Dr. Jeff Nessler

Dr. Nessler directs the Biomechanics Laboratory at CSUSM. His research interests focus on how the nervous system controls locomotion in humans and animals and the potential application of these control principles to rehabilitation from neurological disease. Currently, Dr. Nessler is directing 3 specific research projects:

  1. Rehabilitation Robotics: this project is sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation and is designed to study the effects of a robotic step-training device on muscle physiology in individuals following spinal cord injury.
  2. Phase resetting and synchronization to a vertically oscillating walkway: this project is sponsored by a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how and why individuals synchronize to mechanical perturbations as a part of locomotor control.
  3. Spontaneous entrainment during side by side walking: this project is focused on understanding the mechanical and sensory contributions to unintentional synchronization that occurs when individuals walk side by side. This behavior may be useful in rehabilitation by pairing a healthy individual with someone that is unsteady.

Synchronous gait

Students participating in gait studies in the biomechanics lab

robot

Robotic step-training device used in NSF-funded study

Recent Projects Involving Undergraduate Students:

Nessler, J.A., Spargo, T., Craig-Jones, A., Lagorio, L., Johnson, S. (2013). Properties of the Phase Resetting Curve for Human Gait, In Proc. Dynamic Walking Conference, Pittsburgh, PA.

Nessler, J.A., Duhon, J., Schmitt, R., Soto, D., Moustafa, M. (2013).  Varying body weight support in bipedal stepping rats: changes in locomotor behavior are partially related to alterations in hindlimb posture, In Proc. Society for Neural Control of Movement, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Nessler, J.A. De Leone, C., McMillan, D., Schoulten, M., Shallow, T., Stewart, B. (2012).  “Side by Side Treadmill Walking With Intentionally Desynchonized Gait,” Annals of Biomedical Engineering.

Nessler, J.A., Moustafa, M-B., Soto, D., Duhon, J.E., Schmitt, R. (2011).  Robot applied stance loading increases hindlimb muscle mass and stepping kinetics in a rat model of spinal cord injury, In Proc. 33rd Annual Meeting IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology, Boston, MA.

Nessler, J.A., Moustafa, M.B., Soto, D., Duhon, J., Schmitt, R. (2011).  Assessment of Hindlimb Locomotor Strength in Spinal Cord Transected Rats Through Animal-Robot Reaction Force. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 133(12).

Kincaid-Sharp, E., Nessler, J. (2011). Synchronization of Gait to a Vertically Oscillating Walkway: A Preliminary Analysis, Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research, Walnut, CA.

Terwilliger, N., Lopez, A., Long-Anastasia, T., Studer, J., Nessler, J. (2011). Are Knee Kinematics Altered During a Run-Stop-Jump Task Following Practice With a Knee Extension Constraint Brace?, Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research, Walnut, CA.

Lopez, A., Long-Anastasia, T., Studer, J., Terwilliger, N., Nessler, J. (2011). The Effects of a Knee Extension Constraint Brace on Performance of a Run-Stop-Jump Task vs a Box-Drop Jump, Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research, Walnut, CA.

Long-Anastasia, T., Lopez, A., Studer, J., Terwilliger, N., Nessler, J. (2011). Running Speed, Jump Height, and Ground Reaction Force During a Run-Stop-Jump Task are not Affected by Use of a Knee Extension Constraint Brace, Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research, Walnut, CA.

Nessler, J.A., Huynh, H., McDougal, M. (2011). A single bout of resistance training does not affect nonlinear dynamics of lower extremity kinematics during treadmill walking. Gait & Posture, 34(2), 285-287.

Nessler, J.A., Cowell, J., Kephart, G., De Leone, C. (2011). Varying treadmill speed and inclination affects spontaneous synchronization during side by side walking. J. Applied Biomechanics.

Nessler, J.A., Gonzales, T, Steinbrick, M., Deleone, C. (2011) Analysis of Stride Interval Dynamics During Side by Side Walking. Motor Control, 15(3), 390-394.

McDougal, M., Huynh, H., & Nessler, J. (2010). The effect of moderate muscle fatigue on nonlinear measures of lower extremity kinematics during treadmill walking. Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research, Malibu, CA.

Duhon, J., Schmitt, R., Soto, D., & Nessler, J. (2010). Ground reaction force is altered following four weeks of automated locomotor training in spinal cord injured rats. Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research, Malibu, CA.

Schmitt, R., Duhon, J., Soto, D., & Nessler, J. (2010). Robot applied plantarflexion load increases ground reaction force without altering step trajectory: implications for body weight supported treadmill training. Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research, Malibu, CA.

Soto, D., Doyle, P., Duhon, J., Nakamura, E., Schmitt, R. & Nessler, J. (2010). Preserving lower limb muscle function following spinal cord injury; a comparison of three robotic training algorithms. Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research, Malibu, CA.

Nessler, J.A., Duhon, J., Keller, R., Thys, T. (2010). Animal-robot interaction force as a measure of locomotor recovery following spinal cord injury, In Proc. Annual Meeting American Society of Biomechanics, Providence, RI.

Nessler, J.A., Cowell, J, Kephart, G, Gonzales, T., Steinbrick, M., DeLeone, C., "Biomechanics of Step Synchronization, Two Preliminary Investigations," In Proc. 16th Annual USNCTAM 2010, State College, PA.

Amiton C, Nessler J, Owen A, Martin B, Jackson R, Witzke KA. Landing Strategies May Attenuate Peak Ground Reaction Forces in a Home-Based Jumping Program in Premenopausal Women. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 42(5S), 2010.

Witzke KA, Nessler, J, Amiton C, Owen A, Martin, B. Dose-Dependent Effects Of Jumping On Femoral Bone Density And Femoral Strength Index In Premenopausal Women. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 42(5S), 2010.
vicon camera system

One of an 8-camera

Vicon motion analysis system