Motor Development Lab

In the Motor Development Laboratory, we are interested in how people’s bodies and environmental demands influence walking and motor functioning across the lifespan. We use a variety of methods to examine how children and adults modify their walking patterns to navigate through the environment: three-dimensional motion capture, computerized video coding, wearable motion sensor technology, portable spatio-temporal gait systems, and digital pressure mats. Our long-term goals are to: 1) develop novel systems approaches to optimize health outcomes in early childhood, 2) design innovative interventions that minimize fall risks associated with childhood and adult obesity, and 3) create new methods to detect fall risks linked with childhood and adult obesity.


We conduct experiments to answer questions such as:

  • Why do some toddlers have better walking skill than others?
  • How do childhood and adult obesity impact walking to a beat?
  • How does massive weight loss after bariatric surgery affect crossing obstacles?
  • How does body composition affect motor performance and cognitive functioning?
  • Is body composition related to cognitive performance?

Our work has been and is currently supported by:

Visit us to participate in child and adult walking studies. If you would like to become a member of the lab, contact Dr. Simone Gill.