From Tibialis Anterior to Tai Chi: Biofeedback and Beyond

Author: Wolf, S.L.

Source: Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, Volume 26, Number 2, June 2001 , pp. 155-174(20)

Publisher: Springer

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This keynote presentation highlights events that have contributed to scientific explorations of one research clinician. Steve Wolf traces his scientific roots to early studies in single motor unit control under the guidance of his primary mentor, John Basmajian, MD. This work led to subsequent studies on the role of EMG feedback in predicting successful outcomes in upper extremity use and in ambulatory capabilities among patients with chronic stroke. These findings are contrasted to further efforts to condition entire reflexes rather than individual muscles through use of operant-conditioning paradigms. The findings from applications of EMG biofeedback to stroke patients became the basis for minimal motor criteria in the treatment of the impaired upper extremities of patients with chronic stroke, using “forced use” or “constraint-induced movement therapy.” Last, investigations into center of pressure feedback using computerized balance machines resulted in a series of experiments that ultimately led to the finding that Tai Chi as an exercise form for older adults can have a substantially favorable effect in delaying the onset of fall events.

Keywords: EMG biofeedback; Tai Chi; center of pressure; constraint-induced movement therapy; falls; forced use; single motor unit; stroke; upper extremity use

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia;

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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