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Speech and Motor Neuroscience Group


HomeMembers | Research | Participate Publications

Speech Research


            Elija, a computational model of infant speech acquisition

            Speech fundamental period estimation


            Robotic speech synthesis


Opposite shows a robotic vocal apparatus incorporating a tongue body that is moved by stepper motors under computer control. The vocal tract consists of a central mouth region with a 2-dimentional tongue, a lip section and a nasal cavity. Movement of the articulators changes the vocal tract cross-sectional area, and thereby its acoustic properties, thus providing a means to generate different vocalic sounds. Numerical optimization in Matlab was used to design the mechanism, which was achieved by fitting its various dimensions to published articulatory data.


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Motor Neuroscience Research


            Contextual effects in motor dynamic learning

            Control of bimanual movements

            Computational models of human motor control


Technical development


            Developing state-of-the-art vBOT robotic interfaces

            Developing three dimensional 3BOT robotic interfaces



Using Vbot robotic manipulandum to investigate human motor control of arm movement


The picture and video show the use of the vBot robotic manipulandum. This device is able to record movement of the handle and also exert forces on the participantís hand. When used within its custom 2D virtual reality environment, it can simulate simple virtual worlds and objects with different movement dynamics. Using this equipment, it is easy to assess movement performance and learning of novel tasks.


Here a participant is performing a 2-part movement task. This consists of a lead-in movement followed immediately by the main movement while grasping the handle of the robotic device. We recently showed that lead-in movement (related to backstroke in sports like tennis) that immediately precedes a forward stroke plays an important role in learning.


These results could have important implications for both skill learning and movement rehabilitation, since it demonstrates that any immediately preceding movement, such as in a golf stroke or tennis swing, needs to be consistent to achieve fast learning


Click on photo opposite to see the vBOT in action!






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Last Changed:August 2017