RESEARCH INTERESTS & QUESTIONS
At the Sensory Motor Integration Lab (SMIL), our focus is on improving the everyday lives of older adults through the implementation of physical activity interventions—delivered in-home via telehealth and through group classes held at community-based facilities. We work with community partners to conduct research for individuals with Parkinson disease (PD), as well as rural-dwelling and other under-served older adults, who lack access to facilities for physical activity. Dr. Pickett’s research examines sensory and motor translational questions related to both humans and animal models:
- How does physical activity impact the presentation of motor and non-motor symptoms and disease progression in individuals with PD?
- What are the biomechanical effects of physical activity on the spatiotemporal characteristics of gait and balance, as well as fall rates in older adults?
- In what manner can gait evaluations be conducted in both ecologically valid and virtual settings to examine the effects of aging and disability?
- In what ways can primate models of objective gait evaluation predict disability outcome measures in humans, and provide indicators of intervention effectiveness?
- How does physical activity affect occupational participation and the performance of instrumented activities of daily living?
- And how can we translate our findings into therapeutic approaches taken by occupational and physical therapists?