Associate Director Research

Osborne Centre Unit I Room 213
6108 Thunderbird Boulevard
University of Waterloo, 1996, B.Sc., Honours – Kinesiology
University of Waterloo, 1998, M.Sc., Kinesiology
University of Waterloo, 2001, Ph.D., Kinesiology
Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Courses Taught
Neuroanatomy of Human Movement


Neural Control of Movement, Postural Control, Fear of Falling, Balance Disorders


The first objective of my research is to identify the neural, musculo-skeletal and psychological factors that contribute to balance deficits and falls associated with age, Parkinson’s disease, vestibular loss and spinal cord injury. The second objective is to identify optimal exercise, training and treatment strategies to improve age and disease-specific balance deficits and reduce the occurrence and impact of falls. The Neural Control of Posture and Movement Laboratory features a comprehensive approach to studying dynamic control of balance by combining various neuro-physiological and biomechanical techniques, including surface and intra-muscular electromyography, 3D full-body motion analysis and force measurement coupled with quantitative and qualitative assessment of perceived and physiological effects of fear and anxiety. Virtual reality will be used to manipulate balance-related anxiety and recreate the environmental conditions that lead to falls in everyday life. Virtual environments will be integrated with a unique moving balance platform capable of producing unexpected multi-directional balance disturbances.


Selected Peer Reviewed Publications

1. Carpenter MG, Bloem BR. Postural control in Parkinson patients: a proprioceptive problem? Exp Neurol 2011; 227:26-30.

2. Carpenter MG, Murnaghan CD, Inglis JT. Shifting the balance: Evidence of an exploratory role for postural sway. Neuroscience 2010; 171:196-204.

3. Carpenter MG, Tokuno CD, Thorstensson A, Cresswell AG. Differential control of abdominal muscles during multi-directional support-surface translations in man. Exp Brain Res 2008; 188:445-55.

4. Carpenter MG, Adkin AL, Brawley L, Frank JS. Postural, physiological and psychological reactions to challenging balance: does age make a difference? Age Ageing 2006; 35:298-303.

5. Carpenter MG, Thorstensson A, Cresswell AG. Deceleration affects anticipatory and reactive components of triggered postural responses. Exp Brain Res 2005; 167:433-445.

6. Carpenter MG, Frank JS, Adkin AL, Paton A, Allum JHJ. Influence of postural anxiety on postural reactions to multi-directional surface rotations. J Neurophysiol 2004; 92:3255-3265.

7. Carpenter MG, Allum JHJ, Honegger F, Adkin AL, Bloem BR. Postural abnormalities to multidirectional stance perturbations in Parkinson’s disease. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2004; 75:1245-1254.

8. Carpenter MG, Allum JHJ, Honegger F. Vestibular influences on human postural control in combinations of pitch and roll planes reveal differences in spatio-temporal processing. Exp Brain Res 2001; 140:95-111.

9. Carpenter MG, Frank JS, Silcher CP. Surface height effects on postural control: a hypothesis for a stiffness strategy for stance. J Ves Res 1999; 9:277-286

Book Chapters and Review Articles

10. Allum JHJ, Carpenter MG. A speedy solution for balance and gait analysis: angular velocity measured at the centre of body mass. Curr Opin Neurol 2005; 18:15-21

11. Allum JHJ, Carpenter MG, Honegger F. Directional aspects of balance corrections in man. IEEE Eng Med Biol Mag 2003; 22:37-47

12. Allum JHJ, Carpenter MG, Bloem BR. Balance control and protective arm and trunk movements in the elderly. In Latash M, Levin MF. eds. Progress in Motor Control: Effects of Age, Disorder, and Rehabilitation. Illinois, Human Kinetics 2003; vol 3:183-206

13. Allum JHJ, Carpenter MG, Adkin AL. Balance control analysis (BCA) as a method of screening and identifying balance deficits. Ann N Y Acad Sc 2001; 942:413-427

14. Allum JHJ, Bloem B, Carpenter MG, Hadders-Algra M, Hulliger M. Proprioceptive control of posture. A review of new concepts. Gait Posture 1998; 8:214-242

Invited Presentations

15. Carpenter MG, Thorstensson A, Cresswell AG (2004) Neuro-mechanical responses are influenced by the acceleration-deceleration interval of a balance perturbation. European Society of Biomechanics, Den Bosch, The Netherlands

16. Carpenter, MG, Allum, JHJ, Honegger F (1997) Influence of stimulus velocity on human postural responses in the pitch and roll planes. International Society of Posture and Gait Meeting, Paris, France

17. Carpenter, MG, Allum, JHJ, Honegger F (1997) New uses of dynamic posturography for quantifying the directional sensitivity of vestibulo-spinal and other balance deficits. New Objective Tests in Clinical Audiology and Neuro-Otology Workshop, Warsaw, Poland