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Personal profile

Research Interests

We examine the neural control of movement, focusing on the role of spinal circuitry.  We use an interdisciplinary approach in this research, using a combination of behavioral, biomechanical, and neurophysiological techniques.  Our current research examines the neural control of internal joint variables, evaluating the hypothesis that the nervous system actively regulates the stresses and strains within joints in order to minimize injury. We examine this issue using biomechanics, characterizing how muscles affect the stresses and strains within joints; using behavioral studies, characterizing how the CNS adapts kinematics and muscle activations to compensate for alterations in joint structures; and using electrophysiological studies, examining the neural systems involved in regulating joint stresses and strains.

We are also developing neuroprostheses for restoring functional movements following spinal cord injury. This is collaborative work with Dr. Lee Miller.  Previous work from his lab has shown the potential of cortically controlled FES: using cortical predictions of muscle activation to drive stimulation of paralyzed muscles, thereby restoring natural control of a paralyzed animals’ own limb.  We are developing these procedures in a rodent model, examining whether this approach can be used to restore the hindlimb movements underlying locomotion in animals paralyzed by spinal cord injury.

Education/Academic qualification

Neuroscience, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

… → 1998

Psychology, BA, Wesleyan University

… → 1992

Research interests

  • Coordination
  • Motor control
  • Muscle synergies
  • Nervous system
  • Neuro-physiological substrates of motor coordination
  • Restoration after injury
  • Spinal cord
  • Synchronization in spinal cord function

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  • Research Output

    Bursting interneurons in the deep dorsal horn develop increased excitability and sensitivity to serotonin after chronic spinal injury

    Thaweerattanasinp, T., Birch, D., Jiang, M. C., Tresch, M. C., Bennett, D. J., Heckman, C. J. & Tysseling, V. M., May 1 2020, In : Journal of neurophysiology. 123, 5, p. 1657-1670 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Scopus citations

    Coordination amongst quadriceps muscles suggests neural regulation of internal joint stresses, not simplification of task performance

    Alessandro, C., Barroso, F. O., Prashara, A., Tentler, D. P., Yeh, H. Y. & Tresch, M. C., Apr 7 2020, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117, 14, p. 8135-8142 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Adaptation of muscle activation after patellar loading demonstrates neural control of joint variables

    Barroso, F. O., Alessandro, C. & Tresch, M. C., Dec 1 2019, In : Scientific reports. 9, 1, 20370.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Scopus citations

    Cortically Controlled FES for Restoration and Rehabilitation of Function Following SCI in Rats

    Barroso, F. O., Yoder, B., Wallner, J., Jantz, M., Tostado, P., Pei, E., Tysseling, V., Miller, L. E. & Tresch, M. C., Jan 1 2019, Biosystems and Biorobotics. Springer International Publishing, p. 931-934 4 p. (Biosystems and Biorobotics; vol. 21).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Decoding neural activity to predict rat locomotion using intracortical and epidural arrays

    Barroso, F. O., Yoder, B., Tentler, D., Wallner, J. J., Kinkhabwala, A. A., Jantz, M. K., Flint, R. D., Tostado, P. M., Pei, E., Satish, A. D. R., Brodnick, S. K., Suminski, A. J., Williams, J. C., Miller, L. E. & Tresch, M. C., Jan 1 2019, In : Journal of Neural Engineering. 16, 3, 036005.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle