Christopher K. Rhea

Dr. Rhea serves as the director of the Virtual Environment for Assessment and Rehabilitation Laboratory (VEAR Lab) and teaches courses in biomechanics, movement variability, and research methods. Dr. Rhea received his B.S. in Physical Education from the University of Central Missouri (2002), M.S. in Movement Science specializing in sports biomechanics from Barry University (2004) and Ph.D. in Motor Behavior specializing in biomechanics from Purdue University (2009). Prior to joining the UNCG faculty, Dr. Rhea was a Visiting Scholar at Brown University, while concurrently working as a Research Health Scientist at the Providence VA Medical Center (2008-2010). Dr. Rhea's primary research interest is the control of locomotion and balance. Dr. Rhea's research is separated into two themes; assessment and rehabilitation. In the assessment domain, Dr. Rhea's research team is exploring novel ways to quantify a person's functional mobility level. Clinical science is typically confined to subjective, course grained assessment of a patient's ability, making the accurate prescription of a rehabilitation program difficult. To this end, Dr. Rhea's research team is exploring how nonlinear dynamics can be used to index a patient's ability level. Furthermore, Dr. Rhea's team has utilized smartphone technology as an assessment tool by creating an Android-based app to identify neurological dysfunction from movement patterns. Once the patient's functional level has been identified, Dr. Rhea's research team develops novel rehabilitation practices using virtual reality (VR) technology. Dr. Rhea created the Rehabilitation Engagement Visualized In Virtual Environments (REVIVE) project (patent pending), which uses avatars and other virtual environments to assist in the re-development of a patient's walking ability.

There are 18 included publications by Christopher K. Rhea :

TitleDateViewsBrief Description
Center of Pressure Regularity With and Without Stochastic Resonance Stimulation in Stable and Unstable Ankles 2014 27 Chronic ankle instability (CAI) is associated with sensorimotor deficits, which may affect dynamic complexity by constraining the postural control system. Stochastic resonance stimulation (SRS) may restore sensory function and promote healthy postura...
Characteristics of Stride Behavior During Treadmill Walking and Stationary Stepping 2014 686 Much has been learned about the characteristics of gait in overground and treadmill walking. However, there are many contexts in which overground or treadmill walking might not be possible, such as in home-based physical therapy. In those cases, a su...
Control of adaptive locomotion: effect of visual obstruction and visual cues in the environment 2006 838 Visual information regarding obstacle position and size is used for planning and controlling adaptive gait. However, the manner in which visual cues in the environment are used in the control of gait is not fully known. This research examined the eff...
The effect of the visual characteristics of obstacles on risk of tripping and gait parameters during locomotion 2011 16 Purpose: Injuries from falls are a serious health issue. Approaches to preventing falls should consider increasing relevant visual information of an obstacle. Obstacle parameters, such as position and height, may be specified by the visible s...
Entrainment to a real time fractal visual stimulus modulates fractal gait dynamics 2014 595 Fractal patterns characterize healthy biological systems and are considered to reflect the ability of the system to adapt to varying environmental conditions. Previous research has shown that fractal patterns in gait are altered following natural agi...
Follow the leader: Visual control of speed in pedestrian following 2014 468 When people walk together in groups or crowds they must coordinate their walking speed and direction with their neighbors. This paper investigates how a pedestrian visually controls speed when following a leader on a straight path (one-dimensional fo...
Fractal Gait Patterns Are Retained after Entrainment to a Fractal Stimulus 2014 345 Previous work has shown that fractal patterns in gait can be altered by entraining to a fractal stimulus. However, little is understood about how long those patterns are retained or which factors may influence stronger entrainment or retention. In ex...
Gait dynamics following variable and constant speed gait training in individuals with chronic stroke 2012 663 Variable practice may be beneficial for learning novel motor patterns. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a variable practice intervention during treadmill walking on the dynamic properties of gait. Using a counterbalanced desig...
Gait dynamics when wearing a treadmill safety harness 2016 26 Nonlinear dynamics quantifies gait variability patterns, which can be useful in evaluating functional ability. A commonly used nonlinear technique is detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA). Safety support structures have previously been shown to alter ...
Gait Performance is not Influenced by Working Memory When Walking at a Self-selected Pace 2014 392 Gait performance exhibits patterns within the stride-to-stride variability that can be indexed using detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA). Previous work employing DFA has shown that gait patterns can be influenced by constraints, such as natural agin...
Influence of an unexpected perturbation on adaptive gait behavior 2011 13 During locomotion over uneven terrain, gait must be adapted to avoid a trip. In the event of a foot-obstacle contact, the body reactively responds to the perturbation. However, it is unknown if any proactive adjustments are made in subsequent strides...
Locomotor Adaptation versus Perceptual Adaptation when Stepping Over an Obstacle with a Height Illusion 2010 430 Background During locomotion, vision is used to perceive environmental obstacles that could potentially threaten stability; locomotor action is then modified to avoid these obstacles. Various factors such as lighting and texture can make these envir...
The M&M approach: using mental and mechanical strategies in your teaching and coaching 2007 17 Mental and mechanical (M&M) techniques are very useful in teaching and coaching. Mental techniques are strategies that enhance movement through psychological preparation, such as using imagery to practice a skill. Mechanical techniques are strategies...
Multiplanar Knee Laxity and Perceived Function During Activities of Daily Living and Sport 2015 26 Context: Greater knee-joint laxity may lead to a higher risk of knee injury, yet it is unknown whether results of self-reported outcome measures are associated with distinct knee-laxity profiles.
Objective: To identify the extent t...
Multiple timescales in postural dynamics associated with vision and a secondary task are revealed by wavelet analysis 2009 1038 Discrete wavelet analysis is used to resolve the center of pressure time series data into several timescale components, providing new insights into postural control. Healthy young and elderly participants stood quietly with their eyes open or closed ...
Noise and complexity in human postural control: interpreting the different estimations of entropy. 2011 456 BACKGROUND: Over the last two decades, various measures of entropy have been used to examine the complexity of human postural control. In general, entropy measures provide information regarding the health, stability and adaptability of the postural s...
The science of cup stacking: a review of how prior research “stacks up” 2006 16 Sport stacking is used in more than 10,000 physical education, after school, and sports programs. Once considered a recreational activity, the sport now has state and national competitions. Sport stacking manufacturers claim the sport of sport stacki...
Visual exteroceptive information provided during obstacle crossing did not modify the lower limb trajectory 2007 895 The roles of visual exteroception (information regarding environmental characteristics) and exproprioception (the relation of body segments to the environment) during gait adaptation are not fully understood. The purpose of this study was to determin...