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The Neuromechanics Laboratory (NM Lab)

The Neuromechanics Laboratory Human Performance and Ergonomics - Mississippi State University

The Neuromechanics Laboratory (NM Lab) in the Department of Kinesiology under the directorship of Dr. Adam Knight and Dr. Harish Chander focuses on a comprehensive biomechanical, neuromuscular, motor learning and performance analysis of human movement. The aim of the lab is to enhance understanding in biomechanical, behavioral, neural, and cognitive mechanisms underlying human movements and to improve performance and prevent injuries in a variety of populations ranging from recreational, athletic, occupational, geriatric and special populations.

Lab Members

Directors of NM Lab

Dr. Adam Knight
Associate Professor
Co-Director of the Neuromechanics Laboratory

Dr. Harish Chander
Assistant Professor Co-Director of the Neuromechanics Laboratory

Faculty Members of NM Lab

Dr. Zhujun Pan
Assistant Professor

Dr. Chih-Chia Chen
Assistant Professor

Dr. John Lamberth
Associate Professor

Research

  1. Research Area: Slips, Trips, Falls and Injury Prevention in Military:
    The US Army Annual Injury Epidemiology Report in 2008 found 18.4% of all causes of injuries were attributed to falls/near falls. Research in the NM Lab has addressed the impact of military footwear and load carriage (rucksack) under simulated occupational workloads on different slip events and balance events.
    1. Chander H, Knight AC & Carruth DW. (2019). Does Minimalist Footwear Design Aid Fall Prevention in Ergonomics? Ergonomics in Design. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1064804619843384
    2. Chander H, Knight AC, Garner JC, Wade C, Carruth D, DeBusk H & Hill CM. (2018). Impact of military type footwear and workload on heel contact dynamics during slip events. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 66(C), 18-25.
    3. Chander H, Knight AC, Garner JC, Wade, C, Carruth D, Wilson SJ, Gdovin JR & Williams CC. (2018). Impact of military type footwear and load carrying workload on postural stability. Ergonomics. https://doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2018.1521528
    4. DeBusk H, Hill CM, Chander H, Knight AC & Babski-Reeves K. (2018). Influence of Military Workload and Footwear on Static and Dynamic Balance Performance. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ergon.2017.11.003.
    5. Hill CM, DeBusk H, Knight AC & Chander H. (2017). Influence of military type workload and footwear on muscle exertion during balance performance. Footwear Science, 9(3), 169-180.
    6. Simpson J, DeBusk H, Hill CM, Knight AC & Chander H. (2017). Effects of Military Footwear Type and Workload on Ground Reaction Forces during a Dynamic Inversion perturbation. The Foot, 34; 53-57.
  2. Research Area: Slips, Trips, Falls, and Injury Prevention in Firefighters:
    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimated that 70,090 firefighter injuries occurred in the line of duty in 2011, with 30,505 of those injuries being associated with fire ground operations. Research in the NM Lab on firefighters have addressed fall prevention in firefighters with personal protective equipment (PPE) that includes the self-containing breathing apparatus (SCBA), gas masks, turnout gear and protective footwear.
    1. Chander H, McAllister MJ, Holland AM, Waldman HS, Krings BM, Swain JC, Turner AJ, Basham SA, Smith JW & Knight AC. (2019). Effects of Ketone Ingestion on Single and Dual-Task Postural Stability and Muscular Exertion in Firefighters. Safety, 5, 15; doi:10.3390/safety5010015
    2. McAllister MJ, Holland AM, Chander H, Waldman HS; Smith JW & Basham SA. (2019). Impact of ketone salt containing supplement on cardiorespiratory and oxidative stress response in firefighters exercising in personal protective equipment. Asian Journal of Sports Medicine. doi:10.5812/asjsm.82404.
    3. Morris CE, Winchester LJ, Hussey AJ, Tomes AS, Neal WA, Wilcoxen DM, Chander H, Arnett SW. Effect of a simulated tactical occupation stressor and task complexity on mental focus and related physiological parameters. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics. 66, 200-205. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ergon.2018.03.006
    4. Morris CE, Winchester LJ, Hussey AJ, Tomes AS, Neal WA, Wilcoxen DM, Chander H, Arnett SW. (2018). Effect of a simulated tactical occupation task on physiological strain index, stress and inflammation. International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics. 1-6. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10803548.2018.1482053
