SUBJECT: Ph.D. Proposal Presentation
BY: Thendral Govindaraj
TIME: Wednesday, May 6, 2020, 11:00 a.m.
TITLE: The Role of Force-Dependent Feedback in the Regulation of Limb Impedance and Inter-joint Coordination
COMMITTEE: Dr. Gregory S. Sawicki, Co-Chair (ME)
Dr. T. Richard Nichols, Co-Chair (Biological Sciences)
Dr. Ye Zhao (ME)
Dr. Lena H. Ting (GT/Emory BME)
Dr. Boris Prilutsky (Biological Sciences)
Dr. Eric J. Perreault (Northwestern University)


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Neural feedback pathways from Golgi tendon organs, which measure active contractile force, are widely
distributed in the limb. Proportional coordination, or equal joint angle excursions, between the knee and
ankle has been observed in cats over many tasks and conditions despite differences in inertia between limb
segments. Therefore, our central hypothesis is that force feedback modulates limb impedance according to
the task and condition and regulates inter-joint coordination. Our research will employ a computational
frequency response analysis, empirical, and optimization framework to test this hypothesis. Understanding
the role of force feedback in regulating limb mechanics will inform therapeutic and rehabilitation techniques
for stroke and Spinal Cord Injury patients.