Juergen Konczak

Juergen Konczak
University of Minnesota Twin Cities | UMN · Center for Clinical Movement Science

Doctor of Philosophy

About

179
Publications
32,872
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5,631
Citations
Citations since 2017
49 Research Items
2420 Citations
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Introduction
Jürgen Konczak is a Full Professor in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota, where he is the head of the Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory . He is also director of a university-wide Center for Clinical Movement Science that includes over 30 faculty from the allied health, clinical, engineering and movement sciences. Dr. Konczak’s research focuses on the neurophysiology and biomechanics of human motor function in clinical and special populations. He has published extensively in the area of neuromotor control, motor development and motor dysfunction due to neurological diseases such as ataxia, Parkinson's disease and dystonia. His research has been funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the German Science Foundation and the European Commission.

Publications

Publications (179)
Article
Finger position sense is a proprioceptive modality highly important for fine motor control. Its developmental time course is largely unknown. This cross-sectional study examined its typical development in 138 children (8–17 years) and a group of 14 healthy young adults using a fast and novel psychophysical test that yielded objective measures of po...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Learning of a visuomotor task not only leads to changes in motor performance but also improves proprioceptive function of the trained joint/limb system. Such sensorimotor learning may show intra-joint transfer that is observable at a previously untrained degrees of freedom of the trained joint. In addition, it may transfer to the homolog...
Article
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Background A brief bedside test has recently been introduced by Hoche et al. (Brain, 2018) to screen for the Cerebellar Cognitive Affective Syndrome (CCAS) in patients with cerebellar disease. Objective This multicenter study tested the ability of the CCAS-Scale to diagnose CCAS in individual patients with common forms of hereditary ataxia. Metho...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Proprioceptive training is any intervention aiming to improve proprioceptive function with the ultimate goal to enhance motor function and performance. It has been promoted as an approach to enhance athletic performance and as a tool for sensorimotor rehabilitation. Numerous studies sought to provide evidence on the effectiveness of the a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background-Numerous neurological and orthopedic conditions impair ankle proprioception resulting in gait and balance deficits. However, current clinical practice lacks accurate and reliable methods to assess proprioceptive function. To address this gap, we developed a robotic assessment system that provides accurate, objective, and reliable measure...
Article
Full-text available
Cerebellar degeneration progressively impairs motor function. Recent research showed that cerebellar patients can improve motor performance with practice, but the optimal feedback type (visual, proprioceptive, verbal) for such learning and the underlying neuroplastic changes are unknown. Here, patients with cerebellar degeneration (N = 40) and age-...
Conference Paper
Introduction: Cervical dystonia (CD) is a type of focal dystonia that is characterized by involuntary neck postures. The underlying neurophysiology mechanism of CD is unknown, but there is increasing empirical evidence that motor deficits of CD are associated with somatosensory and proprioceptive deficits in the upper limb area. Vibro-tactile stim...
Article
Full-text available
Background Proprioceptive deficits after stroke are associated with poor upper limb function, slower motor recovery, and decreased self-care ability. Improving proprioception should enhance motor control in stroke survivors, but current evidence is inconclusive. Thus, this study examined whether a robot-aided somatosensory-based training requiring...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Proprioception is defined as the ability to sense limb and body position and motion. Proprioceptive signals originating from the mechanoreceptors around the ankle joint are critical for maintaining postural control and gait. Previous studies identified the detrimental effect of ankle somatosensory dysfunction on sensorimotor function such as balanc...
Conference Paper
With a growing interest in real-time control of prostheses and wearable rehabilitation devices to treat motor dysfunction, there is a need to classify normal and abnormal body movement using kinematic and electrophysiological data. This paper presents a novel linear algorithm that can classify 10 distinct neck movements based on signals of only fou...
Article
Neurodegeneration of the cerebellum progresses over years and primarily affects cerebellar cortex. It leads to a progressive loss of control and coordination of gait, posture, speech, fine motor and oculomotor function. Yet, little is known how the cerebro-cerebellar network compensates for the loss in cerebellar cortical neurons. To address this k...
Article
Full-text available
Proprioceptive training is a neurorehabilitation approach known to improve proprioceptive acuity and motor performance of a joint/limb system. Here, we examined if such learning transfers to the contralateral joints. Using a robotic exoskeleton, 15 healthy, right-handed adults (18–35 years) trained a visuomotor task that required making increasingl...
Article
Full-text available
Position sense refers to an aspect of proprioception crucial for motor control and learning. The onset of neurological diseases can damage such sensory afference, with consequent motor disorders dramatically reducing the associated recovery process. In regular clinical practice, assessment of proprioceptive deficits is run by means of clinical scal...
