Dr. Devin Jindrich
Dr. Jindrich directs the Laboratory for Integrative Motor Behavior (LIMB) lab. Research in the LIMB Lab focuses on the interactions between biomechanics and motor control that result in effective movement, or “neuromechanics.” We seek to advance our fundamental understanding of how biomechanical and neural systems interact during movement, and apply neuromechanical principles to biomedical applications. Whereas simple mechanical models can describe important aspects of constant-speed forward locomotion, the mechanics and control of maneuvering (changing movement direction) or remaining stable (maintaining a desired movement direction) are less well understood. Consequently, we investigate the mechanisms used by insects, humans, and other animals to maneuver and remain stable during rapid locomotion, towards developing a general framework for understanding the control of maneuverability and stability. The results of these experiments support the hypothesis that musculoskeletal design and physiology can simplify the control requirements for maneuvering and remaining stable. A second focus of the LIMB lab is on using neuromechanics to prevent injuries. We use experimental studies and computer simulations to assess the potential for injuries associated with emerging multitouch computer input devices, with the ultimate goal of helping designers create sets of multitouch gestures that minimize future injury risk. Neuromechanical principles can also make important contributions to improving motor function following injuries. Using rodent and primate animal models, we use neuromechanical techniques to develop more effective therapies and technological interventions for restoring function after neuromotor injury.