Volunteers wanted for research into brain activity

01 May, 2018 (staff)

We are looking for healthy volunteers aged 60+ years to participate in studies investigating activity in areas of the brain that are important for movements such as picking up objects and walking.

Understanding brain activity associated with movement across the lifespan can help us develop interventions to reduce age-related decline in voluntary movement control that leads to reduced ability to co-ordinate your hands, falls and loss of independence.

 

The studies will examine brain activity with a commonly used non-invasive brain stimulation technique known as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). During TMS a hand-held device is held over the scalp, when a pulse is delivered from the device you will feel a slight ‘tap’ and it may make a muscle in your hand twitch briefly. Responses from the muscle will be recorded using electrodes taped to the skin over the muscle. The non-invasive brain stimulation techniques are safe and painless and routinely used in movement research.

 

During the experiment, you will be asked to complete movement based tasks, such as picking up small objects and placing them into a board, walking in a four square step sequence and stepping on and off a small step. These different movement tasks measure fine and gross motor control. Results from the movement tasks and the brain activity measures are combined to determine if excitability of the brain is related to how well you move.

 

Participants should NOT have:

  • Neurological impairment or epilepsy
  • A cardiac pacemaker
  • Metal implants in the brain or skull

Additionally, medications that influence brain activity, such as anti-depressants, may be excluded.

 

Potential participants will complete a cognitive assessment to determine inclusion into the study.

 

This study will include two experimental sessions of approx. 2 hrs duration: you can attend one or both of the sessions. You will be remunerated with a Woolworths gift voucher per experimental session. The study will be conducted at Murdoch University. Parking can be arranged.

 

If you would like more information, please contact:

Ann-Maree Vallence (PhD): ann-maree.vallence@murdoch.edu.au / 9360 7464 OR

Michelle Huntley: michelle.huntley@murdoch.edu.au / 9360 2807

 

THIS STUDY HAS BEEN APPROVED BY MURDOCH UNIVERSITY RESEARCH ETHICS (2017/226)

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