Interview: Professor Simon Gandevia talks about Motor Impairment   Recently updated !

Ahead of the second annual Motor Impairment meeting, Simon Gandevia, Deputy Director of Neuroscience Research Australia, talks about Motor Impairment; what it is and what he and his colleagues at NeuRA are investigating as part of the NHMRC-funded program grant.    



Documenting Motor Impairment and the risk of falling with ageing and in clinical groups

Ageing decreases exercise performance and is frequently accompanied by reductions in cognitive performance. Deterioration in the physiological capacity to stand, walk and exercise leads to falling over.  This can signify a serious deterioration in sensorimotor control.  In the elderly, falling leads to serious morbidity and mortality with major costs to society.  For many years, Professor StephenLord […]

Motor units in the human calf muscle: not as complicated as you think

Have you ever been in a team environment where some people do the majority of the work while others site back, do nothing, yet still like to take the credit? My co-authors and I certainly have! In a recent study we noted that not all muscles of the human calf muscle contribute to standing upright […]

Subject with all the wires and needles in position, ready to make an isometric plantar flexion contraction.


One session of strength training makes the spinal cord more excitable 3

Strength training consists of repetitive high-force muscle contractions.  Strength training for four weeks improves maximal strength (Carroll et al. 2011).  These strength gains are primarily the consequence of changes in the nervous system and are not simply due to an increase in muscle size (e.g., Weier et al. 2012).  In fact, within 30 minutes of […]

Knee extensor power as it relates to mobility performance in people with knee osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic, progressive condition characterized by a loss of articular cartilage and leads to chronic pain, disability and psychological effects in adults living with the disease. As there is no cure, researchers are concerned with identifying modifiable factors that could improve physical and psychological functioning for adults suffering with OA. The knee […]



Does deep brain stimulation improve balance in people with Parkinson’s disease?

Poor balance is common in people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). This can significantly impact on quality of life. The ability to generate a step quickly and accurately after a loss of balance is critical to avoid falling. The most effective medical treatment for PD (levodopa) seems to offer no benefit to these balance responses (King […]

Is the voluntary control of breathing the same as normal involuntary breathing?

Most of the time, our breathing is controlled involuntarily so that we don’t need to consciously think about breathing in and out all the time (for reviews, see Feldman & Del Negro, 2006; Richter & Smith, 2014). However, there are many instances where we need to voluntarily control how fast and/or deep we breathe. For […]



Increasing gravity reveals the mechanism of human tremor

Everyone experiences some degree of involuntary motion when trying to keep their hand still. Known as physiological tremor, the underlying mechanisms have been debated for over a century. Two explanations, neural and mechanical, are generally offered. The neural theory suggests that involuntary movements directly reflect oscillations in the control signal sent to arm muscles (McAuley […]

Breathing: a constant requirement, but is respiratory muscle activation adaptable?

Over 15 000 times every day we draw air into the lungs by expansion of the chest wall and abdomen; we breathe. This movement occurs by activation of inspiratory muscles from electrical signals from the brain to the respiratory motoneurones in the spinal cord. There are many inspiratory muscles that can expand the chest wall and […]

upside down yoga


Thinking while walking: a challenge to balance control in ageing

Previous research had shown that when people are required to simultaneously perform a cognitive and balance task their performance is worsened in one or both tasks, and that this interference is even more marked in people with reduced sensorimotor and/or cognitive functioning due to age and disease [1-2]. Interestingly, it seems that cognitive tasks where […]