Welcome to the Rehabilitation Informatics Lab ("ril") at Auburn University. Our research focuses on creating databases and optimizing statistical methods to support research and clinical practice in rehabilitation. We use records-based research methods to determine how the amount ('dose') and timing of physical and occupational therapy impacts outcomes, we are working to develop tools for the management and analysis of longitudinal data, and we implement meta-scientific approaches to explore statistical power and potential sources of bias in research.
We also conduct studies of motor skill learning with the goal of applying these findings back to rehabilitation. Specifically, we are interested in how principles of game-design (e.g., aesthetics, choice, difficulty) contribute to engagement and enhanced learning in healthy individuals and in those with neurological impairments (such as stroke and traumatic brain injury). It is often taken for granted that 'games' will increase engagement and motivation during rehabilitation, but we are experimentally testing game-design principles to see which mechanics reliably contribute to engagement. The lab uses equipment for behavioral and physiological assessment, including video and audio recording equipment, wireless physiology tools (electromyography, electrodermal activity, and photoplethysmography) (Biopac; Goleta, CA), wireless eye-tracking equipment (Applied Science Laboratories; Bedford, MA), and motion-controlled video game systems (Microsoft Kinect; Redmond, WA).
The lab uses and supports a number of open source programs including the R Project for Statistical Computing, Python, Libre Office, and the GNU Image Manipulation Program.