Senior Research Officer
Conjoint Lecturer, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Medicine
+612 9399 1267
Jasmine has a background in exercise science and gained a PhD in applied physiology/biomechanics from the University of New South Wales in 2008. Her research interests are twofold: (i) understanding risk factors for falls in older people and clinical groups (Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis), and: (ii) investigating sensory, cognitive and neuromuscular factors contributing to postural stability, stepping and gait in aging and clinical populations (Parkinson’s disease, neurodevelopmental disorders).
In addition to conducting mechanistic studies of gait and balance, Jasmine has also been coordinating several prospective falls risk cohort studies of older adults and a large NHMRC-funded randomised controlled trial of multifaceted interventions to improve dizziness symptoms in older adults.
This study aims to investigate the benefits of balance training and brain training on physical functions (balance and mobility), cognitive functions, general health and accidental fall events in people aged 65+ years.
The smartstep training system has been designed to enable you to undertake training in your own home, by playing engaging and enjoyable computer games. The system connects to a TV or computer monitor. The games are played with either a step mat (Figure 1) or a touch pad (Figure 2). These games have been designed to train important balance and cognitive functions, while also being fun. You may recognise some of the games, such as Space Invaders and Tetris (Figure 3).
VICKY SMITH Executive Assistant
JESSICA TURNER Research Assistant
JOANNE LO Research Assistant
CAMERON HICKS Research Assistant
DR ESTHER VANCE Senior Research Assistant
DANIELA MEINRATH Masters student
DR YOSHIRO OKUBO
JOANA CAETANO PhD student
MAYNA RATANAPONGLEKA Research Assistant
PROF CATHIE SHERRINGTON Senior research officer
The present study investigated the cortical areas engaged in the perception of graviceptive information embedded in biological motion (BM). To this end, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess the cortical areas active during the observation of human movements performed under normogravity and microgravity (parabolic flight). Movements were defined by motion cues alone using point-light displays. We found that gravity modulated the activation of a restricted set of regions of the network subtending BM perception, including form-from-motion areas of the visual system (kinetic occipital region, lingual gyrus, cuneus) and motor-related areas (primary motor and somatosensory cortices). These findings suggest that compliance of observed movements with normal gravity was carried out by mapping them onto the observer's motor system and by extracting their overall form from local motion of the moving light points. We propose that judgment on graviceptive information embedded in BM can be established based on motor resonance and visual familiarity mechanisms and not necessarily by accessing the internal model of gravitational motion stored in the vestibular cortex.
To determine whether 12-week home-based exergame step training can improve stepping performance, gait and complementary physical and neuropsychological measures associated with falls in Parkinson's disease. Overall, home-based exergame step training was not effective in improving the outcomes assessed. However, the improved physical function in the lower disease severity intervention participants as well as the self-reported improved mobility in the intervention group suggest home-based exergame step training may have benefits for some people with Parkinson's disease.
Step training only in the forward direction improved stepping speed but may acutely slow response times in the untrained diagonal direction. However, this acute effect appears to dissipate after a few repeated step trials. Step training in both forward and lateral directions appears to induce no negative transfer effects in diagonal stepping. These findings suggest home-based step training systems present low risk of harm through negative transfer effects in untrained stepping directions.