We are a group of human movement, rehabilitation and clinical researchers who provide new insights into the development of neuromotor control through childhood and adolescents, the changes in movement control that occur in response to pain, and the patterns of movement control that may predict the development of painful musculoskeletal conditions.

The lab head is Dr Kylie Tucker, who can be found on Twitter at @KylieJ_Tucker.

Kylie is a senior lecturer in the School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine @ UQ. She is passionate about working with great people who are excited to learn more about movement control and to share this knowledge. 

The two mainstreams of research in the Tucker lab are as follows:

Motor Control and Pain Research #MCP_Research

With the combined skills of a strong international collaborative network, we aim to identify individual motor patterns that may predict musculoskeletal pain onset and/or support the persistence of musculoskeletal pain conditions.

Our primary testable hypothesis is that each individual has unique muscle coordination strategies, that will have specific mechanical effects on their musculoskeletal system. And that some strategies may make people more at risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders than others.

We currently have studies that consider the coordination patterns of muscles in the calf, and their effect on the Achilles tendon; and coordination patterns of muscles of the thigh and their effect on structures within the knee.

We aim to understand the factors that underlie individual movement control strategies, the consequences of these strategies on the musculoskeletal system, and if or when an intervention is required. This knowledge will ultimately lead to improved outcomes for people who have great potential to develop, or are already living with painful musculoskeletal conditions.

In addition to the studies highlighted on the Volunteer to participate page, we are often seeking volunteers to participate in our studies. To find out what additional projects are currently running and/or volunteer to participate in our research, please email Dr Kylie Tucker k.tucker1@uq.edu.au.

Child and Adolescent Neuromotor Control Research #CAN_Research

 

With the combined skills of a strong national collaborative network, the Children’s Motor Control Research Collaboration, our lab aims to provide valuable insight into the typical development of neuromotor control in childhood and adolescence; and identify targets for rehabilitation in children and adolescents with neuromotor impairments.

Within Tucker’s lab we use state-of-the art laboratory based technology to assess the validity of clinical outcome measures. We also test the potential for new technologies to be used in the assessment of neuromotor control, and we develop and test new rehabilitation interventions. This work is achieved while gathering valuable data on the neuromotor control of children aged between 6-18 years.

In addition to the studies highlighted on the Volunteer to participate page, we are often seeking volunteers to participate in our studies. To find out what additional projects are currently running and/or volunteer to participate in our research, please email Dr Kylie Tucker k.tucker1@uq.edu.au.

We are recruiting volunteers to participate in the following studies. Please email the staff member listed for more details.

Muscle tone and functional performance in 6-12 year olds

Atypical muscle tone is one of the most common clinical features observed in children with motor disorders with 6-8% collective prevalence.

Who can participate?

Ambulatory children aged 6 to 12 years with or without muscle tone issues.

What is involved?

Children will receive 3 free assessment sessions from a Physiotherapist.

  • Session 1 will include a clinical assessment of muscle tone (10 minutes)
  • Session 2 will include a ultrasound-based assessment of muscle stiffness (30 minutes)
  • Session 3 will include assessments of motor performance and participation (50 minutes) such as walking on a line or standing on one leg

All tests are non-invasive and non-harmful, as testing is conducted in a resting state or based on daily activity.

A report of your child’s performance, compared to same-age of peers, will be provided to you after the assessment day. For children, a certificate of junior researcher will be provided.

Where will the study take place?

Sessions will take place at either the University of Queensland or the Queensland Children’s Hospital.

Who are the researchers?

Members of the Children’s Motor Control Research Collaborative (CMCRC):

  • Dr Leanne Johnston, Chair of CMCRC, Senior Lecturer
  • Dr Kylie Tucker, Director of Motor Control and Pain Laboratory, Senior Lecturer
  • Ms Miran Goo, Pysiotherapist and PhD candidate, School of Biomedical Sciences, UQ
  • Dr Honey Heussler, Paediatrician and Director, Child Development Service, CHQ-HHS
How do I take part?

If you are interested, please contact Miran Goo (m.goo@uq.edu.au or 0434 479 331).

Knee pain in 12-18 year old adolescents

Chronic or re-occurring knee pain affects 1 in every 3 adolescents. Adolescents with knee pain tend to reduce their physical activity levels, school attendance, participation in hobbies and social activities. Knee pain can cause disturbances in appetite, sleep and mental health.

There are many reasons why knee pain might begin, but we are particularly interested in a type of kneecap pain also known as patellofemoral pain, because it is the most common cause of knee pain in adolescents.

Very little research has been conducted on what causes kneecap pain in adolescents. This means we know relatively little about it and what we might be able to do to help people with it.

This is one of the very first studies that is designed to help us understand if the control of movement is different in adolescents with kneecap pain compared to those without kneecap pain. We are hoping to collect enough data to understand what factors might help us predict those who are likely to get better and those who are likely to continue to have pain.

Who can participate?

Adolescents with kneecap pain, and adolescents with no history of kneecap pain. We cannot include anyone who: i) has pain in more than one place in their lower limb, ii) has had surgery on their knee, hip or spine; or iii) has other suspected knee joint troubles. If you might be able to participate, but are unsure, please contact us as a Physiotherapist from our team can complete a screening test.

What is involved?

Participants will complete some questionnaires, and may be assesses by our Physiotherapist prior to inclusion in the study.

Session 1 will include laboratory measures of muscle activation in the research laboratory. This takes less than 2 hours.

Session 2 involves having an MRI of the participants thigh. This takes less than 45 minutes.

Participants will receive $50 reimbursement for their time and parking expenses etc upon completion of data collection.

Where will the study take place?

All sessions will take place at the University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus

Who are the researchers?
How do I take part?

If you are interested in participating, or would like to find out more about these studies, please email Marion Crouzier. Marion will send you a full information sheet and consent for you to consider.

Motor control in adults with and without musculoskeletal pain

We aim to understand the factors that underlie individual movement control strategies, the consequences of these strategies on the musculoskeletal system, and if or when an intervention is required. This knowledge will ultimately lead to improved outcomes for people who have great potential to develop, or are already living with painful musculoskeletal conditions.

As part of this broad aim, we conduct many movement control studies in the lab. Studies generally align with undergraduate or postgraduate work, and may begin and end at multiple times within each calendar year.

Our studies may involve all non-invasive measures, like measuring muscle activity with electrodes suck on the skin, or others where we need to insert small wires into muscle. They might involve ultrasound, or MRI so that we can assess muscle architecture. Studies sometimes involve sitting in a chair and producing force, other times they might require our participants to run, jump, cycle or hop!

In some cases we have funding to support small payments for our participants to reimburse them for their time and parking costs etc. Other times our participants volunteer to be part of a study to learn more about movement control, to get exposure to a human movement lab, or just for the love of science!

If you are interested in hearing more about what is going on in the lab at the moment, please email Dr Kylie Tucker who will put you in contact with the students currently recruiting, who will provide more information for you to consider. 

Our lab is dynamic with some full-time staff, fabulous national and international collaborators and a large number of PHD, honours and undergraduate students who come and go depending on the project stage. Our team is ever-changing, so listing them would mean that this website would always be out of date!

Lab head

 

 

  Professor Francois Hug

  Visiting Researcher, University of Nantes

Find out more about our research environment and how to apply to do a short or long-term research project with us.