I study how cognition, emotion, personality, and psychopathology impact the organization of movement, with an emphasis on regulating balance. My research falls under Amsterdam Movement Sciences.
1) Influences of emotion on balance
Charles Darwin recognized that emotions have clear communicative and behavioral characteristics, such as preparing the body for fight or flight. These innate tendencies manifest themselves in postural changes, such as ‘freeze’ and ‘avoidance’. Using recordings of the body center of pressure, I study how static balance and the initiation of gait are influenced by affective states, induced by pictorial stimuli.
2) Cognitive regulation of balance
Are postural tasks under ‘automatic’ control, or do cognitive states have an additional (causal) effect on the online regulation of balance? I am involved in experiments that study whether working memory, mental fatigue, and attentional load influence parameters of the body center of pressure.