Article
Background: This study investigated if intensive piano training may be associated with improved motor and somatosensory function. We systematically examined upper limb proprioception, which is known to play an essential role in skill movements, and motor function in young pianists. Method: Forty-four typically developing children who either regular...
Article
During recent decades, many studies have yielded evidence for cerebellar involvement in cognitive, emotional and affective processes besides the well-known cerebellar contribution to motor performance and learning (Koziol et al., 2014; Marien et al., 2014; Van Overwalle et al., 2014; Strata, 2015; Adamaszek et al., 2017; Kansal et al., 2017; Guell...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background- Proprioceptive deficits after stroke are associated with poor upper limb function, slower motor recovery, and decreased self-care ability. Improving proprioception should enhance motor control in stroke survivors, but current evidence is inconclusive. Thus, this study examined whether a robot-aided somatosensory-based training requiring...
Article
Full-text available
Background Traditionally, cerebellar disorders including ataxias have been associated with deficits in motor control and motor learning. Since the 1980’s growing evidence has emerged that cerebellar diseases also impede cognitive and affective processes such as executive and linguistic functions, visuospatial abilities and regulation of emotion and...
Article
Full-text available
Background and purpose: Complementary therapies, such as yoga, have been proposed to address gait and balance problems in Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, the effects of yoga on gait and static balance have not been studied systematically in people with PD (PWP). Here we evaluated the effects of a 12-week long Hatha yoga intervention on biomechan...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Speech analysis using microphones can be problematic for Voice Activity Detection (VAD) in the presence of background noise. This study explored the use of wearable accelerometers instead of microphones. We assessed if accelerometers placed on the neck can be part of a VAD system embedded in a wearable collar-like device that delivers vibro-tactile...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Proprioceptive afferents from the ankle joint are essential feedback for maintaining balance. However, there is no widely accepted test or measurement system available for determining the proprioceptive accuracy of the human ankle joint. Here, we present a system with a novel hardware design that applies an established psychometric testing protocol...
Article
Background. Cervical dystonia (CD) is a neurological movement disorder characterized by involuntary contractions of the cervical musculature and is known to be associated with proprioceptive dysfunction in dystonic/nondystonic limbs. Objectives. We examined how neck botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) injection affects wrist proprioception and the correspo...
Article
Objective: To determine whether different phenotypes of cervical dystonia (CD) express different types and levels of somatosensory impairment. Methods: We assessed somatosensory function in patients with CD with and without tremor (n = 12 each) and in healthy age-matched controls (n = 22) by measuring tactile temporal discrimination thresholds o...
Article
Full-text available
Spasmodic dysphonia (SD) is an incurable focal dystonia of the larynx that impairs speech and communication. Vibro-tactile stimulation (VTS) alters afferent proprioceptive input to sensorimotor cortex that controls speech. This proof-of-concept study examined the effect of laryngeal VTS on speech quality and cortical activity in 13 SD participants...
Conference Paper
Proprioception or body awareness is an essential sense that aids in the neural control of movement. Proprioceptive impairments are commonly found in people with neurological conditions such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease. Such impairments are known to impact the patient’s quality of life. Robot-aided proprioceptive training has been proposed and...
Article
Full-text available
High vibration transfer from a tennis racquet to the player may cause discomfort, and is hypothesized to influence performance and the onset of muscle fatigue. This study examined a racquet with a novel vibration damping technology (VDT) designed to mitigate frame vibration. Racquet vibration, post-impact vibration transfer to the player, arm elect...
Conference Paper
Introduction: The magnitude and timeline of somatosensory impairments due to chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy are not well understood due to a lack of objective measures with appropriate resolution. Here, we have updated a methodology for measuring proprioceptive acuity and developed a novel measure of haptic function, appropriate for adu...
Conference Paper
Introduction: The magnitude and timeline of somatosensory impairments due to chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy are not well understood due to a lack of objective measures with appropriate resolution. Here, we have updated a methodology for measuring proprioceptive acuity and developed a novel measure of haptic function, appropriate for adu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Proprioceptive deficits are common among stroke survivors and are associated with slower motor recovery, poorer upper limb motor function, and decreased self-care ability. Somatosensory feedback augmenting proprioception should enhance motor control after stroke, but available evidence is inconclusive. This study evaluated the effects of a robot-ai...
