Within the context of the expansion of the research of the REVAL Rehabilitation Research group of Hasselt University the faculty of Rehabilitation sciences wishes to inform about a vacant PhD position (100%). REVAL is an interdisciplinary and translational research group which performs research in the domains of pediatric, neurologic and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, biomechanics, health psychology, mental health care and rehabilitation of internal diseases.
You will perform research in the domain of pediatric rehabilitation, more specifically in children with Developmental coordination disorder (DCD). DCD accounts for 5% of the school-aged children showing a motor delay early on that persists in adolescence. Poor balance is one of the most significant motor problems, seen in 3/4 of the DCD children. Balance deficits are heterogeneous and severely affect daily functioning but underlying control mechanisms are still poorly understood. Thus, the aim of this project is understanding the processes attributing to balance and motor problems in DCD, and investigating whether an individualised rehabilitation program on specific balance tasks can improve performance and control. This will be investigated by comparing balance performance, motor performance, cortical brain activity and muscle activation patterns in a cohort of children with and without DCD. Next, an intervention study will be performed where we expect that, after individualised rehabilitation, children with DCD will improve in functional balance and motor performance. The novelty of this project lies in the synergy between functional assessments, brain imaging and neuromechanical analysis. This is a major step forward in unravelling the interplay between the control system (brain and nervous system) and the effector system (musculoskeletal system) and in optimizing treatment interventions in DCD.
You will follow the rules and guidelines of the ‘doctoral school’ of Hasselt University.
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