Research Themes

Cardiovascular and Exercise Physiology
Exercise and the Cardiovascular System
Pulmonary Dysfunction in Exercise
The Ageing Heart and Skeletal Muscles
Muscle Physiology and Biomechanics
Alternative Exercise Strategies
Physical Activity in Clinical and Public Health

Biomechanics, Motor Control and Exercise Psychology
Upper and Lower Limb Coordination
Neural Control of Movement & Rehabilitation
Biomechanics in Sport and Injury
Locomotor Efficiency;
Promotion of Physical and Mental Well-being Across the Lifespan
Psychology of Exercise as a Health-related Behaviour

Motor Control & Sport and Exercise Psychology

Our areas of research expertise include:

  • Upper and lower limb coordination
  • Neural Control of Movement & Rehabilitation
  • Psycho-oncology & Emotional well-being
  • Perfectionism, athlete burnout & predictors of positive experiences in sport

This research has received support from ESRC, MRC, NIHR, Royal Society, REMEDI, International Spinal Research Trust, International Foundation for Research in Paraplegia, White Rose, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, Cyclists Fighting Cancer, Higher Education Academy, Wingate Scholarships and the Nuffield in addition to our industrial partners (ETT, Red Ledge, Sound Alert). Visit the Research page to learn about some of the current projects in this theme.

Facilities and Resources

The Motor Control & Psychology laboratories house a combination of equipment which enable the detailed study of human and animal models. This includes a 9-camera Qualysis motion analysis system, a 6-camera Vicon motion analysis system, a six sensor XSENS motion analysis, a 3 camera Kinematrix (MIE, Leeds) motion analysis system, a Kistler force platform to measure ground reaction forces; telemetry EMG systems (Kinematrix, Neuraxon), mobile high speed eye tracker to monitor eye movements (ASL). In addition, there are numerous rooms for interviewing and running focus groups

Latest Publications

McFarlane L, Altringham JD, Askew GN. Intra-specific variation in wing morphology and its impact on take-off performance in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) during escape flights. J Exp Biol. 2016 May 1;219(Pt 9):1369-77.
doi: 10.1242/jeb.126888.

Holt NC, Roberts TJ, Askew GN. The energetic benefits of tendon springs in running: is the reduction of muscle work important? J Exp Biol. 2014 Dec 15;217(Pt 24):4365-71.
doi: 10.1242/jeb.112813.

Read DJ, Hill AP, Jowett GE, Astill SL. The relationship between perfectionistic self-presentation and reactions to impairment and disability following spinal cord injury. J Health Psychol -, 2016

Britten L, Shire K, Coats RO, Astill SL. The effect of standing desks on manual control in children and young adults. Gait and Posture 48 42-46, 2016

Burke SM, West MA, Grocott MPW, Brunet J, Jack S. Exploring the experience of adhering to a prescribed pre-surgical exercise program for patients with advanced rectal cancer: A phenomenological study. Psychology of Sport and Exercise 16 88-95, 2015

Coroiu A, Körner A, Burke S, Meterissian S, Sabiston CM. Stress and posttraumatic growth among survivors of breast cancer: A Test of Curvilinear Effects. International Journal of Stress Management 23 84-97, 2016

Smith CC, Mauricio R, Nobre L, Marsh B, Wüst RCI, Rossiter HB, Ichiyama RM. Differential regulation of perineuronal nets in the brain and spinal cord with exercise training. Brain Research Bulletin 111 20-26, 2015

Abud EM, Ichiyama RM, Havton LA, Chang HH. Spinal stimulation of the upper lumbar spinal cord modulates urethral sphincter activity in rats after spinal cord injury. American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology 308 F1032-F1040, 2015

Stewart TD, Abouhossein A, Awad MI, Crisp C, Dehghani-Sanij AA, Messenger N, Querin O, Richardson R, Bradley D. Gait Abnormalities of Above Knee Amputees During Late Swing Phase, Is It a Design Deficiency or Compensatory Strategy? In Converging Clinical and Engineering Research on Neurorehabilitation II, 2016

Lui ZW, Awad MI, Abouhossein A, Dehghani-Sanij AA, Messenger N. Virtual prototyping of a semi-active transfemoral prosthetic leg. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine 229 350-361, 2015

Ma'touq J, Strauss DN, Messenger N, Stewart TD, Tayebjee MH. Spinal angle and foot pressure during cardiac electrophysiological procedures. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CARDIOLOGY 172 E398-E400, 2014

Coats ROA, Britten L, Utley A, Astill SL. Multisensory integration in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder. Human Movement Science 43 15-22, 2015