Patrick Fischer Mechanical Engineering PhD Comprehensive Exam Presentation
- Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 12:00pm
- Via WebEx; Meeting number (access code): 138 626 5417 Meeting password: iTyNriGX482
The Impacts of Cognitive-Motor Function on Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Relevant Movement in At-Risk Populations
Non-contact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries continue to plague athletic populations. The injury’s short- and long-term consequences pose serious challenges to maintaining a healthy lifestyle after the injury and place an immense economic burden on the injured. Non-contact ACL injury risk is tied to cognitive ability, and a growing body of literature supports the notion that cognitive ability is associated with an athlete’s susceptibility to changes in neuromuscular control, the automatic response of the body to stabilize itself under load, during sport-specific movements where attention is divided. This body of literature is underdeveloped, however, and more research is needed to expand the understanding of what cognitive processes influence neuromuscular control during these movements.
The research presented at this exam seeks to expand the current understanding of how cognitive ability is tied to athletes’ susceptibility to neuromuscular control changes during distracted sport-specific movements. Using state-of-the-art motion capture technology, we compared the knee mechanics of a cohort of healthy female athletes performing distracted and distraction-free sport-specific movements. Preliminary results support the notion that cognitive function is tied to subject-specific changes in neuromuscular control at the knee during distracted movement performance. Preliminary results also identify captured visual attention as a potential factor in neuromuscular control changes between distracted and distraction-free movement performance, motivating the need to investigate captured visual attention effects in isolation as well as in tandem with more traditional dual-task modalities. To that end, we propose a follow-up study to decouple the subject-specific and group effects of captured visual attention on neuromuscular control at the knee. The long-term outcome of this work will be an improved understanding of how cognitive function relates to neuromuscular control, leading to improved ACL injury prevention and screening protocols.
- Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering