Research interests

Main interest

My main research interest is how humans are able to walk on two legs with such remarkable ease. I am convinced that this is due to two things; 1) the way the human body is build, and 2) remarkable control from the central nervous system. In my research, I try to disentangle how this control is achieved. 

For instance, during my time as postdoc in Leuven, I combined kinematic measures of gait with brain imaging methods, in order to focus on the neural control of gait stability. I designed a gait-related dual-task paradigm combining fMRI and state-of-the-art diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). This project helped to identify (some) gait-related brain areas and corresponding pathways.

Currently, in my NWO-Veni funded project, I'm using measurements of brain activity during walking, by means of Electro-EncephaloGraphy to see which parts of the brain are involved in making us walk stable on two legs. 

Other research interests

  • I did my internship on the coordination of transverse pelvis and thorax rotations during walking, and continue to have an interest in the coordination of the trunk while walking (see Bruijn et al., 2008; Wu et al., 2008), and am currently working on a project on this topic.

  • Since my masters thesis about the debate between Camillo Golgi and Ramon Y Cajal, two Nobel prize winners at the beginning of the 19th century (see for example Grant, 2007), and largely due to the enthusiasm of my supervisor Onno Meijer, I became interested in historical research on human movement sciences. At the moment I am not really working on anything historical, but turning my masters thesis into a paper is still one of our plans.

  • Together with Myrthe Plaisier, I'm working on a more applied project, in which we look into the possibility of improving tactile pavement for navigation. Find more details on the project here