Motor Learning and Plasticity Laboratory

Head of Laboratory: Prof. Dr. Deborah Falla

 

 

Laboratory activities:

 

The aims of the Laboratory for Motor Learning and Plasticity are to investigate the neural and peripheral mechanisms responsible for improvement in motor function following training both in healthy individuals and those with motor impairments. This includes investigations of cortical neuroplasticity, modification of motor unit properties and morphological adaptations in response to motor learning and training. Experimental and clinical research approaches are combined for the purpose of developing and evaluating research-based rehabilitation programs for patients with motor impairments.

 

H and M-wave recruitment curves before (PRE-S1 and PRE-S2) and after (POST) training for a representative subject of an endurance and strength training group.  A significant increment of the Soleus H-reflex amplitude was observed following 3 weeks of endurance training but not strength training.

 

Representative recent publications:

 

Vila-Cha C, Falla D, Correia MV, Farina D. Changes in H Reflex and V Wave Following Short-Term Endurance and Strength Training. J Appl Physiol. 2012 Jan;112(1):54-63. Epub 2011 Oct 13.

Vila-Cha C, Falla D, Correia MV, Farina D. Adjustments in Motor Unit Properties During Fatiguing Contractions After Training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Apr;44(4):616-24.

Boudreau SA, Farina D, Falla D. The Role of Motor Learning and Neuroplasticity in Designing Rehabilitation Approaches for Musculoskeletal Pain Disorders. Man Ther. 2010 Oct;15(5):410-4. Epub 2010 Jul 7. Review.