Nice to meet you. I am Floor Campfens, born January 18th, 1985. After school I knew that I wanted to study something that involved both technology and biomedical science, so I chose to study Biomedical Engineering at the University of Twente. During my Bachelor Assignment I became enthusiastic about scientific research on human motor control. As a master student I specialised in biomechanical engineering and for my final master assignment I studied sensory reweighting of left and right proprioception in human balance control. I obtained the MSc title cum laude in June 2009. Currently I work as a PhD student at the laboratory of Clinical Neurophysiology and the laboratory of Biomechanics (University of Twente). I work on the modelling and identification of cortico-spinal circuits.
Modeling and identification of the cortico-(sub)spinal circuits
The aim of this project is to develop models and (nonlinear) identification techniques to determine the temporal and dynamical properties of the cortico-(sub)spinal circuits involved in motor control.
During various tasks spatially separated neural networks are believed to use synchronized oscillations to form large scale functional networks. In research on motor control cortico-muscular coherence and phase are used to study functional cortico-spinal circuits involved in normal and pathological motor control (e.g. tremor and clonus). Recently different other techniques, like phase estimation and (Granger) causality, have been employed to study the directionality and dynamics of these circuits. The use of these techniques is complicated because the cortico-spinal circuits have nonlinear dynamics and form a closed loop system.
For the identification of closed loop systems, various dedicated techniques exist to quantify the dynamics of a system by using external perturbations to ‘open’ a closed loop system. These techniques have been used successfully to identify control mechanisms in balance control and quantify reflex gains in various motor tasks. For the identification of the cortico-spinal circuits, dedicated nonlinear system identification techniques are required. Within this project we aim to develop these system identification techniques, which we will use to study cortico-spinal coupling in healthy people and patients suffering from various neurological movement disorders like stroke or Parkinson’s disease.
dr. ir. H. van der Kooij (mentor)
prof. dr. ir. M.J.A.M. van Putten (PhD supervisor)