Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Redfern, Mark
Professor, Departments of Otolaryngology, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Bioengineering Department
Redfern, Mark
Vice Provost for Research
Faculty
Professor
Office: Benedum 123
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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.

 

The 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.

Redfern 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, NY.

● 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 Associates.

● 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 49(4):329-343, 2006.  

● 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 24(2):182-189, 2006.

● 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.