Article
Full-text available
Haptic loss severely compromises the fine motor control of many daily manual tasks. Today, no widely accepted assessment protocols of haptic function are in clinical use. This is primarily due to the scarcity of fast, objective measures capable of characterizing mild to severe forms of haptic dysfunction with appropriate resolution. This study intr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Spasmodic dysphonia (SD) is a voice disorder that leads to strained or choked speech. SD is unresponsive to speech therapy. There is no cure for SD. Preliminary work from our group showed that voice quality in SD improves when vibro-tactile stimulation (VTS) is applied over the larynx as a non-invasive form of neuromodulation. The goal of this pape...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Spasmodic dysphonia (SD) is a debilitating voice/speech disorder without an effective cure. To obtain a better understanding of the underlying cortical neural mechanism of the disease we analyzed electroencephalographic (EEG) signals of people with SD during voice production. Method: Ten SD individuals and 10 healthy volunteers produced...
Article
Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting the motor system, but it may also present with signs of somatosensory dysfunction. This study examined whether haptic perception, which relies on somatosensory afferents, is impaired in children with DCD. Haptic sensitivity and acuity were systematically quantified...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Proprioceptive impairment is a common feature of Parkinson's disease (PD). Proprioceptive function is only partially restored with anti-parkinsonian medication or deep brain stimulation. Behavioral exercises focusing on somatosensation have been promoted to overcome this therapeutic gap. However, conclusive evidence on the effectiveness...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To examine the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects of Hatha yoga on oxidative stress, motor function, and non-motor symptoms among individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Methods The study has a pilot randomized controlled trial design with two arms: an immediate treatment group and a wait-list control group. The yoga-...
Conference Paper
Proprioception – the sense of body awareness – is frequently impaired after stroke. Clinical tests used to detect proprioceptive impairments require substantial amounts of time and lack sensitivity. In contrast, robotic devices demonstrated that they can to objectively assess subjects’ proprioceptive acuity. We here present preliminary results of a...
Article
Sensorimotor learning is a bidirectional process associated with concurrent neuroplastic changes in the motor and somatosensory system. While motor memory consolidation and retention have been extensively studied during skill acquisition, little is known about the formation and consolidation of somatosensory memory associated with motor learning. U...
Article
This study obtained objective measures of wrist position sense to verify that children with DCD have proprioceptive deficits. In addition, it examined the relationship of wrist proprioceptive impairment with fine motor and balance function. Twenty children with DCD and thirty typically developing children (TD) aged 10-11 years old were recruited an...
Article
Background: Cerebellar Purkinje cell axonal degeneration has been identified in horses with shivering but its relationship with abnormal hindlimb movement has not been elucidated. Objectives: To characterise surface electromyographic (sEMG) hindlimb muscle activity in horses with shivering, correlate with clinical scores and examine horses for P...
Article
It is unclear, whether proprioceptive dysfunction in developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is localized affecting only specific joints or whether it is generalized affecting proximal and distal joints. Thus, this study assessed position sense acuity at the elbow and wrist in twenty children with DCD (age: 9–11 yrs.) using a joint position match...
Article
Full-text available
Proprioceptive function can become enhanced during motor learning. Yet, we have incomplete knowledge to what extent proprioceptive function is trainable and how a training that enhances proprioception may influence performance in untrained motor skills. To address this knowledge gap, healthy young adults (N = 14) trained in a visuomotor task that r...
Article
Full-text available
Perception of limb and body positions is known as proprioception. Sensory feedback, especially from proprioceptive receptors, is essential for motor control. Aging is associated with a decline in position sense at proximal joints, but there is inconclusive evidence of distal joints being equally affected by aging. In addition, there is initial evid...
Chapter
Die Kontrolle von Bewegungen bildet die Basis für das menschliche Handeln. Menschliche Verhaltensäußerungen und Bewegungsmuster können oft hochkomplex sein, aber selbst die Ausführung augenscheinlich einfacher motorischer Akte wie das Stehen oder Gehen erfordert die gezielte Aktivierung von Gruppen von Muskeln mit Tausenden von Muskelfasern. Dieses...
Article
Full-text available
This review addresses the role of exercise as an intervention for treating neurological disease. It focuses on three major neurological diseases that either present in acute or neurodegenerative forms—Parkinson’s disease, cerebellar ataxia, and cortical stroke. Each of the diseases affects primarily different brain structures, namely the basal gang...
Article
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Background Several neurodevelopmental disorders and brain injuries in children have been associated with proprioceptive dysfunction that will negatively affect their movement. Unfortunately, there is lack of reliable and objective clinical examination protocols and our current knowledge of how proprioception evolves in typically developing children...
Article
Full-text available
Electrophysiological recordings from human muscles can serve as control signals for robotic rehabilitation devices. Given that many diseases affecting the human sensorimotor system are associated with abnormal patterns of muscle activation, such biofeedback can optimize human-robot interaction and ultimately enhance motor recovery. To understand ho...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the trainability of the proprioceptive sense and explored the relationship between proprioception and motor learning. With vision blocked, human learners had to perform goal-directed wrist movements relying solely on proprioceptive/haptic cues to reach several haptically specified targets. One group received additional somatosen...
