Jonas Rubenson, PhD
College of Health and Human Development
Pennsylvania State University
The nervous system has numerous objectives during locomotion. Studies of humans and other animals suggest that energy (effort) minimization may be one of the primary objectives during steady-speed walking and running. The importance of effort minimization is, however, likely context-dependent. In this talk I will provide brief snapshots into a series of studies exploring effort minimization during legged locomotion including: 1) the generality of locomotor energetic optimization across bipedal species; 2) optimization of muscle efficiency; 3) effort minimization in human gait transitions; 4) developmental plasticity of locomotor energetics; and 5) recent human gait experiments aimed at teasing out the relative importance of energy vs. stability optimization and global (organismal) vs. local (muscle) effort. These topics are intended as a background to discuss and debate the question of effort minimization as a design principal in legged locomotion (and more broadly, animal motor coordination).
About the Speaker
Dr. Rubenson is an Associate Professor in the Biomechanics Laboratory (Department of Kinesiology) and directs the Muscle Function + Locomotion Lab, Penn State University. Rubenson’s work is dedicated to understanding the biomechanics and energetics of legged locomotion. His group is interested in mechanisms of locomotor adaptation and optimization, and, in particular, the biomechanical determinants of locomotor energy cost. Rubenson’s work primarily focuses on basic research both in humans and using a comparative approach, and more recently includes clinical- and pre-clinical studies.
Physiology Brownbag Seminars
The Physiology Group in the School of Biological Sciences hosts Brownbag Lunchtime Seminars twice a month on Wednesdays at noon in room 1253 of the Applied Physiology Building located at 555 14th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30318. You are welcome to bring a lunch and join us as we ruminate with us on topics in Physiology! A full listing of seminars can be found at http://pwp.gatech.edu/bmmc/seminars/.