    5. Morris CE & Chander H. (2018). The Impact of Firefighter Physical Fitness on Job Performance: A Review of the Factors That Influence Fire Suppression Safety and Success. Safety, 4, 60.
    6. Chander H, Wade C & Garner JC. (2016). Slip Outcomes in Firefighters: A Comparison of Rubber and Leather Boots. Occupational Ergonomics, 13 (2), 67-77.
    7. Garner JC, Wade C, Garten R, Chander H & Acevedo E. (2013). The influence of firefighter boot type on balance. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 43(1), 77-81.
  3. Research Area: Fall Prevention and Postural Stability in Construction and Manufacturing:
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported from a total of 5,147 fatalities, 887 were attributed to falls, slips and trips and a total of 227,760 cases of non-fatal workplace injuries that were due to falls (falls to lower level: 47,180; same level falls: 142,770; slips/trips: 33,720) with a high incidence rate especially in construction (24,160 falls) and manufacturing (22,010 falls) in 2017. Research in the NM Lab in the field of fall prevention and postural stability focused on construction and manufacturing sectors, included testing of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as occupational footwear and workload/fatigue exposure in such occupational tasks.
    1. Chander H, Tuner AJ, Swain JC, Sutton PE, McWhirter KL, Morris CE, Knight AC & Carruth D. (2019). Impact of Occupational Footwear and Workload on Postural Stability in Work Safety. Work. (Accepted/In-Press).
    2. Turner AJ, Swain JC, McWhirter KL, Knight AC, Carruth D & Chander H. (2018). Influence of occupational footwear and workload on muscular exertion. International Journal of Exercise Science; 11 (1), 331-341. https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol11/iss1/4
    3. Krings BM, Miller BL, Chander H, Waldman HS, Knight AC, McAllister M, Fountain BJ, Smith JW. (2018). Impact of occupational footwear during simulated workloads on energy expenditure. Footwear Science, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1080/19424280.2018.146062
    4. Chander H, Garner JC, Wade C & Knight AC. (2017). Postural Control in Workplace Safety: Role of Occupational Footwear and Workload. Safety. 3(3), 18.
    5. Chander H, Wade C & Garner JC. (2015). Impact of Occupational Footwear on Dynamic Balance Perturbations. Footwear Science, 7(2), 115-126.
    6. Chander H, Garner JC & Wade C. (2014). Impact on balance while walking in occupational footwear. Footwear Science, 6(1), 59-66.
  4. Research Area: Clinical Population and Chronic Ankle Instability Patients:
    Individuals with chronic ankle instability are extremely more prone for ankle sprains and falls leading to subsequent injuries. Foot and Ankle research in the NM Lab have also addressed health benefits of different types of training in clinical and special population. These research projects focus on preventing injuries for these special populations.
    1. Simpson J, Stewart E., Turner AJ, Macias D., Chander H & Knight AC. (2019). Bilateral Spatiotemporal Postural Control Impairments are Present in Participants with Chronic Ankle Instability. Physical Therapy in Sport. (Accepted/In-Press).
    2. Simpson J, Stewart E, Turner A, Macias D, Chander H & Knight AC. (2019). Lower limb joint kinetics during a side-cutting movement in participants with and without chronic ankle instability. Journal of Athletic Training. (Accepted/In-Press).
    3. Simpson J, Stewart E, Rendos N, Cosio-Lima L, Wilson S, Macias D, Chander H & Knight AC. (2019). Anticipating ankle inversion perturbations during a single-leg drop landing alters ankle joint and impact kinetics. Human Movement Science. (Accepted/In-Press)
    4. Simpson J, Stewart E, Turner A, Macias D, Wilson S, Chander H & Knight AC. (2019). Neuromuscular control in individuals with chronic ankle instability: A comparison of unexpected and expected ankle inversion perturbations during a single leg drop-landing. Human Movement Science, 64, 133-141.
    5. Simpson JD, Knight AC, Macias D, Stewart E & Chander H. (2018). Lower extremity kinematics during ankle inversion perturbations: a novel methodology that simulates an unexpected lateral ankle sprain mechanism. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsr.2018-0061
    6. Simpson JD, Knight AC, Macias D, Stewart E & Chander H. (2018). Individuals with chronic ankle instability exhibit dynamic postural stability deficits and altered unilateral landing biomechanics: A systematic review. Physical Therapy in Sport. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ptsp.2018.06.003
