PhD (Bioengineering), University of Michigan, 1988
Dr. Redfern's research at the Human Movement and Balance Laboratory
is focused in two areas: human postural control and ergonomics. The
major goal of the postural control research is the prevention of falling
injuries by investigating the factors that influence balance. The
objectives are: 1) to develop a greater understanding the normal
function of the postural control system, 2) develop better ways to
diagnose, treat and rehabilitate patients with balance disorders, and 3)
develop new design criteria for the environments in which people live
and work to minimize the potential for falling injuries to occur. The
populations of particular interest in this research are patients with
vestibular (inner ear) disorders and the elderly. Dr. Redfern's
laboratory is linked with the Jordan Center for Balance Disorders. He is
interested in reducing injuries in the workplace through ergonomic
redesign. The ergonomic research focus has been in the area of fall
prevention and the influence of postural factors in back injuries.
postural control research investigates the postural control system from
an engineering approach. Balance is a complex, non-linear control
problem with feedback from the vestibular, visual and proprioceptive
sensory systems. All this information is integrated by specific areas in
the brain to determine where a person is in space and what movements
are required to maintain balance. By applying an engineering analysis
approach, specific parts of the system can be probed to determine any
problems that may be occurring. The elderly are of particular concern
due the risk of hip fracture during falls. In one of the projects, the
group is examining the influence of visual and proprioceptive cues in
the environment on balance in the elderly. Findings of Dr. Redfern's
group indicate that elderly are dependent on these cues for balance.
Elderly at risk for falls may be particularly reliant on these sensory
inputs. From this basic finding, clinical tests are being developed to
determine the amount of visual and proprioceptive dependence of
individuals with the goal of identifying those elderly at most risk for
falls before they occur. In addition, the development of guidelines for
designing environments that eliminate potentially destabilizing aspects
of the environment and provide maximal sensory input are in progress.
Thus, the researchers' engineering approach is to develop an
understanding of the postural control system towards better
identification of balance problems, and then to use this knowledge to
design safer environments.
●Loughlin PJ and Redfern MS: Time varying
characteristics of visually-induced postural sway. IEEE Trans. Rehab.
Eng. 4(4):416-424, 1996.
●Redfern MS, DePasquale JM: Biomechanics of descending ramps. Posture & Gait 6: 119-125, 1997.
MS, Muller M, Jennings JR, Furman JM: "Attentional dynamics in postural
control during perturbations in young and older adults," Journal of
Gerontology: BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 57A(8):B298¬B303, 2002.
● Grönqvist, R., Chang, W-R., Courtney, T.K., Leamon, T.B., Redfern, M.S., & Strandberg, L. (2003). Measurement of slipperiness:
Fundamental concepts and definitions. In W-R. Chang, & T.K.
Courtney (Eds.), R. Grönqvist & M. Redfern (Assoc. Eds.), Measuring
slipperiness-human locomotion and surface factors (pp. 1-16). New York,
NY: Taylor & Francis.
● Redfern, M.S., Cham, R.,
Gielo-Perczak, K., Grönqvist, R., Hirvonen, M., Lanshammar, H., Marpet,
M., Pai, C.Y-C., & Powers, C. (2003). Biomechanics of slips. In
W-R. Chang, & T.K. Courtney (Eds.), R. Grönqvist, & M. Redfern
(Assoc. Eds.), Measuring slipperiness-human locomotion and surface
factors (pp. 37-65). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.
Chang, W-R., Courtney, T.K., Grönqvist, R., & Redfern, M.S. (2003).
Measuring slipperiness -Discussions on the state of the art and future
research. In W-R. Chang & T.K. Courtney (Eds.), R. Grönqvist
& M. Redfern (Assoc. Eds.), Measuring slipperiness-human locomotion
and surface factors (pp. 165-171). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.
● Redfern, M.S., Cham, R., & Moyer. B. (2004). Slips and falls. (Section 8.3), In: Delleman N, Haslegrave C, Chaffin
D (Eds.), Working Postures and Movements - Tools for Evaluation and
Engineering, Chapter 8 "Leg and Foot", (p. 211-224) CRC Press LLC.
● Cham, R., & Redfern, M.S. (2004). Flooring and standing comfort. (Section 8.2). In: Delleman N, Haslegrave C, Chaffin
D (Eds., Working Postures and Movements - Tools for Evaluation and
Engineering, Chapter 8 "Leg and Foot", (p. 224-238). CRC Press LLC.
● Redfern, M.S., Cham, R., & Moyer, B. (2004). Slips and falls. In: Delleman N, Haslegrave C, Chaffin D (Eds.),
Working Postures & Movements - Tools for Evaluation and
Engineering, Chapter 8.3, (p. 224-238), Taylor and Francis, New York,
● Redfern MS, Talkowski ME, Jennings JR, Furman JM: "Cognitive influences in postural control of patients with unilateral vestibular loss," Gait & Posture 19(2):105-114, 2004.
Cham R, Redfern MS: "Gait adaptations during load carrying on level and
inclined surfaces," Occupational Ergonomics, 4:11-26, 2004.
● Sparto PJ, Whitney SL, Hodges LF, Furman JM, Redfern MS: "Simulator
sickness when performing gaze shifts within a wide field of view optic
flow environment: Preliminary evidence for using virtual reality in
vestibular rehabilitation," Journal of NeuroEngineering and
Rehabilitation 1:14-24, 2004.
● Balaban, C.D., Prinkey,
J., Frank, G., and Redfern, M. (2005). Automatic event structure
parsing for context modeling: A role for postural orienting responses.
In: Schmorrow DD, Foundations of Augmented Cognition, Lawrence Erlbaum
● Balaban, C.D., Prinkey, J., Frank,
G., and Redfern, M. (2005). Postural measurements seated subjects as
gauges of cognitive engagement. In: Schmorrow DD, Foundations of
Augmented Cognition, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
● Mahoobin A, Loughlin PJ, Redfern, MS, Sparto PJ: "Sensory re-weighting in human postural control during moving-scene perturbations," Experimental Brain Research 167(2):260-267, 2005.
Sparto PJ, Redfern MS, Jasko JG, Casselbrant ML, Mandel EM, Furman JM:
"The influence of dynamic visual cues for postural control in children aged 7-12 years." Exp Brain Res 168:505-516, 2006.
Moyer BE, Chambers AJ, Redfern MS, Cham R: "Gait parameters as
predictors of slip severity in young and older adults," Ergonomics
● Faulkner KA Redfern MS, Rosano C, Landsittel
DP, Studenski SA, Cauley JA, Zmuda JM, Simonsick EM, Kritchevsky SB,
Newman AB: "Reciprocal influence of concurrent walking and cognitive
testing on performance in older adults," Gait & Posture
● Baker NA, Cham R, Cidboy E, Cook J, Redfern MS: "Kinematics of the fingers and hands during computer keyboard use," Clinical Biomechanics 22(1):34-43, 2007.
Redfern MS, Furman JM, Jacob RG: "Visually induced postural sway in
anxiety disorders," Journal of Anxiety Disorders, EPub ahead of print, Oct 2006.
Beschorner K, Redfern MS, Porter W, Debski R: "Effects of slip testing
parameters on measured coefficient of friction," Applied Ergonomics,
EPub ahead of print, Jan 2007.