"Fatigue is a multifaceted phenomenon that has been reported as having a detrimental effect on movement quality. Previous studies have predominantly focused on either the effect of fatigue on gross muscle function or basic proprioception and often used specific clinical populations e.g. brain damaged patients. This Fellowship proposal aims to further the understanding of how fatigue effects complex movement within a healthy high skilled population. With this fellowship a novel approach is to be developed that combines cutting edge kinematic analysis with multidisciplinary methods (physiology, biomechanics and psychology) to investigate the mechanisms underlying complex multi-muscle performance as seen in activities such as dance. We will measure postural sway and muscle movement smoothness and accuracy though force plate, EMG and 3-d analysis under individual and multiple fatigue-inducing conditions on three dance populations of varying skill levels. This will lead to a series of intervention studies to see if the deterioration of movement quality can be negated or slowed. Fatigue has been cited as one of the main causes of musculoskeletal injury within a wide range of healthy and diseased populations. Within dance this has resulted in a high incidence of injury within the lower limbs especially during the landing phase of jumping. The fellow will examine the efficacy of current injury screening protocols in relation to fatigued movement prior to the development of novel screening tools that better predict the tendency of poor limb alignment within fatigued states. With this fellowship we will carry also out a list of dissemination activities engaging with the European and international dance and medical communities. The Fellowship, with the help targeted training activities, will represent a very substantial advancement in Dr. Couillandre’s career plan, with the sound acquisition of both new key scientific, and transferable skills."
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