John Bertram, PhD
Dr. Bertram’s research group investigates the dynamic consequences of movement strategies, primarily directed at walking and running. The overall goal is to generate an understanding of ‘why’ movement happens as it does, not just document what is happening. He often describes his work as trying to figure out why ‘normal’ is normal, recognizing that normal has been extremely well described, but is not yet well understood. A proper understanding of normal human locomotion could lead to novel (and potentially non-intuitive) rehabilitation strategies and interventions in pathological gait.
Much of Dr. Bertram’s work is focused on generating predictive models of movement in which the models contain hypotheses regarding the motivation for specific movement patterns under given circumstances. These predictions can then be tested on subjects in those circumstances. As an example, his group models human movement in reduced gravity (because gravity is a ubiquitous and important effector of human locomotion), and then evaluates the predictive ability of the model using a unique gravity simulation harness.