    7. Liu Y, Stranburg T, Chander H & Knight AC. (2018). Assessment of Performance of Nitinol-Based Arch Wedge Supports in Bearing Forces and Stresses due to Human Movement Using FEA. International Journal for Computational Methods in Engineering Science & Mechanics. https://doi.org/10.1080/15502287.2018.1533601
    8. Luczak T, Saucier D, Burch RF, Ball JE, Chander H, Knight AC, Wei P & Iftekhar T. (2018). Closing the Wearable Gap: Mobile Systems for Kinematic Signal Monitoring of the Foot and Ankle. Electronics, 7(7), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics7070117
    9. Knight AC & Weimar WH. (2013). Difference in ratio of evertor to invertor activity between the dominant and non-dominant legs during simulated lateral ankle sprain. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 22(4), 272-278.
    10. Knight AC & Weimar WH. (2012). Effects of ankle taping and previous injury on the latency of the peroneus longus. Sports Biomechanics, 11, 48-56.
    11. Knight AC & Weimar WH. (2011). Effects of inversion perturbation after step down task on the latency of the peroneus longus and peroneus brevis. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 27, 283-290.
    12. Knight AC & Weimar WH. (2011). Development of a fulcrum methodology to replicate the lateral ankle sprain mechanism and measure dynamic inversion speed. Sports Biomechanics, DOI:10.1080/14763141.2011.638724
    13. Knight AC & Weimar WH. (2011). Difference in response latency of the peroneus longus between the dominant and non-dominant legs. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 20 (3), 321-332.
  5. Research Area: Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention in Sports and Athletics:
    The upright maintenance of balance is critical in competitive sports. Sporting activities challenge the body’s postural control system and require the individual to maintain balance in both for effective completion of the sporting task. Additionally, different sports have different balance requirements and demands on the athlete, based on the nature of the sporting task. NM Lab’s research also focuses on performance analysis of sporting skills in an athletic population. This includes injury prevention and performance enhancement.
    1. Simpson J, Cosio-Lima L, Scudamore E, O’Neal E, Stewart E, Miller B, Chander H & Knight AC. (2019). Effects of Weighted Vest Loading during Daily Living Activities on Countermovement Jump and Sprint Performance. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. (Accepted/In-Press).
    2. Krings B, Waldman HS, Shepperd B, Swain JC, Turner AJ, Chander H, McAllister MJ, Knight AC & Smith JE. (2019). Impact of fat grip attachments on muscular strength and neuromuscular activation during resistance exercise. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000002954.
    3. Dabbs NC & Chander H. (2018). The Impact of Effects of Exercise Induced Muscle Damage on Lower Extremity Torque and Balance Performance in Recreationally Trained Individuals. Sports. 6 (3), 101. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports6030101
    4. Simpson JD, Miller BM, Knight AC & Chander H. (2018). Impact of external load training on drop landing kinetics. Human Movement Science, 59, 12-17
    5. Gdovin JR, Williams CC, Wilson SJ, Cazas-Moreno VC, Eason JD, Hoke EL, Allen CR, Chander H, Wade C & Garner JC. (2018). The effects of athletic footwear on ground reaction forces during a side step cutting maneuver on artificial turf. International Journal of Kinesiology and Sports Sciences, 6(2), 30-36.
    6. Waldman HS, Basham SA, Krings BM, Smith JW, Chander H, Knight AC & McAllister MJ. (2018). Exogenous Ketone Salts Improve Cognitive Responses without Decrements to High Intensity Exercise Performance in Healthy College-Aged Males. Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2017-0724
    7. Wilson SJ, Williams CC, Gdovin JR, Eason JD, Chander H, Wade C & Garner JC. (2017). The Influence of an Acute Bout Whole Body Vibration on Human Postural Control Responses. Journal of Motor Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1080/00222895.2017.1383225
    8. Simpson J, Miller BL, O’Neal E, Chander H & Knight AC. (2017). External Load Training Does Not Alter Balance Performance in Well-Trained Women. Sports Biomechanics, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1080/14763141.2017.1341546
