The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Sam Zeff


School or College: 

School of Public Health & Health Policy


Dr. Richard van Emmerik


Sam Zeff is a PhD student in the Kinesiology Department in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences. Under the mentorship of Dr. Richard van Emmerik, his current research is focused on the effects of sport-related injuries on visual perception and how that may impact sport performance. Sam is also interested in the long-term consequences of sport-related injuries on the quality of life in former athletes. He is currently trying to better understand the impacts of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction on visual task performance and osteoarthritis development in collegiate athletes to help improve rehabilitation strategies.

Research Proposal Title: 

Implications of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction on Visual Perception and Osteoarthritis Development


In our everyday lives, we must adapt to different visual task constraints in our environment. When we approach a sign while walking and attempt to read the information of the sign, we modify the way we walk and often increase motion at the knee joint to enhance our ability to perform the visual task. Following ACL reconstruction, individuals rely more heavily on the hip and ankle, reducing the relative contributions from the reconstructed knee during locomotion. Altered knee joint loading puts these individuals at a greater risk for the development of knee joint osteoarthritis. How well can these individuals perform visual tasks during locomotion? Do visual tasks increase knee joint loading in these individuals? Understanding the effects of ACL reconstruction in more ecological settings has the potential to help improve rehabilitation strategies, knee joint health, and quality of life.