Andrew Meszaros, PhD
|Andrew Meszaros, PT, PhD|
|Assistant Professor; College of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience|
Office: Block Health Sciences Building, Room 120G
|"The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost." -- GK Chesteron|
BS, 1988, Bowling Green State University
Positions & Memberships (current):
Laboratory: "Neuromechanics" - Block Health Science Building, 1st floor
The lab is broadly interested in understanding the tacit dimension of human movement through neuromechanics. "Neuromechanics" is a highly integrative scientific approach that "seeks to understand how muscles, sense organs, motor pattern generators, and brain interact to produce coordinated movement" (Nishikawa et al, 2007). The "tacit dimension" refers to the significant portion of movement that occurs without any voluntary/conscious direction (i.e. anticipatory muscle synergies; short-/long-latency reflexes; initiation of movement) (Prochazka et al, 2000). Focus is placed on two major questions: (A) How does the nervous system sense changes in the mechanical properties of tissue (muscle, ligament, mucosa, etc), and what subsequent alterations are made to motor planning, execution, and coordination? (B) How do sensory and motor circuits modulate each other? Given the multi-factorial nature of this work, non-linear analytic techniques are important. Several lenses are being used to parse these issues:
(1) .. the persistent effects of exercise-induced muscle fatigue, particularly as it relates to nervous system sensorimotor interactions during local
muscle excitation-contraction coupling problems ("metabolic low-frequency fatigue"
(2) .. the manipulation of cutaneous and proprioceptive sensory input to achieve a desired motor output.
(3) .. the shared neural control that exists between manual gestures (hand/arm movements) and vocal language.
(4) .. epistemology -- how we "know" movement and communication.
Collectively, the aforementioned topics have application to injury prevention, communication science, training, and performing arts medicine.
We emphasize a "systems" approach to understanding human movement. The laboratory is interdisciplinary, with contributions from faculty and graduate students in the Departments of Kinesiology, Bioengineering, and Physical Therapy at UT, as well as the College of Medicine. Our current laboratory techniques correlate physiologic changes that occur locally in muscle (i.e. mechanical properties; potentiation) with simultaneous changes that occur in the nervous system (i.e. motor unit recruitment; reflexes; changes in spinal cord excitability; etc). These physiologic measures are then examined against various motor performance variables. Equipment includes indwelling and surface electromyography, a computer-controlled electric stimulator, a wide variety of human movement transducers (multi-access accelerometers, load cells, force plate, electrogoniometry, etc.), database tools, and a computer-controlled isokinetic dynamometer. Our anatomic studies use gross dissection and histological techniques (i.e. the Sihler Method) to compliment the lab’s physiologic questions.
National Theatre, Szeged, Hungary
UT Iliad ILL