    9. Dabbs NC, Sauls NM, Zayer A & Chander H. (2017). Balance Performance in Collegiate Athletes: A Comparison of Balance Error Scoring System Measures. Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology. 2(3), 26; doi:10.3390/jfmk2030026
    10. Chander H & Dabbs NC. (2016). Balance Performance and Training Among Female Athletes. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 38(2), 8-13.
    11. Knight AC, Holmes ME, Chander H, Kimble A & Stewart JT. (2016). Assessment of balance among adolescent track and field athletes. Sports Biomechanics, 15(2), 169-179.
    12. Chander H, MacDonald CJ, Dabbs NC, Allen CR, Lamont HS & Garner JC. (2014). Balance Performance in Female Collegiate Athletes. Journal of Sports Science, 2, 13-20.
    13. MacDonald CJ, Israetel M, Dabbs NC, Chander H, Allen CR, Lamont H & Garner JC. (2013) Influence of Body Composition on Selected Jump Performance Measures in Collegiate Female Athletes. Journal of Trainology, 2: 33-37.
  6. Research Area: Footwear Biomechanics:
    Slips, trips and an induced loss of balance have been identified as the major causative factor for workplace injuries involving falls. The annual cost of workplace injuries due to slips, trips and falls in the United States was estimated to be over 6 billion US dollars with an expected cost of $43.8 billion by 2020. Footwear type and muscular exertion level have been shown to impact balance performance in humans and lead to injuries. Research in the NM Lab have also addressed footwear biomechanics including alternative footwear such as crocs and flip-flops are commonly used in hospital, clinic and nursing home facilities where slip induced falls are very common. His work analyzes the impact of such footwear during slips, balance tasks and aids in fall prevention.
    1. Chander H, Wade C, Garner JC. & Knight AC. (2017). Slip initiation in alternative and slip-resistant footwear. International journal of occupational safety and ergonomics, 23(4), 558-569.
    2. Morris CE, Chander H, Wilson SJ, Wade C, Loftin M & Garner JC. (2017). Impact of alternative footwear on human energy expenditure. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 12 (4), 1220-1229.
    3. Chander H, Morris CE, Wilson SJ, Wade, C & Garner JC. (2016). Balance Performance in Alternative Footwear. Footwear Science, 8(3), 165-174.
    4. Chander H, Garner JC & Wade C. (2015). Heel Contact Dynamics in Alternative Footwear during Slip Events. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 48, 158-166.
    5. Chander H, Garner JC & Wade C. (2015). Ground Reaction Forces in Alternative Footwear during Slip Events. International Journal of Kinesiology and Sports Science, 3(2), 1-8.
  7. Research Area: Clinical, Geriatrics and Obese Populations:
    The age-related decline in impairments in physical functioning can contribute to a significant number of injuries in the elderly, and subsequently the risk of falling is even higher. In addition to the structural and injury issues as a result of excess weight (obesity), there is potentially increased risk of experiencing a fall. Obese and overweight individuals often experience daily postural perturbations to a greater degree than normal weight individuals due to balance issues. Research in the NM Lab have also addressed health benefits of different types of training in clinical and special population. These research projects focus on preventing injuries and promoting quality of life through exercise type intervention for these special populations.
    1. Kodithuwakku Arachchige S, Chander H & Knight AC. (2019). Flat feet: Biomechanical implications, assessment and management. The Foot, 38, 81-85.
    2. Turner AJ, Chander H & Knight AC. (2018). Falls in geriatric population and hydrotherapy as an intervention: A brief review. Geriatrics, 3(4), 71. https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics3040071
    3. Hill CM, Wilson SJ, Mouser JG, Donahue PT & Chander H. (2018). Motor Adaptation during Repeated Motor Control Testing: Attenuated Muscle Activation without Changes in Response Latencies. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jelekin.2018.05.007
    4. Morris CE, Chander H, Garner JC, DeBusk H, Owens SG, Valliant MW & Loftin M. (2017). Evaluating Human Balance Following an Exercise Intervention in Previously Sedentary, Overweight Adults. Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology, 2(2), 19; https://doi:10.3390/jfmk2020019
    5. Dabbs NC, MacDonald CJ, Chander H, Lamont HS, Garner JC. (2014). The Effects of Whole-body Vibration on Balance in Elderly Women. Medicina Sportiva. 18(1): 10-15.

