Perceptual Motor Dynamics Research Laboratory

 
The research focus of the Perceptual-Motor Dynamics Laboratory is centered on the study of human perceptual-motor control. The long-term objective of this research program is to understand the neurobehavioural mechanisms underlying the sensory and perceptual contributions to the preparation and execution of goal-directed actions. The research program is motivated by longstanding interests in issues pertaining to:

  1. the volitional and automatic control of visually-guided action
  2. the mechanisms underlying motor preparation
  3. the processes underlying sensorimotor adaptation and learning.

A current objective of the lab’s research is to investigate the principles that govern the sensorimotor adaptation of goal-directed actions in the face of systematic perturbations to the sensory/perceptual environment and/or the effector machinery. The capacity of our sensorimotor system to adapt – to detect and correct movement error, to refine our actions and adjust to changing conditions in the environment and/or neuromuscular system – is important to act upon and interact with the world. The aim of this research to further our understanding of sensorimotor adaptation.

The lab is equipped with digital and analog data acquisition systems, including electromyography, electroencephalography, electrophysiological stimulation, 3D motion analysis, and torque motor systems. Software for experiment control and data analyses are written in LabView, Matlab, Visual Basic, and R.


Romeo Chua is the research supervisor of the Perceptual-Motor Dynamics Lab. He obtained a BSc in Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University, a MSc in Human Biodynamics at McMaster University, and completed his PhD in Human Motor Control in Kinesiology at Simon Fraser University. After four winters at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, he moved to his current position in the School of Kinesiology at UBC in 1999.


I was born in Trail, BC and have lived in a number of different cities around the Pacific Northwest. I moved to Vancouver in September 2007 and completed my Undergraduate Degree in Human Kinetics at UBC. During that time, I spent my summers working as a research assistant in the Motor Control and Learning Lab. My interest in understanding how humans control movement grew over that time period and influenced my decision to pursue graduate studies in Human Motor Control. I completed my MSc in Kinesiology in August 2013 and started my PhD in September 2013. Outside of research, my interests include mountain biking, kickboxing, skiing, and protecting the kinesiology labs from thieves.


I completed my Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia. During my undergraduate degree, I pitched three seasons for the UBC Varsity Baseball team before hanging up my spikes in 2013. It was through sports that I developed an admiration for skilled human movement and, through my studies, an interest in sensorimotor control. After graduating from UBC in 2014, I spent the next two years working and traveling abroad in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Southeast Asia, before returning to Vancouver to pursue graduate studies under Professor Romeo Chua in the Perceptual-Motor Dynamics Lab. I am currently interested in how the nervous system coordinates multiple effectors during unconstrained goal-directed actions, and the role of multisensory integration in pain perception.


During my MSc under the supervision of Dr. Romeo Chua, I explored many areas of human motor behaviour. Using simple reaching movements, I investigated topics such as proprioceptive drift and, for my thesis work, tactile perception and multisensory integration. Aside from reaching during experiments, I primarily enjoy reaching for espresso in the lab.

The research contributions listed below are a result of extensive collaborative efforts with colleagues both nationally and internationally. Evident in these publications is the collaborative approach that I have adopted in my research programme.

Legend
From 1996 onward:
Student names have been italicized.
Students for whom I served as a direct research collaborator for the given project have been underlined and italicized.
Students* for whom I served as a direct research supervisor for the project have been underlined and italicized and *.
Students for whom I served as a primary thesis supervisor or co-supervisor have been double underlined and italicized.
Post-doctoral fellows under my supervision have been bold- underlined and italicized.
Publications in which I am the supervising and/or corresponding author have my name italicized.
Superscript numeral indicates funding source for the project and/or my contributions.

Superscript Legend – Funding Source: 1. NSERC; 2. NIH; 3. BCHRF; 4. UofA; 5. SSHRC

