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Aston K. McCullough

Assistant Professor

Aston K. McCullough studies human activity in relation to health across the lifespan. He develops, programs, and evaluates methods for analyzing human activity and health-related signals within single and multi-person movement paradigms using sensors (e.g., accelerometers, 2D/3D cameras, EKG, and others). McCullough examines associations between wellness and dance exposures both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Current Research

Laboratory for the Scientific Study of Dance (LAB:SYNC, Director: McCullough) is a designated Research Lab for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Based at UMass Amherst, this NEA Research lab is the nation's first to study the benefits that dance confers on health in adults.

As an NEA Research Lab, LAB:SYNC is currently engaged in designing, evaluating, and disseminating sensor- and questionnaire-based methods for quantifying dance behavior in adults ages 18-85 with varying levels of dance training exposures. Within the same cohort, the lab is also testing associations between lifetime dance exposures and multiple markers of physical and mental health.

Laboratory Newsletter (gravity): https://blogs.umass.edu/labsync/

Academic Background

  • Diploma, Dance Studies, Laban Dance Conservatoire
  • BA, Liberal Arts, Sarah Lawrence College
  • MA, Dance Education, New York University
  • MS, Applied Statistics, Columbia University Teachers College
  • MPhil, Kinesiology, Columbia University
  • PhD, Kinesiology, Columbia University
  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Research Appointments - Columbia University Medical Center
McCullough, A.K., Rodriguez, M., Garber, C.E. (2020). Quantifying physical activity in young children using a three-dimensional camera. Sensors, 20(4):1141.
McCullough, A.K. & Garber, C.E. (2019). Validity and reliability of a novel method for physical activity surveillance in toddlers. Journal for the Measurement of Physical Behaviour, 2(2):67-72.
Goldman, S., McCullough, A.K., Young, S.D. et al. (2019). Quantitative gait assessment in children with 16p11.2 syndrome. J Neurodevelop Disord, 11(26).
McCullough, A.K., Duch, H., Garber, C.E. (2018). Interactive dyadic physical activity and spatial proximity patterns in 2-year-olds and their parents. Children; 5(12):167.
McCullough, A.K., Keller, B., Qiu, S., Garber, C.E. (2018). Analysis of accelerometer-derived interpersonal spatial proximities: A calibration, simulation, and validation study. Meas Phys Educ Exerc Sci; 22(3):275-286.
McCullough, A.K. (2019). Physical Inactivity Test (PHIT) (v1) [Computer Software]. New York, NY. (Software)
Contact Info

Department of Music & Dance
353 Bartlett Hall
Amherst, MA 01003-9292

(413) 270-3405