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Contact Details

Sensorimotor Neuroscience Laboratory 103E, Ramsey Center 330 River Road Athens, Georgia, 30602
  • Principal Investigator: Tarkesh Singh

Welcome to the Sensorimotor Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Georgia. We study sensorimotor integration in individuals with Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis using a systems neuroscience approach.

We use robotics, augmented-reality, eye-tracking, surface electromyography for measuring muscle activity, and functional magnetic resonance imaging and magnetoencephalography (MEG) for measuring neural activity in the brain. One of our main goals is to integrate our research with community outreach. We hope this wegpage gives you a good idea about our research, and please feel free to contact us with questions, comments, and suggestions.

Our laboratory is affiliated with UGA's Regenerative Bioscience Center and the neuroscience program.

neural activation

Our Research

Visual dysfunction is a non-motor symptom observed in many neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. Deficits in visual processing affect fine movements and postural balance. Visuomotor skills gradually deteriorate even in the early stages of these diseases, but current clinical assessments are often unable to capture these changes. Thus, there is a critical need to improve our understanding of the neural mechanisms of visual processing and visuomotor performance in healthy adults and changes occurring in patients suffering from neurodegenerative disorders.

Of particular interest, frontoparietal networks in the brain process visual information that is used for planning movements. These networks interact with the temporoparietal networks, which process visual information that is used for recognizing objects. In Parkinson's disease, loss of grey and white matter occurs in these cortical networks even during the early stages of the disease and this affects movement planning and execution. Our goal is to investigate how these structural changes occurring in the brain during neurodegenerative disorders affect visuomotor skills.

We use a combination of behavioral methods (robotic technology, eye-tracking, and augmented reality), brain imaging, magnetoencephalography and computational modeling to investigate visuomotor deficits in neurodegenerative disorders. Our interdisciplinary research involves collaboration between faculty members in psychology, kinesiology and UGA's Brain Imaging Research Center, which provides a great learning environment for students who intend to learn and apply a systems neuroscience approach to study neurodegenerative disorders.

Sensorimotor Neuroscience Lab

Meet Our Team

SNL Lab Team

Portrait of Tarkeshwar Singh

Tarkeshwar Singh

Tarkesh Singh is the principal investigator of the Sensorimotor Neuroscience Laboratory. In his free time, he loves playing tennis, cooking, and going for runs with his dog, Bodo. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Portrait of Deborah Barany

Deborah Barany

Deborah Barany is a postdoctoral researcher interested in understanding how the human brain controls goal-directed movement, combining behavioral, neuroimaging, and neuromodulation approaches. She received her Ph.D. in dynamical neuroscience from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She enjoys playing and watching sports, playing guitar, and hanging out with her daughter, Adina.

Portrait of Negar Bassiri

Negar Bassiri

Negar Bassiri is a first-year graduate student who is interested in exploring the biomechanical and motor control strategies related to balance and postural control, as well as investigating the energy aspects of human movements in healthy and patient population. She enjoys spending time with her sister, Neda, and nephew, Kian. She also enjoys running, mountain climbing, and watching movies.

Portrait of Simon Chang

Simon Chang

Simon Chang is a fourth-year undergraduate McNair Scholar majoring in kinesiology who is interested in combining exercise and nutrition research. He is pursuing graduate school in the area of nutrition and health. His hobbies include hiking, badminton, traveling, and trying new foods with friends.

Portrait of Ryan Chen

Ryan Chen

Ryan Chen is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in exercise and sports science. He will be attending physical therapy school this coming summer and enjoys spending his free time experimenting with music and food.

Portrait of Ana Gomez

Ana Gomez

Ana Gomez is a first-year graduate student from Costa Rica. She completed her master's degree at East Carolina University. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and working out.

Portrait of Terrence McHugh

Terrence McHugh

Terry McHugh is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in exercise and sport science. His research interests include analyzing the quality of movements in athletes and examining the sensory pathways involved in proprioception. In his free time, Terry enjoys fishing, playing sports, and spending time outdoors.

Portrait of Anna Kovalsky

Anna Kovalsky

Anna Kovalsky is a a third-year computer science and psychology undergraduate student who is hoping to also earn a master's in computer science by the end of her fifth year. Fascinated by new technology, she is always willing to learn something new. She is currently working to calibrate a HoloLens to track eye movements. In her free time, she plays Dwarf Fortress, hangs out with friends, and spends time with her four cats.

