral CP. More than 250 children have participated since the program's conception. New programs have been developed for home training by the caregivers.

The Motor Learning and Control laboratory spaces on the 10th floor of Thorndike have recently been renovated, with beautiful new floors, state of the art equipment and technology. This lab encompasses three distinct research areas: The Center for Cerebral Palsy Research, directed by Dr. Andy Gordon; The Neurorehabilitation Research Lab, directed by Dr. Lori Quinn; and the Motor Learning and Motor Control Lab, jointly run by Drs. Gordon, Quinn and Kaminski. We welcome collaborations with former students and other programs, so please stay in touch!

In Memoriam

Janet H. Carr (Dip. Phty., M.A., M.Ed., Ed.D.), Fellow of the Australian College of Physiotherapists, died on November 4, 2014. James Gordon, the 45th Mary McMillan lecturer and a student at Teachers College with Carr, said that Janet "was an extraordinary physiotherapist who, along with Roberta [Shepherd], advanced the practice of neurological rehabilitation. She had vision that the science of motor control and motor learning could be translated to better ways to treat patients."

Janet Carr began practice in 1959 and gained clinical expertise in Sydney; London, Ontario; and Switzerland. She became an academic tutor in 1970 and went on to become a lecturer, senior lecturer, associate professor, and honorary associate professor at Cumberland College of Health Sciences and the University of Sydney. While mentoring physical therapy students in the classroom and the clinic, she earned a Master of Arts degree in 1984 and a master's degree and a doctoral degree in education in 1987 and 1991, respectively.

Carr began to share her clinical approach to treating patients with neuromuscular diagnoses in 1982 in a textbook coauthored with Shepherd titled A Motor Relearning Programme for Stroke. But the textbook for which she is the most well known— also co-authored with Shepherd—is Neurological Rehabilitation: Optimizing Motor Performance and has been translated into Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Greek, Farsi, and Arabic. Carr published numerous peer-reviewed articles, presented research findings at national and international meetings, received grants to conduct research, and was invited to present her research findings—and their importance to clinical practice—around the world. One of her research reports, "Investigation of a New Motor Assessment Scale for Stroke Patients," published in PTJ in 1985, is one of the top 10 highly cited PTJ articles to date according to Web of Science. Carr also served as president of the Australian College of Physiotherapists from 1989 to 1995 and received numerous awards and honors.

Carr and Shepherd embraced neuroscience findings on motor control and motor learning and emphasized the relevance of those findings in transforming clinical practice and adopting a new approach. They were successful in knowledge translation and helped to change care for people with neuromuscular disorders. Many would agree that they were pioneers in guiding faculty and clinicians in the evidence-based practice concepts that are used today. But Carr was more than a visionary for new modes of practice, more than a pioneer in promoting evidence-based practice. She was, and continues to be, a role model. She was a clinician who saw the need to return to an academic setting to acquire additional knowledge and skills so that she could engage in research to determine whether her clinical presumptions would be supported by scientific rigor.

Share Your News
Hand and Arm Bimanual Intensive Therapy Including Lower Extremity (HABIT-ILE) in Children With Unilateral Spastic Cerebral Palsy: A Randomized Trial. Read More>>
Feasibility of caregiver-directed home-based hand-arm bimanual intensive training: a brief report. Read More>>
Efficacy of constraint-induced movement therapy and bimanual training in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy in an educational setting. Read More>>
Improvements in hand function after intensive bimanual training are not associated with corticospinal tract dysgenesis in children with unilateral cerebral palsy. Read More>>
Comparison of Structured Skill and Unstructured Practice During Intensive Bimanual Training in Children With Unilateral Spastic Cerebral Palsy. Read More>>
Exercise testing and training in people with Huntington's disease. Read More>>
Supporting physical activity engagement in people with Huntington's disease (Engage-HD): study protocol for a randomized controlled feasibility trial. Read More>>
Task-specific training in Huntington disease: a randomized controlled feasibility trial. Read More >>

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