Sensorimotor Learning Laboratory


The laboratory

The laboratory is a 700 square foot testing area and it is equipped with state-of-the art tools for behavioral human studies. It is located on the 4th floor at Bakery Square, which is a recently renovated office space centrally located in the city of Pittsburgh. It is only 4.5 miles away from the UPMC Mercy hospital, which is the site where stroke patients affiliated to the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute are treated. The building features state of the art wheel chair accessibility, a parking garage attached to building to facilitate the transport of patients, and public transportation that is easily accessible.


Vicon Motion Analysis System

Vicon Motion Analysis System

The lab is equipped with a state-of-the-art 14-camera Vicon Motion Analysis System for recording three-dimensional body kinematics data. The Vicon system includes instrumentation to digitize up to 64 analog signals. The Vicon system is capable of reconstructing and labeling full body marker sets in real time at a sampling frequency of 100 Hz.

For some studies the real time marker data is used to provide subjects with biofeedback (Vizard 4, WorldViz) on their performance of various tasks. In other studies the real time marker data can be used to view bio-mechanical measurements (The Motion Monitor, IST inc.).

Bertec Treadmill

In floor treadmill

The laboratory is also equipped with a split-belt treadmill (Bertec) with instrumented belts and support rail. Both belts are independently instrumented to measure 6 D.O.F. ground reaction kinetics at 1000 Hz, enabling studies that seek to measure gait parameters in an efficient way.

The treadmill can also incline to a maximum of 15 degrees, which allows for inclined and declined walking and running.

The 6 D.O.F. instrumented support rail enables researchers to quantitatively evaluate a subjects use of the rail for support during split belt walking.

Delsys sEMG

Delsys sEMG

The lab also has a wireless sEMG system (Delsys) that can record up to 32 electromyographic (EMG) signals. The Delsys system records at 2000 Hz for several hours at a time.

The Delsys system can also stream in analog signals from any source, which enables our lab to directly synchronize the sEMG signals to ground reaction forces.

dSpace MicroLab Module

MicrolabBox dSpace

The most recent addition to the lab is a dSPACE MicroLab module. This programmable device enables researchers to write special control programs in Simulink to control countless types of equipment. The future plan is to use this module to control a special ankle exo-skeleton (Steve Collins, CMU) which can help or inhibit ankle torques during gait.