UW-Madison Department of Kinesiology - Kreg Gruben

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MadisonWI  53706-1121

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Dr. Kreg Gruben, Ph.D.

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Dr. Kreg Gruben, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

1081 Gymnasium-Natatorium  binoculars icon
2000 Observatory Dr
Madison, WI 53706-1121
Office: 608/262-2711

Visit the Neuromuscular Coordination Laboratory web site




  • Boehm, W.L., & Gruben, K.G. (2016). Post-Stroke Walking Behaviors Consistent with Altered Ground Reaction Force Direction Control Advise New Approaches to Research and Therapy. Translational Stroke Research. 7(1), 3–11.
    Online Publication/Abstract
    Abstract: Recovery of walking after stroke requires an understanding of how motor control deficits lead to gait impairment. Traditional therapy focuses on removing specific observable gait behaviors that deviate from unimpaired walking; however, those behaviors may be effective compensations for underlying problematic motor control deficits rather than direct effects of the stroke. Neurological deficits caused by stroke are not well understood, and thus, efficient interventions for gait rehabilitation likely remain unrealized. Our laboratory has previously characterized a post-stroke control deficit that yields a specific difference in direction of the ground reaction force (F, limb endpoint force) exerted with the hemiplegic limb of study participants pushing on both stationary and moving pedals while seated. That task was not dependent on F to retain upright posture, and thus, the task did not constrain F direction. Rather, the F direction was the product of neural preference. It is not known if this specific muscle coordination deficit causes the observed walking deviations, but if present during walking, the deficit would prevent upright posture unless counteracted by compensatory behaviors. Compensations are presented that mechanically counteract the F misdirection to allow upright posture. Those compensations are similar to behaviors observed in stroke patients. Based on that alignment between predictions of this theory and clinical observations, we theorize that post-stroke gait results from the attempt to compensate for the underlying F misdirection deficit. Limb endpoint force direction has been shown to be trainable in the paretic upper limb, making it a feasible goal in the lower limb. If this F misdirection theory is valid, these ideas have tremendous promise for advancing the field of post-stroke gait rehabilitation.
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  • Gruben, K.G., & Boehm, W. (2014). Ankle torque control that shifts the center of pressure from heel to toe contributes non-zero sagittal plane angular momentum during human walking. Journal of Biomechanics.
    Online Publication/Abstract
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  • Gruben, K.G., & Boehm, W. (2012). Force direction pattern stabilizes sagittal plane mechanics of human walking. Human Movement Science. 31(3), 649-659.
    Online Publication/Abstract
  • Gruben, K.G., & Boehm, W. (2012). Mechanical interaction of center of pressure and force direction in the upright human. Journal of Biomechanics. 45(9), 1661-1665.
    Online Publication/Abstract
  • Gruben, K.G., & Boehm, W. (2012). Response to Letter to the Editor: 'The ground reaction vector in walking passes always (almost) through the same point.'. Journal of Biomechanics. 46, 632-633.
    Online Publication/Abstract
  • Moerchen, V.A., Lazarus, J., & Gruben, K.G. (2007). Task-dependent organization of pinch grip forces. Experimental Brain Research. 180(2), 367-376.
  • Moerchen, V.A., & Gruben, K.G. (2006). Afferent contributions to digit force coupling and force level variation during non-lift pinch. Neurocase. 12(5), 300-306.
  • Rogers, L.M., Brown, D.A., & Gruben, K.G. (2004). Foot force direction control during leg pushes against fixed and moving pedals in persons post-stroke. Gait and Posture. 19(1), 58-68.
  • Gruben, K.G., Rogers, L.M., & Schmidt, M.W. (2003). Direction of foot force for pushes against a fixed pedal: role of effort level. Motor Control. 7(3), 229-241.
  • Gruben, K.G., Rogers, L.M., Schmidt, M.W., & Tan, L. (2003). Direction of foot force for pushes against a fixed pedal: variation with pedal position. Motor Control. 7(4), 366-383.
  • Schmidt, M.W., López-Ortiz, C., Barrett, P.S., Rogers, L.M., & Gruben, K.G. (2003). Foot force direction in an isometric pushing task: prediction by kinematic and musculoskeletal models. Experimental Brain Research. 150(2), 245-254.
  • Gruben, K.G., López-Ortiz, C., & Giachetti, R.S. (2003). Muscular and postural components of foot forces during quasi-static extension efforts. Journal of Applied Biomechanics. 19, 239-245.
  • Gruben, K.G., López-Ortiz, C., & Schmidt, M.W. (2003). The control of foot force during pushing efforts against a moving pedal. Experimental Brain Research. 148(1), 50-61.
  • Gruben, K.G., & López-Ortiz, C. (2000). Characteristics of the force applied to a pedal during human pushing efforts: Emergent linearity. J Motor Behavior. 32(2), 151-162.

Awards and Honors

  • Finalist in Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest
    Organization: Wisconsin Technology Council
    Purpose: Service, Community
    Scope: State
    Description: To translate my stroke walking research into therapy I wrote a business plan that was selected as one of 13 finalists (from 238 submissions). I presented at Wisconsin Entrepreneur's Conference.
    Date(s): June 2, 2015
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