nml

Within the Neuromuscular Mechanics Laboratory we study the mechanical outputs from muscles. Current studies cover a range of areas. We investigate the recruitment of motor units within a muscle and the coordination of activity between muscles, and how these parameters influence the force, power and efficiency of the muscles and limbs. We additionally study muscle architecture, and in particular the paths that the muscle fascicles follow through the muscle bellies, and how these change during contraction. When muscles contract they bulge, the fascicles curve, and the fascicles may change length at different rates from the muscle belly: all these factors influence the force and power that the muscle can produce. These muscle properties are studied through both experimental and theoretical approaches, and we have developed new techniques for EMG signal processing, ultrasound image analysis and computational muscle modelling. Current projects are examining both the fundamental aspects of muscle contraction, as applications in retraining muscle coordination for spinal cord injured patients, and deterioration of muscle performance in the elderly.