Portrait of Margaret Schrayer

Margaret Schrayer

Margaret Schrayer is a second-year undergraduate pursuing a joint B.S./M.S. in computer science and AI. An aspiring research engineer, she hopes to study computational neuroscience and machine learning. She enjoys swimming, cooking, and volunteering.

Portrait of Naureen Sial

Naureen Sial

Naureen Sial is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in biology with a neuroscience concentration and minoring in global health.

Portrait of Elizabeth Turner

Elizabeth Turner

Elizabeth Turner is a fourth-year mechanical engineering student. After graduation, she hopes to work in the defense industry with a focus on weaponry and robotics. Outside of school, Elizabeth is a nationally ranked competitive powerlifter and coaches for the local swim team.

Publications

  • Mangalam, M., Conner, J.D., & Singh, T. (2018). Muscular effort differentially mediates perception of heaviness and length via dynamic touch. Experimental Brain Research.
  • Singh, T., Perry, C. M., Fritz, S. L., Fridriksson, J., & Herter, T. (2018). Eye movements interfere with limb motor control in stroke survivors. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 32(8), 724-734.
  • Singh, T., Phillip, L., Behroozmand, R., Gleichgerrcht, E., Piai, V., Fridriksson, J., et al. (2018). Pre-articulatory electrical activity associated with correct naming in individuals with aphasia. Brain and Language, 177-178, 1-6.
  • Singh, T., Fridriksson, J., Perry, C., Tryon, S., Ross, A., Fritz, S., and Herter, T. M. (2017). A novel computational model to probe visual search deficits during motor performance. Journal of Neurophysiology. 117(1), 79-92.
  • Singh, T., and Ambike, S. (2017). A soft-contact model for computing safety margins in human prehension. Human Movement Science. 55, 307-314
  • Singh, T., Perry, C., and Herter, T. M. (2016). A geometric method for computing ocular kinematics and classifying gaze events using monocular remote eye tracking in a robotic environment. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation. 13(1), 10.
  • Singh, T., and Ambike, S. (2015). A soft-contact and wrench based approach to study grasp planning and execution. Journal of Biomechanics. 48(14), 3961-3967.
  • Singh, T., Zatsiorsky, V. M., and Latash, M. L. (2014). Prehension synergies during fatigue of a single digit: Adaptations in control with referent configurations. Motor Control, 18(3), 278-296.
  • Singh, T., Zatsiorsky, V. M., and Latash, M. L. (2013). Contrasting effects of fatigue on multi-finger coordination in young and older adults. Journal of Applied Physiology, 115(4), 456-467.
  • Singh, T., Zatsiorsky, V. M., and Latash, M. L. (2013). Adaptations to fatigue of a single digit violate the principle of superposition in a multi-finger static prehension task. Experimental Brain Research, 225(4), 589-602.
  • Singh, T., & Koh, M. (2013). Differences in physiology, biomechanics, and motor control of load carriage between young children and adults. In Y. Hong (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Ergonomics in Sports and Exercise (pp.190-202). London: Routledge.
  • Singh, T., Zatsiorsky, V. M., & Latash, M. L. (2012). Effects of fatigue on synergies in a hierarchical system. Human Movement Science, 31(6), 1379-1398.
  • Park, J., Singh, T., Zatsiorsky, V. M., & Latash, M. L. (2012). Optimality versus variability: effect of fatigue in multi-finger redundant tasks. Experimental Brain Research, 216(4), 591-607.
  • Singh, T., & Latash, M. L. (2011). Effects of muscle fatigue on multi-muscle synergies. Experimental Brain Research, 214(3), 335-350.
  • Singh, T., SKM, V., Zatsiorsky, V. M., & Latash, M. L. (2010). Adaptive increase in force variance during fatigue in tasks with low redundancy. Neuroscience Letters, 485(3), 201-207.
  • Singh, T., SKM, V., Zatsiorsky, V. M., & Latash, M. L. (2010). Fatigue and motor redundancy: adaptive increase in finger force variance in multi-finger tasks. Journal of Neurophysiology, 103(6), 2990-3000.
  • Singh, T. (2010). Gait stability and muscle activity at the upper trapezius and lower erector spinae muscles while walking with backpack loads. In Y. Hong (Ed.), Load Carriage in School Children: Epidemiology and Exercise Science (pp. 139-151). New York: Nova Publishers.
  • Singh, T., & Koh, M. (2010). Shock transmission while walking with backpack loads. In Y. Hong (Ed.), Load Carriage in School Children: Epidemiology and Exercise Science (pp. 115-128). New York: Nova Publishers.
  • Singh, T., & Koh, M. (2009). Effects of backpack load position on spatiotemporal parameters and trunk forward lean. Gait & Posture, 29(1), 49-53.
  • Singh, T., & Koh, M. (2009). Lower limb dynamics change for loaded gait to modulate shock transmission to the head. Journal of Biomechanics, 42(6), 736-742.

