The group of motor control, located at the Neurology Institute Deolindo Couto (UFRJ), is coordinated by Dr. Claudia Domingues Vargas, with the collaboration of researchers from other national and international centers. Our lines of research mainly focus on the study of the control of posture and voluntary movements, the influence of emotion on motor preparation, blind people’s motor control and plasticity of the motor system after peripheral injury.
The motor system is involved not only in production, but also in the coding of representational aspects of the movement, such as: recognition and learning activities, through observation and the ability of mental simulation of movements. Recent studies, using behavioral and neuroimaging techniques, confirm that there are strong parallels between imagination and execution of a particular movement.
The group’s goal is to investigate motor control cognitive abilities related to planning and execution of movements, using techniques such as behavioral and physiological: stabilometry, motor evoked potentials, transcranial magnetic stimulation and functional magnetic resonance imaging. This group has also investigated the functional basis of sensorimotor plasticity in humans following central and peripheral lesions with the aid of these methodologies.