Refereed Publications

Journals

  • 1 Blinch, J.P., de Cellio Martins G, & Chua, R. (2017). Effects of integrated feedback on discrete bimanual movements in choice reaction time. Experimental Brain Research, 235, 247-257.
  • Maslovat, D., Chua, R., & Franks, I.M. (2017). Investigation of timing preparation during response initiation and execution using a startling acoustic stimulus. Experimental Brain Research, 235, 15-27.
  • Murnaghan C, Carpenter MG, Chua R & Inglis JT (2017). Keeping still doesn't "make sense": examining a role for movement variability by stabilizing the arm during a postural control task. Journal of Neurophysiology, 117, 846-852.
  • 1 Chua, R., Cameron, B.D., & Blinch, J.P. (2016). Volitional initiation and fast visuomotor networks: Why movements are slow to start and quick to correct. Motor Control, 20, 154-161.
  • Cleworth, T., Inglis, J.T., Chua, R., & Carpenter, M.G. (2016). Influence of virtual height exposure on postural reactions to support surface translations. Gait and Posture, 47, 96-102.
  • Flannigan, J., Chua, R., & Cressman, E.K. (2016). The rapid-chase theory does not extend to movement execution. Consciousness and Cognition, 42, 75-92.
  • 1 Forgaard, C.J., Franks, I.M., Maslovat, D., & Chua R. (2016). Perturbation Predictability Can Influence the Long-Latency Stretch Response. PLOS One, 11(10):e0163854.
  • 1 Forgaard, C.J., Franks, I.M., Maslovat, D., Gowan, N.J., Kim, J.C., & Chua R. (2016). An examination of the startle response during upper limb stretch perturbations. Neuroscience, 337, 163-176.
  • Kennefick, M., Maslovat, D., Chua, R., & Carlsen, A.N. (2016). Corticospinal excitability is reduced in a simple reaction time task requiring complex timing. Journal of Neurophysiology, 1642, 319-326.
  • Maslovat, D., Chua, R., Klapp, S.T., & Franks, I.M. (2016). Independent planning of timing and sequencing for complex movements. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 42, 1158-1172.
  • Roberts, J.W., Blinch, J., Elliott, D., Chua, R., Lyons, J.L., & Welsh, T.N. (2016). The violation of Fitts’ Law: an examination displacement biases and corrective submovements. Experimental Brain Research, 234, 151-163.
  • Bjerkefors, A., Squair, J.W., Chua, R., Lam, T., Chen, Z., & Carpenter, M.G. (2015). Assessment of abdominal muscle function in individuals with motor complete spinal cord injury above T6 in response to transcranial magnetic stimulation and voluntary activation. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 47, 138-146.
  • 1 Blinch, J.P., Cameron, B.D., Franks, I.M., Carpenter, M.G., & Chua, R. (2015). Facilitation and interference during the preparation of bimanual movements: Contributions from starting locations, movement amplitudes, and target locations. Psychological Research, 79, 978-988.
  • 1 Blinch, J.P., Franks, I.M., Carpenter, M.G., & Chua, R. (2015). Unified nature of bimanual movements revealed by separating the preparation of each arm. Experimental Brain Research, 233, 1931-1944.
  • 1 Forgaard, C.J., Franks, I.M., Maslovat, D., Chin, L., & Chua, R. (2015). Voluntary reaction time and long-latency reflex modulation. Journal of Neurophysiology, 114, 3386-3399.
  • Maslovat, D., Chua, R., Carlsen, A.N., May, C., Forgaard, C.J., & Franks, I.M. (2015). A startling acoustic stimulus interferes with upcoming motor preparation: Evidence for a startle refractory period. Acta Psychologica, 158, 36-42.
  • 1 Blinch, J.P., Cameron, B.D., Cressman, E.K., Franks, I.M., Carpenter, M.G., & Chua, R. (2014). Comparing movement preparation of unimanual, bimanual symmetric, and bimanual asymmetric movements. Experimental Brain Research, 232, 947-955.
  • Murnaghan, C.D., Squair, J.W., Chua, R., Inglis, J.T., & Carpenter, M.G. (2014). Cortical contributions to control of posture during unrestricted and restricted stance. Journal of Neurophysiology, 111, 1920-1926.
  • Ong, N.T., Lohse, K., Chua, R., Sinnet, S., & Hodges, N.J. (2014). A test of motor skill-specific action embodiment in ice-hockey players. Acta Psychologica, 150, 61-68.
  • 1 Stevenson, A.J.T., Chiu, C., Maslovat, D., Chua, R., Gick, B., Blouin, J-S., Franks, I.M. (2014). Cortical involvement in the startreact effect. Neuroscience, 269, 21-34.
  • Campbell, A.D., Squair, J., Chua, R., Inglis, J.T., & Carpenter, M.G. (2013). First trial and StartReact effects induced by balance perturbations to upright stance. Journal of Neurophysiology, 110, 2236-2245.
  • 1 Cameron, B.D., Blinch, J.P., Plecash, A., Squair, J., Wou, L., & Chua, R. (2013). Adapting to target error without visual feedback. Acta Psychologica, 143, 129-135.
  • Cameron, B.D., Cheng, D.T., Chua, R., van Donkelaar, P., & Binsted, G. (2013). Explicit knowledge and real-time action control: anticipating a change does not make us respond more quickly. Experimental Brain Research, 229, 359-372.