Sensorimotor Neuroscience Lab

Research Opportunities

Join our research team

We are always looking for interested undergraduate and graduate students to join our research team!

Undergraduate students

If you are an undergraduate student majoring in computer science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, biology, or kinesiology and are interested in studying sensorimotor integration in individuals with Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, our lab is for you!

Members of our lab also have the opportunity to conduct CURO research. If you are interested, please send us a brief email stating your name, intended major, and research interests. Describe your interests and skills in no more than 6-8 sentences, as well as why you want to do research and what you hope to gain.

Email us

Graduate students

Apply for a PhD position

Before applying for a PhD position in our lab, please email us to discuss your interests and availability.

Additionally, if you are interested in joining the lab as a graduate student in neuroscience, we ask that you contact us before you apply for a doctoral position through the integrative life sciences program at the University of Georgia.

Email us

Research participants needed

We are always looking for patients with Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis for our research studies. We are also looking for healthy adults between 65-80 years of age.

If you are interested in participating in our research studies or if you would like to learn more about our research, please contact us.

The nearest parking deck to the Sensorimotor Neuroscience Lab is the East Campus parking deck.

Lab Timeline

2019

Jan. 30: Terry McHugh was featured on UGA Today. Congrats Terry! We are proud of you.

Jan. 14: Timothy Villamater and Christopher Mejias join the lab as undergraduate assistants. Welcome Tim and Chris!

2018

Oct. 26: The first paper from the lab "Muscular effort differentially mediates perception of heaviness and length via dynamic touch", has been accepted for publication in Experimental Brain Research.

Oct. 5: Our undergraduate student, Ryan Chen, was awarded the Penland Family Research Award for his research and scholarship. Congrats, Ryan!

Sept. 19: Our undergraduate student, Ryan Chen, got accepted into the Emory University DPT program. Congrats, Ryan!

Aig. 1: We welcome Deborah Barany (postdoctoral researcher), Ana Gomez (PhD student) and Negar Bassiri (PhD student), Terry Mchugh (undergraduate student) as the newest members.

June 26: Tarkesh published a paper titled ""Eye movements interfere with limb motor control in stroke survivors" in the journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair.

June 15: Our undergraduate student, Simon Chang, was accepted into the McNair Scholars program here at UGA. Congrats, Simon!

May 21: Tarkesh was awarded a Junior Faculty Seed Grant from the Office of Research, UGA.

May 14: Graduate student, Ivana Rodriguez, and undergrad assistant, Margaret Schrayer, attend the KINARM camp in Kingston, ON, Canada.

May 2: Tarkesh presented findings on deficits in visuomotor coordination in stroke survivors at the annual Neural Control of Movement meeting in Santa Fe, NM.

March 2: The lab is officially open for research! Grand opening of the laboratory attended by faculty members from the department and across the university.

Jan. 16: Tarkesh's first paper using high-density EEG titled "Pre-articulatory electrical activity associated with correct naming in individuals with aphasia" was accepted for publication in Brain & Language.

2017

Nov. 22: Lab renovation is on schedule and will be complete on January 5th 2018. More updates at @SinghTarkesh1.

Nov. 14: Tarkesh gave a talk titled "Interference between oculomotor and limb motor movements in stroke survivors" at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington DC.

Nov. 1: Tarkesh gave a talk "Multisensory integration for motor planning and control" at the University of Costa Rica.