Key Research Collaborators

  • Human Performance Laboratory, Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS), Mississippi State University
  • Human Systems Laboratory, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Mississippi State University
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering, Mississippi State University
  • Department of Building Science and Construction, Mississippi State University
  • Athlete Engineering Working Group, Mississippi State University
  • Sensor Working Group, Mississippi State University

NM Lab Current Students

PhD Students

  • Ethan Stewart, MS
  • Megan Smidebush, MS
  • Alana Turner, MS
  • Sachini Kodithuwakku, MS
  • Brandon Miller

NM Lab Alumni

  • Hunter DeBusk – Associate Engineer, Applied Cognitive Sciences
  • Jeffrey Simpson – Assistant Professor, University of West Florida
  • Christopher Hill – Assistant Professor, Northern Illinois University

Current & Prospective Students

Undergraduate Students

  • Neuromechanics Research Core (NRC) – Undergraduate Research Club. Description
    This organization is for students interested in Neuromechanics research. Neuromechanics is a field of study that focuses on the effects of neural interventions on muscle activity to produce human movement. The goal of the group is to further understand the nature of neuromechanics and how it can be applied to real world situations.
    Requirements
    To become a member, you must meet the following requirements:
    • Interested in Neuromechanics research
    • CITI certified through the IRB website to conduct human subjects’ research
    • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the time of membership. Freshman must have at least 12hours of college credit at MSU to be eligible for membership.
    • Contact nmlab.msstate@gmail.com for more details.
  • For other research opportunities, please contact Dr. Knight and Dr. Chander.

Graduate Students

  • Masters’ students who want to opt for the “thesis” or the “directed individual study (DIS)” concluding option and interested to do this in the Neuromechanics Laboratory, should contact Dr. Knight and Dr. Chander, as early as possible into their respective academic curriculum.
  • Potential Doctoral students, interested in Neuromechanics, please contact Dr. Knight and Dr. Chander.
  • Graduate students who are interested in the Neuromechanics Laboratory are welcome to attend our weekly research meetings. Follow us on Twitter @MSU_NMLab for the most recent updates and meeting times.

Resources

Prospective Students

Thank you for your interest in the Neuromechanics Laboratory. The NM Lab focuses on research encompassing neuroscience and biomechanics and offers research, learning, directed individual studies (DIS) and internship opportunities, working with one or multiple faculty members, based on your research interests.

Contact Us

Neuromechanics Laboratory

216 McCarthy PO BOX: 6186
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Email: nmlab.msstate@gmail.com

  • Dr. Adam C. Knight – aknight@colled.msstate.edu
  • Dr. Harish Chander – hchander@colled.msstate.edu

The Neuromechanics Laboratory's research core faculty members include Drs. Adam Knight, Harish Chander, Zhujun Pan, Chih-Chia Chen and John Lamberth. More information on individual faculty members can be found at

Follow us on Twitter

For more recent lab updates and ongoing research, please follow the Neuromechanics Laboratory @MSU_NMLab on Twitter.