Motion Analysis Laboratory Facilities

The Motion Analysis Laboratory is a part of the Rosenberg Clinical Research Center, on the ground floor of the Kennedy Krieger Institute

Two large testing spaces comprise the laboratory; they are designed for quantitative, whole-body movement assessments. Faculty and student offices are adjacent to the laboratory spaces. The F.M Kirby Neuroimaging Center is located directly across the lobby and allows easy access to 1.5 and 3 T scanners.

The laboratories houses two Optotrak motion measurement systems (Northern Digital Inc., Waterloo, Ontario Canada). These systems share up to 5 separate 3-D sensors that can track the position of infrared emitting diodes (IRED markers) placed on the joints or segments of the body or devices.

One laboratory space houses a custom-made, split-belt treadmill from Woodway. This treadmill has two belts that can be used to independently control the two legs during walking. This allows us to manipulate the speed and direction in which the two legs move relative to one another. Custom software is used to control the treadmill using a computer interface. A harness system is used with the treadmill to ensure that subjects do not injure themselves.

The other laboratory houses 2, Kistler 9281 force plates, which allow measurement of the forces exerted on the floor by a person standing, walking, or running. These force plates have a natural frequency of 1000 Hz in all directions and are the most dynamic force plates currently available.

Both laboratories share with 2, cable telemetry EMG amplifier system (Bortec Inc. and Motion Lab systems) for recording activity from 18 muscles using surface electrodes. There are also integrated channels for foot switches.

A Rigidity Analyzer system (developed by A. Prochazka) is used to measures the force and velocity applied to a limb and computes displacement, elastic and viscous stiffness, and impedance. This system is useful for assessing abnormalities in muscle tone (i.e. resistance to passive movement) at the ankle, knee, wrist and elbow.

The Vibratron II provides a non-invasive means of measuring vibration sense. This device allows vibration thresholds to be determined through accurate and reproducible control of stimulus intensity. For this test, each subject is required to determine which of two rods (A or B) is vibrating using a two-alternative forced choice procedure. The vibration level can be varied by less than a micron, allowing for very sensitive testing. Strength is measured using a Microfet2 hand-held dynamometer or a KinCom isokinetic device (located at Johns Hopkins).

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