The group now has 16 core members, including researchers, clinicians, a statistician and eight PhD students. Oxford collaborates with a number of other groups, locally, nationally and internationally and retains strong links with the Dept of Clinical Neurology, University of Oxford, and with the department of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the brain (FMRIB), within the same clinical Department.
They continue to work closely with clinicians at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and the Radcliffe Infirmary. Collaborations are ongoing with the University of Birmingham, the University of East London (which has two BMS Visiting Research Fellows), the University of Reading, the University of Graz, Austria, and the University of Cardiff.
Oxford Brookes University has evolved in the following key areas:
- the biomechanics and energetics of human locomotion in healthy individuals and individuals with neurological and neuromuscular disorders
- mapping central nervous system activity during movement or imagined motion and motor learning in a range of clinical conditions and during recovery from stroke
- monitoring and improving safe mobility, activity and fitness levels in patients with neurological and neuromuscular disease
- investigation of training dose on muscle and central fatigue, activity and fatigue in TIA and stroke
- influence of attentional demand on safe walking, upper and lower limb dual task performance and on their neuro-physiological correlates
- autonomic nervous system relationship with training and physical activity in healthy and neurological and neuromuscular disorders
The Human Performance Laboratory now boasts a six camera Qualisys motion capture system with Visual3D, a 24 channel Near Infra Red Spectroscopy Unit, Isokinetic system, Tran cranial Magnetic Stimulation Unit, metabolic expired air and lactate systems, emg, accelerometers, torque transducers, electrogoniometers, transcutaneous stimulators and autonomic analysis, exercise ergo meters including a wheelchair and athletic accessible treadmill PBWS.
A major research theme in the group is investigation of safe effective mobility. The six camera Qualisys motion capture system and Visual3D software will enable Oxford to develop their own methodology examining walking in neurological populations and to expand on the analysis they have been able to perform. Oxford is now engaged in a series of studies using the system and its software to examine not only motion, but also simultaneously, neurophysiological, metabolical and behavioral measures.
The group can observe neural correlates of motion in healthy and pathological groups under a range of conditions. They are currently examining smooth motion disturbances caused by influences from e.g., fatigue, exercise, imagery, environmental factors, distracters and cognitive motor interference.