Funded Msc By Research Studentship: The Development of Laboratory-Based Biofeedback Tools for Human Movement Analysis

Swansea University - Sport and Exercise Sciences

Swansea University is a UK top 30 institution for research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014), and has been named Welsh University of the Year 2017 by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

Real-time biofeedback provides valuable immediate information on human movement. Whether used to describe movement in elite sport or public health settings, such information can ultimately be used to affect the outcome of a movement by informing experimental manipulations to constraints related to the environment, individual or task. These manipulations can be made on either an immediate or longer-term (training) timescale. Two extreme examples to illustrate these broad ranges of applications include the use of real-time biofeedback in the training of gait in older adults to increase minimum toe clearance and therefore reduce the risk of trips (Begg et al., 2014), to its use in the refinement of specific sprinting skills within an elite sporting environment (McNitt-Gray et al., 2015). Given the clear varied research potential for human movement laboratories which house such technology, the proposed project aims to establish real-time visualisation and biofeedback capabilities within the A-STEM Centre’s Biomechanics & Technology Laboratory. This aim will be met through three specific project objectives:

  1. Establish communication protocols which allow ground reaction force and Vicon marker data to be streamed in real-time.
  2. Establish standard biofeedback templates in commercially available software (i.e. Visual3D) and extend this to bespoke custom templates on other platforms (e.g. Matlab, Unity).
  3. Apply the developed real-time biofeedback protocols to the training of a specific sporting technique as a ‘proof of concept’.

This project will be based on Swansea University’s Bay Campus and will be supervised by Dr Neil Bezodis (School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, College of Engineering) and Dr Sean Walton (Computer Science, College of Science).

Eligibility

Academic requirements:

Candidates should have at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline, such as Sport and Exercise Science (with biomechanics experience), Computer Science, Mathematics, Human Biology.

Experience with automatic motion capture is desirable.

Residency criteria:

Applications from overseas candidates are welcome but candidates should be aware that the studentship will only partially cover international tuition fees (value of £4,152).

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