Martin Heroux


Are you reliably excitable?

Studies on motor impairments sometimes involve electrophysiological measures to assess the effects of therapeutic interventions.  For example, to determine the effect of an exercise program on brain function/excitability, a researcher might measure muscle responses elicited by non-invasive, magnetic stimulation of the brain (transcranial magnetic stimulation). When researchers plan their studies […]


The use and abuse of brain stimulation 2

Brain zapping, or non-invasive brain stimulation, in all its forms, has hit the mainstream.  You can even watch a YouTube video about how to build your very own not-approved-for-human-use transcranial magnetic stimulation machine!  Light-heartedness aside, the therapeutic benefits of brain stimulation are regularly highlighted in the news, and the number […]


Even motoneurons need a break! 4

Motoneurons are the final common pathway for every movement and muscle contraction. Located in the spinal cord, these neurons constantly receive and integrate thousands of tiny electrical signals from various parts of the central and peripheral nervous system. The end result: an action potential that travels down their axon and […]


In one ear out the other: balance and vestibular recalibration

We continually receive sensory information about our environment and ourselves. Similar to human interactions, some sources of information are more credible than others. Thus, how does the central nervous system decide what source of information to listen to? What happens if the only available source of information is a distorted […]


Art and science: the benefits of dance in Parkinson’s disease

As a graduate student, I volunteered at my local community centre and the manager assigned me to run one of the weekly exercise classes offered to older people in the community. I found this experience highly rewarding and I was impressed by the enthusiasm of participants. The highlight of each […]


Interview with Professor Simon Gandevia on motor impairment

Siobhan Moylan, a science and media communicator at Neuroscience Research Australia, recently conducted this insightful interview with Professor Simon Gandevia. In the interview, Professor Gandevia talks at length about motor impairment, which is the focus of a recent NHMRC Program Grant entitled ‘Motor Impairment: basic and applied human neurophysiology’.  


Fighting fire with fire: using vibration to suppress tremor 2

Treatments for tremor disorders have largely focused on the prescription of medications or, in more severe cases, brain surgery (for a review see Schneider & Deuschl 2015). In recent years, there have been some novel – and at times ‘sci-fi’ – approaches to reducing tremor amplitude.  Such approaches include the […]


Interview with Professor Stephen Lord

Professor Lord’s research aims to enhance understanding of human balance and involves investigations of sensory and motor contributions, behavioural influences, environmental factors, as well as clinical populations and settings. Current studies are designed to investigate the physiology and biomechanics of standing, walking and stepping reactions. Fall risk factors and strategies […]


Interview with Professor Rob Herbert 1

Professor Herbert’s research examines the mechanisms of contracture in human muscles using novel biomechanical methods. He also conducts epidemiological studies to quantify the prevalence and incidence of contracture, predict people who are most likely to develop contracture, and we conduct clinical trials to investigate the effectiveness of interventions designed to […]