Research Labs

Research Labs


The Department of Kinesiology has five distinct research labs. These labs are a vital part of the Department’s mission. Faculty and students conduct research in fields related to Biomechanics, Adapted Physical Education, Physical Activity and its Promotion, diseases affecting the human condition and human behavior in dynamic situations. 

Activity Promotion Lab

The Activity Promotion Lab (APL) supports research and teaching in the area of physical activity promotion to improve the health and quality of life of people throughout their lifespan. Physical activity is a behavior that promotes positive health outcomes such as weight management, chronic disease prevention and management, and improved mental health among others. As such, faculty members and students of the APL engage in various projects ranging from measurement of physical activity to interventions aimed at promoting physical activity across the lifespan in a variety of settings. To learn more about the Activity Promotion Lab click here.

Biomechanics Lab

The Biomechanics lab research focuses on the study related to the science of human movement. The lab utilizes the latest technology to evaluate different scenarios related to movement and it’s impact on the human body. Located the Ward Sports Medicine Building (room 332), faculty, staff and students participate in research related to human movement and the effects of such movements during physical activity. To learn more about the Biomechanics Lab click here.

Development Motor Lab

The Developmental Motor Lab serves as the home of the Adapted Physical Education Program (APE) practicum. Since the APE program’s inception the on-campus practicum has remained a key element. The practicum pairs ECU students with local special needs children that attend a weekly individualized adapted physical activity program. One of our labs signature programs is DanceAbility. This program offers dance classes for children with and without disabilities from ages 4 to 14. The program is unique, fun and designed to focus on abilities and adapt to differences. To learn more about the Developmental Motor Lab click here.

Human Performance Laboratory

The Human Performance Laboratory (HPL) is an interdisciplinary research and service unit. Our programs which span undergraduate to post-doctoral education, translational research, as well as service to the university and local communities. Our mission of the is to study disease states affecting the human condition such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, muscle wasting, the metabolic syndrome, and diabetes and subsequently determine how a physically active lifestyle can aid in the prevention or as an intervention for these conditions. To learn more about the Human Performance Laboratory click here.

Visual Motor Lab

Research within VML involves projects that examine visual attention, arousal, mental workload, and visual processing through neuroimaging. The goal of our research program is to understand how vision and cognition control and modulate motor behavior. The lab is designed to measure human motor behavior in dynamic situations through in-field assessments, virtual simulations or in more static, self-paced laboratory tasks. Our secondary focus includes research to determine how visual search behavior influences motor dysfunction such as Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and freezing of gait in Parkinson’s disease. At the core of this research is to investigate the links between the perceptual (processing) and motor systems (output). To learn more about the Visual Motor Lab click here.

Sensory-Motor Integration Laboratory

The Sensory-Motor Integration Laboratory at ECU (SMILe), located in Minges Coliseum, is a state-of-the-art motor control and motor neurophysiology research space focused on advancing our understanding of the basic neurobiological mechanisms of action. Our vision is to be a nationally and internationally recognized team of researchers in the area of motor neuroscience. The mission of SMILe is twofold: 1) to advance the science of neuromotor control through carefully designed and executed experiments, and 2) to provide advanced training opportunities for the next generation of neuroscience and motor control scientists. To learn more about the Sensory-Motor Integration Laboratory at ECU (SMILe), click here.

Performance Optimization Lab

The mission of the Performance Optimization Laboratory (POL) is to help all people perform at their best. Human performance optimization is translational across many populations and tissue (healthy, diseased, and injured) states. Sport performance of athletes, mission performance of our nation’s warfighters, performing activities of daily living in older adults, and restoring and optimizing function to individuals’ post-injury are all examples of where human performance optimization is needed. The Performance Optimization Laboratory accomplishes its mission from a biomechanical perspective primarily, but is highly interdisciplinary and utilizes techniques and approaches from related fields such as neuroscience and physiology. To learn more about the POL, click here.