Neuromotor Adaptation Laboratory

The Neuromotor Adaptation Laboratory was established to identify the neural basis of human postural control and to discover methods for restoring postural control for people living with movement disorders such as cerebral palsy and stroke.

Our researchers are dedicated to understanding the role of cortical and subcortical motor pathways in enhancing our movement repertoire during childhood development, adult learning and rehabilitation. Our research provides new knowledge and tools for rehabilitation specialists working in the fields of balance and posture control.


PhD Students

  • Nathan Difford
  • Cassandra Russell
  • Jarred Cooper

Undergraduate students

  • Tom Burda
  • Martina Duleska
  • Alesia Skora
  • Finn Wilson

(Currently suspended due to COVID restrictions)

Applications are encouraged from passionate, dedicated students to visit the Neuromotor Adaptation Lab for a duration of 3-12 months as a Visiting Research Fellow. During your time in the NAL, you will be immersed in the day-to-day activities of an active neuromechanics research laboratory and gain unique research experience under our Occupational Trainee scheme (Note: this scheme is designed to provide students with an experience working as a researcher in a neuromechanics laboratory and not to complete an individual research thesis). This scheme is highly competitive, with limited positions. You are therefore encouraged to apply up to 12 months before you intend to visit the NAL to secure a position and to allow time to complete the visa application process. Initial enquiries, including a brief curriculum vitae, should be forward to Dr Jon Shemmell.


  • Caitlin Arpel (Research Assistant): Differences in the time course of responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation in wrist flexor and extensor muscles

Honours graduates

  • Nathan Difford (2019): The effect of upper-limb postural demand on the late component of a motor evoked potential elicited by transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Cassandra Russell (2019): Probing brainstem contributions to stability with transcranial magnetic stimulation

Undergraduate research students

  • Nathan Difford (2018): Independent modulation of early and late responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation in the upper limb
  • Cassandra Russell (2018): Independent modulation of early and late responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation in the lower limb
  • Lani Finnane (2019): Effects of galvanic vestibular stimulation on lower limb responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Isaac Ceroni (2019): Neural correlates of balance following slackline training
  • Luke Debrot (2019): Neural correlates of balance in expert and novice slackliners
  • Professor Paul Stapley & Professor Mark Carpenter: Predictive postural adjustments during reaching
  • Senior Professor Julie SteeleDr Josh Mattock & Dr James Forsyth: Neuromuscular control of drop landings in surfing
  • Associate Professor Colum MacKinnon: The role of brainstem structures in the response to cortical stimulation
  • Professor Yasin Dhaher: Neuromechanical effects of estrogen on the human motor nervous system
  • Dr Rahim Mutlu: Enhancing stroke rehabilitation with intelligent exoskeletons

Vicon optical motion capture: accurately capture three-dimensional limb and body motion during static and dynamic balance activities.

Kistler multichannel force platforms: quantify the ground reaction forces and torques generated during standing balance, walking and running.

Delsys Neuromap system: measures compound muscle activity through surface sensors, single motor unit activity through either surface or indwelling sensors, as well as limb dynamics through inertial measurement units.

Magstim 2002 Transcranial magnetic stimulators with Bistim module: allow painless estimation of the state of circuits within the brain and spinal cord in single or paired-pulse protocols.

Digitimer constant current nerve stimulators: Allow transient activation of peripheral nerves or brainstem tracts to probe their function.

Galvanic vestibular stimulators: Induces fictive head rotation through activation of the vestibular apparatus.

Auditory stimulation devices: Allow examination of startle reflex pathways during movement tasks.

Transcranial direct current stimulator: Painlessly induces lasting adaptations in cortical neurons.

Neuromotor Adaptation Lab

Building 15, G19 | School of Medical, Indigenous and Health Sciences | Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health | University of Wollongong