Proprioception: The body’s representation of the hand   Recently updated !

Proprioception, our ‘sixth sense’, underlies our innate ability to localise our body parts in space and to know the forces, angles and movements at our joints (Proske & Gandevia, 2012). This ‘sense’ allows us to interact with our environment. For example, reaching for a cup of water requires knowledge of the exact spatial […]

hand photo

Interview: Professor Rob Herbert talks about muscle contractures

Professor Rob Herbert at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) performs research into contractures – the stiffening of joints that often occurs after neurological lesions such as stroke, cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis. In this video he talks about the cutting-edge techniques like ultrasound and diffusion tensor imaging that he and people […]



Muscle: a novel way to study its structure

Diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DT-MRI) is a novel technique used to study muscle architecture, and is currently being used for NeuRA’s motor impairment research. In his review paper, Damon et al. [1] comprehensively describes the details of the technique. In this blog, we cover some key elements to this […]

Physiological profile of “fallers” with multiple sclerosis

Falls are common among people with multiple sclerosis (MS).  Many clinical tests such as the Berg Balance Scale and the Timed Up and Go or laboratory-based assessments such as posturography involving moving force-plates, have been used to estimate fall risks in MS.  But, these tests are limited to measures of functional balance, […]

Dr Hoang preparing to test balance

exercise fatigue

Repetitive activity, fatigue and human motoneurones

Exercise induced muscle fatigue is a common experience for healthy people. It involves multiple changes in the nervous system such as changes at the spinal and supraspinal level (central fatigue) and changes in the muscle itself (peripheral fatigue). During a fatiguing maximal effort, the ability of the nervous system to […]

Can we stop older people from falling if we teach them how to step? 2

Balance exercise programs are an effective way to prevent falls in older people. Exercises are mostly focused on controlling the center of mass while reducing the base of support, for example by standing on one leg. Balance control however, also requires adaptive responses that would require a person to either […]


3d rendered illustration of the male nerve system

Arm posture influences spinal cord excitability

Nerve cells that innervate the biceps muscle become more (or less) excitable depending on the posture of the arm (Mogk et al. 2014). This has been shown by stimulating the motor area of people’s brains (the motor cortex) and measuring the size of responses in the muscles when the arm […]