Interview: Professor Rob Herbert talks about muscle contractures   Recently updated !

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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]


Interview: Professor Lorimer Moseley talks about science communication 1

Scientists publish their most important findings in scientific journals. But who reads those journals? Almost exclusively other scientists. That means that the vast majority of people, who fund the research through their taxes, will never hear about the results even though they might be important for them. Professor Lorimer Moseley […]

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Smart Skin

Smart skin: How do we know where we are being touched? 1

Senses such as sight, touch or hearing should tell us how things are – no more and no less, because our actions, and ultimately our survival, depend on them. However, senses cannot afford the luxury of being confused but have to ‘guess’ how things are even when sensory input is […]