Client Spotlight Dr. Robert Catena: Researching human balance control at WSU

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26 July 2020

Welcome to the first in our series of Client Spotlight articles. Our aim is to showcase some of the fascinating work our clients are doing, and how they’re using cutting-edge technology to do it.

Today, we spoke to Dr. Robert Catena, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at Washington State University.

What do you do at Washington State University?

I oversee the Gait and Posture Biomechanics lab at WSU. This lab is used to conduct research in dynamic balance, with the goal of reducing falls in society. Beyond its research goals, the lab also gives students the opportunity to use some of the most advanced movement analysis equipment available.

Much of my current research (over the last five years) is focused on understanding balance control changes during pregnancy, with the goals of reducing fall rates for pregnant women, and understanding how reproduction was affected by our evolution to bipedalism.

I also teach Biomechanics to undergraduate students at the university.

How is your lab set up?

The Gait and Posture Biomechanics Lab includes everything we need to undertake and successfully complete research of dynamic balance control.  

Our technology includes:

  • 11-camera Motion Analysis motion capture system, capable of tracking markers in real-time up to 300 frames per second with submillimetre accuracy (in a 22m3 volume).
  • Tobii Mobile Eye Tracker 2.
  • Isokinetic International KinCom isokinetic dynamometer.
  • Three Kistler portable forceplates. These  50 cm x 60 cm portable force platforms are capable of measuring forces up to 5000 N with precision needed in balance study.
  • Lifespan professional treadmill.
  • 8-channel Delsys electromyography capable of measuring surface muscle electrical activity.
  • Anthropometry equipment. 1 Lafayette chest depth caliper. 1 Lafayette small anthropometer. 1 Rosscraft Campbell 20 caliper. Several tape measures. 1 Charder portable stadiometer. 1 Detecto PD100 Doctor Scale. 1 NB4400 Najo Sports Backboard.

You can read more about the lab here: https://labs.wsu.edu/biomechanics/facility/

Where can we read your published research?

You can find it all listed on my Google Scholar profile here:

View Robert’s Google Scholar profile

How would you describe Motion Analysis in a hashtag?

#Uncomplicated 🙂

WSU Case study cta