Data
Assessment Variables. Values of the three assessment variables (Matching Error, Haptic Feedback and Tracking Error) for each single subject in two phases: Pre training and Post Training. (PDF)
Data
Training Variables. Values of the three training variables (Max Displacement, Movement Time and Movement Units) for each single subject in two phases: Early training and Late Training. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
This study mapped the development of proprioception in healthy, typically developing children by objectively measuring forearm position sense acuity. We assessed position sense acuity in a cross-sectional sample of 308 children (5–17 years old; M/F = 127/181) and a reference group of 26 healthy adults (18–25 years old; M/F = 12/14) using a body-sca...
Article
Full-text available
Proprioceptive signals from peripheral mechanoreceptors form the basis for bodily perception and are known to be essential for motor control. However we still have an incomplete understanding of how proprioception differs between joints, whether it differs among the various degrees-of-freedom (DoFs) within a particular joint, and how such differenc...
Article
Full-text available
The cerebellum plays an important role for balance control and the coordination of voluntary movements. Beyond that there is growing evidence that the cerebellum is also involved in cognitive functions. How ataxic motor symptoms are influenced by simultaneous performance of a cognitive task, however, has rarely been assessed and some of the finding...
Conference Paper
Proprioception is central for motor control and its role must also be taken into account when designing motor rehabilitation training protocols. This is particularly important when dealing with motor deficits due to proprioceptive impairment such as peripheral sensory neuropathy. In these cases substituting or augmenting diminished proprioceptive s...
Conference Paper
Upper limb robotic rehabilitation technology has recognized the importance of biofeedback signals for optimizing motor recovery. Impaired motor control is typically associated with abnormal muscle activation patterns and such patterns can be revealed by electromyography (EMG). However, before using user-generated EMG signals as biofeedback for cont...
Conference Paper
Neurological movement disorders such as stroke or sensory neuropathy are associated with somatosensory deficits. From a neurorehabilitation perspective, the assessment of proprioceptive function is important for planning and applying adequate rehabilitation treatments. Numerous behavioral and psychophysical methods are available to measure proprioc...
Conference Paper
Proprioception provides information about limb configuration which are essential for planning and controlling its posture and movement. Asymmetries in the way dominant and non-dominant limbs exploit proprioceptive information have been previously evaluated, with contradictory results due to the difference in the employed methodology. A measure of p...
Conference Paper
Proprioception is the sense of the body awareness. Proprioceptive deficits represent frequent consequences of several neurological conditions like stroke, Parkinson's disease and others. The assessment of such somatosensory function is crucial, although the available clinical tests are not sensitive enough. The human wrist is a crucial joint for ma...
Poster
Full-text available
This study demonstrates: First, improvements in proprioceptive acuity are observable even after brief training. Second, enhanced motor performance in an untrained non-visuomotor task indicates that such proprioceptive improvements translate to motor performance.
Article
Full-text available
Impaired proprioception severely affects the control of gross and fine motor function. However, clinical assessment of proprioceptive deficits and its impact on motor function has been difficult to elucidate. Recent advances in haptic robotic interfaces designed for sensorimotor rehabilitation enabled the use of such devices for the assessment of p...
Article
Focal dystonia of the head and neck are associated with a loss of kinesthetic acuity at muscles distant from the dystonic sites. That is, while the motor deficits in focal dystonia are confined, the associated somatosensory deficits are generalized. This is the first systematic study to examine, if patients diagnosed with spasmodic dystonia (SD) sh...
Article
Full-text available
"Shivers" is a progressive equine movement disorder of unknown etiology. Clinically, horses with shivers show difficulty walking backward, assume hyperflexed limb postures, and have hind limb tremors during backward movement that resembles shivering. At least initially, forward movements are normal. Given that neither the neurophysiologic nor the p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Stroke, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions often cause proprioceptive deficits which impact the neural control of movement. Proprioception, which is the sense of body awareness, is central to assess accurate interaction with external environment and when compromised it results in several limitations in the activities of daily liv...
Article
An established treatment for the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) is deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN). Mounting evidence suggests that PD is also associated with somatosensory deficits, yet the effect of STN-DBS on somatosensory processing is largely unknown. This study investigated whether STN-DBS affects som...
Article
Full-text available
Numerous reports advocate that training of the proprioceptive sense is a viable behavioral therapy for improving impaired motor function. However, there is little agreement of what constitutes proprioceptive training and how effective it is. We therefore conducted a comprehensive, systematic review of the available literature in order to provide cl...