My research focuses on the changes in the human motor system due to the aging process. I have a number of current projects with such a focus:
The objective of this research experience is to directly investigate the effects of an aerobic exercise regimen on motor performance in the upper extremity using modern neuroimaging techniques. The purpose of the proposed research project is to continue multimodality neurophysiological inquiry and investigate the effects of aerobic activity on interhemispheric communication during unimanual movement. Additionally, the present study will evaluate the effects of both short-term (12 weeks) and longer-term exercise (6 months) programs on motor performance level and interhemispheric communication. The study will employ functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to explore possible differences in interhemispheric communication after behavioral and exercise interventions. We expect that increased levels of aerobic fitness will result in improved upper extremity motor performance and decreased loss of interhemispheric inhibition typical of sedentary aging adults.