  • 1 Cressman, E.K., Lam, M.Y., Franks, I.M., Enns, J.T., & Chua, R. (2013). Unconscious and out of control: Subliminal priming is insensitive to observer expectations. Consciousness and Cognition, 22, 716-728.
  • Dakin, C.J., Inglis, J.T., Chua, R., & Blouin, J.S. (2013). Muscle-specific modulation of vestibular reflexes with increased locomotor velocity and cadence. Journal of Neurophysiology, 110, 86-94.
  • Forgaard, C.J., Maslovat, D., Carlsen, A.N., Chua, R., & Franks, I.M. (2013). Startle reveals independent preparation and initiation of the triphasic bursts in targeted ballistic movements. Journal of Neurophysiology, 110, 2113-2128.
  • Horslen, B.C., Murnaghan, C.D., Inglis, J.T., Chua, R., & Carpenter, M.G. (2013). Effects of postural threat on spinal stretch reflexes: Evidence for increased muscle spindle sensitivity? Journal of Neurophysiology, 110, 899-906.
  • Maslovat, D., Chua, R., & Hodges, N.J. (2013). When unintended movements “leak” out: A startling acoustic stimulus can elicit a prepared response during motor imagery and action observation. Neuropsychologia, 51, 838-844.
  • Maslovat, D., Chua, R., Spencer, H.C., Forgaard, C.J., Carlsen, A.N., & Franks, .IM. (2013). Evidence for a response preparation bottleneck during dual-task performance: Effect of a startling acoustic stimulus on the psychological refractory period. Acta Psychologica, 144, 481-487.
  • Murnaghan, C.D., Squair, J.W., Chua, R., Inglis, J.T., & Carpenter, M.G. (2013). Are increases in COP variability observed when participants are provided explicit verbal cues prior to COM stabilization? Gait & Posture, 38, 734-738.
  • 1 Blinch, J.P., Cameron, B.D., Hodges, N.J., & Chua, R. (2012). Do preparation or control processes result in the modulation to Fitts' law for movements to targets with placeholders? Experimental Brain Research, 223, 505-515.
  • 1 Cameron, B.D., Franks, I.M., Inglis, J.T., & Chua, R. (2012). The adaptability of self-action perception and movement control when the limb is passively versus actively moved. Consciousness and Cognition, 21, 4-17.
  • Campbell, A.D., Chua, R., Inglis, J.T., & Carpenter, M.G. (2012). Startle induces early initiation of classically conditioned postural responses. Journal of Neurophysiology, 108, 2946-2956.
  • Houldin, A., Chua, R., Carpenter, M.G., & Lam, T. (2012). Limited interlimb transfer of locomotor adaptations to a velocity-dependent force field during unipedal walking. Journal of Neurophysiology, 108, 943-952.
  • 1 Maslovat, D., Kennedy, P.M., Forgaard, C.J., Chua, R., & Franks, I.M. (2012). The effects of prepulse inhibition timing on the startle reflex and reaction time. Neuroscience Letters, 513, 243-247.
  • Blouin, J-S., Dakin, C.J., van den Doel , K., Chua, R., McFadyen, B.J., & Inglis, T.J. (2011). Extracting phase-dependent human vestibular reflexes during locomotion using both time and frequency correlation approaches. Journal of Applied Physiology, 111, 1484-1490.
  • 1 Blinch, J.P., Cameron, B.D., Franks, I.M., & Chua, R. (2011). Bimanual reaches with symbolic cues exhibit errors in target selection. Experimental Brain Research, 212, 541-554.
  • 1 Cameron, B.D., Franks, I.M., Inglis, J.T., & Chua, R. (2011). Reach adaptation to online target error. Experimental Brain Research, 209, 171-180.
  • 1 Carlsen, A.N., Lam, M.Y., Maslovat, D., Chua, R. (2011). Reaction time effects due to imperative stimulus modality are absent when a startle elicits a pre-programmed action. Neuroscience Letters, 500, 177-181.
  • 1 Carlsen, A.N., Maslovat, D., Lam, M.Y., Chua, R.¸ & Franks, I.M. (2011). Considerations for the use of a startling acoustic stimulus in studies of motor preparation in humans. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 35, 366-376.
  • Davis, J.R., Horslen, B.C., Nishikawa, K., Fukushima, K., Chua, R.,Inglis, J.T., & Carpenter, M.G. (2011). Human proprioceptive adaptations during states of height-induced fear and anxiety. Journal of Neurophysiology, 106, 3082-3090.
  • 1 Maslovat, D., Hodges, N.J., Chua, R., & Franks, I.M. (2011). Motor preparation of spatially and temporally defined movements: Evidence from startle. Journal of Neurophysiology, 106, 885-894.
  • 1 Maslovat, D., Hodges, N.J., Chua, R., & Franks, I.M. (2011). Motor preparation and the effects of practice: Evidence from startle. Behavioral Neuroscience, 125, 226-240.
  • Sinnett, S., Hodges, N.J., Chua, R., & Kingstone, A. (2011). Embodiment of motor skills when observing expert and novice athletes. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64, 657-668.

No openings for students are available at current time.

Location:
War Memorial Gymnasium
Room 18 – 6081 University Boulevard
Vancouver, BC.
V6T 1Z1

604-822-1339
romeo.chua@ubc.ca