Richard Van Emmerik

Richard Van Emmerik
Professor and Department Chair
107 Totman Building


B.S., Vrije Universiteit, the Netherlands, 1984; Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1990; Post-Doctoral Fellow: Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1990-1993

Area(s) of Specialization: 

Motor Control; Movement Disorders; Perception-Action; Posture; Locomotion

Research Description: 

Dr. Van Emmerik’s research is on the coordination and control of human movement. The main focus is on stability and adaptability in human movement and the role of variability in motor control from a nonlinear and complex systems perspective, as well as the ecological approach to perception and action. The research in his laboratory is integrative and focuses on the interaction between mechanical, neural and perceptual factors underlying the control of posture and gait, with applications to rehabilitation, learning and development. A particular focus of his research is on loss of stability and falls in older individuals and people with movement disorders (Parkinson’s disease; Multiple Sclerosis). Current research efforts focus on human factors applications in which effects of load on perceptual-motor performance in soldiers is assessed.

Publication List: 

PubMed Search Link

Key Publications: 

Palmer, C.J., Riccio, G.E., & Van Emmerik, R.E.A. (2012). Orienting under load: Intrinsic dynamics and postural affordances for visual perception. Ecological Psychology, 24(2), 95-121.

Seay, J., Van Emmerik, R.E.A., & Hamill, J. (2011). Differences between pelvis-trunk coordination in runners with and without low back pain. Spine, 36, 1070-1079.

Van Emmerik, R.E.A., Remelius, J.G., Johnson, M.B., Chung, L.H., & Kent-Braun, J.A. (2010). Postural Control in women with multiple sclerosis: Effects of fatigue and vision during quiet stance and postural perturbations. Gait & Posture, 32, 608-614.

Hasson, C.J., Caldwell, G.E., & Van Emmerik, R.E.A. (2009). Scaling of plantarflexor muscle activity and postural control time-to-contact in response to upper-body perturbations in young and older adults. Experimental Brain Research, 196(3), 413-427.

Van Emmerik, R.E.A. & Van Wegen (2002). On the functional aspects of variability in postural control. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 30(4), 177-183.