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Better is faster: Reward feedback accelerates motor learning

Our paper on the influence of reward on motor learning has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Neurophysiology. Adding rewarding feedback when learning a new motor task leads to faster learning. Read the paper for more details.

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Paper in press: Surprising increases in muscle coactivation during visuomotor rotation.

In a recent study, we measured muscle activity and metabolic cost as subjects adapted to a visuomotor rotation. Surprisingly we observed increases in both muscle activity, coactivation, and metabolic cost, even though the perturbation was solely kinematic. Perhaps muscle coactivation is a fundamental strategy used in the presence of uncertainty, regardless of the underlying cause. The paper was just accepted and is in press at the Journal of Neurophysiology.

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Alaa receives NSF CAREER Award!

The National Science Foundation has awarded Alaa their prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for her proposal entitled “The Neuroeconomics of Metabolic Cost in Movement Decision Making". The NSF CAREER Award recognizes young faculty members with five-year grants to support outstanding research projects and career development activities, including education and outreach initiatives, of teacher-scholars. Read the full abstract here: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?

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Transfer of postural adaptation depends on context of prior exposure

Alison's paper is accepted just in time for the New Year! Our findings demonstrate that transfer of postural adapation between stance widths depends on the context in which the task was initially learned. 

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Older adults learn less but still reduce metabolic cost

Helen's paper on the effect of age on motor learning is published in Journal of Neurophysiology.

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