After my Post-Doc, I returned to the United States to gain experience in teaching at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY.
During this time, I was also the technical director of the Motion Capture Laboratory at the University and wanted to continue research on motor control applied to video games and other virtual reality simulations.
I obtained funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in their Pioneer Portfolio to expand my fall risk prevention program for individuals with Parkinson’s disease ($300,000). The goal of this project was multifold: First, we would train individuals with PD to learn to play DDR. As part of this training, we would quantify behavioral outcomes such as changes in 3D joint angles, balance, sit-to-stand times, distance over a 6-minute walk and energy expenditure related to game play. Secondly, I had the goal of obtaining functional neuroimaging of participants before and after training at the game for 30 hours using both fNIRS and fMRI. I began a collaboration with Joy Hirsch at Columbia University to obtain fMRI images and fNIRS data was collected in Japan at Meiji University in collaboration with Yumie Ono. We published numerous manuscripts showing behavioral outcomes and the neural correlates of motor learning using both fMRI and fNIRS [8-19].
In addition to these research outcomes, I also developed a number of industry connections including that with Konami (the maker of DDR), Shimadzu (the maker of the LABNIRS fNIRS device), and Nike (separate project to develop breakdancing shoes through integration of kinematic and kinetic analyses).