Dr. Jeff Haddad
Department of Health and Kinesiology
Lambert Fieldhouse, Room 210A
PhD in Kinesiology from University of Massachusetts at Amherst
MS in Kinesiology from University of Massachusetts at Amherst
BS in Kinesiology from University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Motor control; Balance; Dynamical systems
My research explores changes in postural stability, manual control, and locomotion that occur as a function of age, development, and disease. I am particularly interested in how individuals across the life-span adapt their motor behaviors in varying contexts. Using a variety of analytical techniques (inspired from non-linear dynamics and chaos theory), my research has suggested that motor variability is a functional component of typical movement production. Specifically, nonrandom structured variations in generated movements aid the development of motor skills, increase balance control, and improve the ability of the motor system to successfully adapt and coordinate movements based on the context of the task and environment.
Currently, I am investigating decline that occurs in the integration between posture and other supra-postural behaviors in aged populations. This research is specifically examining ways to improve balance (reduce fall risk) in older individuals and individuals with Parkinson’s disease as they perform typical daily standing multi-task activities such as talking while producing precision hand movements.
Current research projects
- Limit cycle oscillations and instability in human balance control.
- Development of a cognitive balance training paradigm to improve quality of life in people with Parkinson’s disease (COBALT)
- Using repurposed gaming technology (the Microsoft Kinect and Wii balance board) to capture human movement.
- Examining the structure of human movement variability using non-linear analytical techniques.
Brittney Muir (PhD - 2015)
Dissertation: The effects of locomotor task challenge on the gait strategies of young, middle-aged and older adults
Assistant professor of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy, The Sage Colleges
Charmayne Huges (PhD - 2010)
Dissertation: The effects of physical object coupling on inter-limb coordination
San Francisco State University
Joshua Liddy (MS – 2014)
Thesis: Using the Microsoft Kinect to Assess Human Bimanual Coordination
Tiphanie Raffegeau (MS – 2013)
Thesis: The relationship between mobility and communication in young healthy adults
Jessica Seaman (MS – 2011)
Thesis: The development of intra- and inter- limb coordination