Natalia Dounskaia

425 North Fifth Street
ABC1 222
Mail Code 3020
Phoenix
Assoc Professor
Faculty
DTPHX Campus
Mailcode
9020
Assoc Professor
Faculty
DTPHX Campus
Mailcode
9020

Biography

Natalia Dounskaia is an associate professor of kinesiology in the College of Health Solutions. She obtained her doctorate in physics and mathematics in Moscow at the Institute of Control Science of the Russian Academy of Science. During her doctoral program, she studied methods of control of robotic arms. She later became interested in how the brain organizes control of human limb movements and was given the opportunity to study this question as a postdoctoral fellow first at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, and then at the Arizona State University.

Most recently, Dounskaia has been investigating how the central nervous system adjusts its descending signals to the biomechanical properties of the limbs. More specifically, her research has been focusing on five major topics: (1) general principles of control of multi-joint human movements, (2) control and organization of handwriting, (3) kinematic invariants in arm movements and their relation to the anatomical structure of the arm, (4) origins of submovements in aiming arm movements, (5) coordination of bimanual movements. In addition, She's applied her findings about control of normal movements to problems associated with adverse effect of normal aging and Parkinson’s disease. In correspondence with her research experience, her teaching interests include fundamental issues of motor control and their applications. 

Find out more about her work on the Leading Joint Hypothesis: Poetry in Motion (PDF).

Education

  • Ph.D. Physics and Mathematics, Institute of Control Science, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow 1990
  • M.S. Moscow Institute of Electronic Building, Russia 1976
  • B.S. Moscow Institute of Electronic Building, Russia, 1976

Research Interests

Control of human multi-joint movements, bimanual movement control, origins of submovements in aiming movements, adverse effect of normal aging and motor disorders on movement control.

Publications

  • Dounskaia N, Shimansky Y (2016) Strategy of arm movement control is determined by minimization of neural effort for joint coordination. Exp Brain Res. 234:1335-1350. Review
  • Zubair HN, Stout EE, Dounskaia N, Beloozerova IN (2018) The role of inter-segmental dynamics in coordination of the forelimb joints during unperturbed and perturbed skilled locomotion. J Neurophysiol 120: 1547–1557.
  • Vidt, ME, Marshall, D, Sansgiri, D, Sarbolandi, J, Dounskaia, N. Upper limb joint control during activities of daily living. American Society of Biomechanics Annual Meeting. Rochester, MN. Pages 1, 2. August 8-11, 2018. (Peer reviewed extended abstract)
  • Dounskaia N, Peterson D, Bruhns R (2018) Destabilization of the upright posture through elevation of the center of mass. Ann Biomed Eng. 46: 318-323.
  • Wang W, Dounskaia N (2016) Neural control of arm movements reveals a tendency to use gravity to simplify joint coordination rather than to decrease muscle effort. Neuroscience, 339: 418-432.
  • Wang W, Dounskaia N (2015) Influence of Workspace Constraints on Directional Preferences of 3D Arm Movements. Exp Brain Res. 233: 2141-2153.
  • Dounskaia N, Wang W (2014) A Preferred Pattern of Joint Coordination during Arm Movements with Redundant Degrees of Freedom. J Neurophysiol. 112:1040-1053.
  • Asmussen MJ, Przysucha EP, Dounskaia N (2014) Inter-segmental dynamics shape joint coordination during catching in typically developing children but not in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder. J Neurophysiol. 111: 1417-1428.
  • Dounskaia N, Wang W, Sainburg RL, Przybyla A. (2014) Preferred directions of arm movements are independent of visual perception of spatial directions. Exp Brain Res. 232 (2): 575-86.
  • Asmussen MJ, Przysucha EP, Dounskaia N (2014) Inter-segmental dynamics shape joint coordination during catching in typically developing children but not in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder. J Neurophysiol. 111: 1417-1428.
  • Dounskaia N, Wang W, Sainburg RL, Przybyla A. (2014) Preferred directions of arm movements are independent of visual perception of spatial directions. Exp Brain Res. 232 (2): 575-86.
  • Wang W, Dounskaia N. Load emphasizes muscle effort minimization during selection of arm movement direction (2012) Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 9:70, http://www.jneuroengrehab.com/content/9/1/70. PMID: 23035925
  • Wang W, Johnson T, Sainburg RL, Dounskaia N (2012) Interlimb differences of directional biases for stroke production. Exp Brain Res. 216: 263-274. PMID: 22076406
  • Dounskaia N, Goble J, Wang W (2011) The role of intrinsic factors in control of arm movement direction: Implications from directional preferences. J Neurophysiol. 105: 999-1010. PMID: 21123658
  • Dounskaia N, Goble J. (2011) The role of vision, speed and attention in overcomingdirectional biases during arm movements. Exp Brain Res, 209: 299-309. PMID: 22697110
  • Dounskaia N, Nogueira KG, Swinnen SP, Drummond E. (2010) Limitations on coupling of bimanual movements caused by arm dominance: When the muscle homology principle fails. J of Neurophysiol. 102: 2027-2038. PMID: 20071629
  • Dounskaia N (2010) Control of human limb movements: The leading joint hypothesis and its practical applications. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 4: 201-208 (review). PMID: 20871237
  • Kim YK, Hinrichs RN, Dounskaia N. (2009) Multicomponent control strategy underlying production of maximal hand velocity during horizontal arm swing. J Neurophysiol, 102: 2889-2899. PMID: 19759324
  • Dounskaia N, Van Gemmert A, Leis B, Stelmach G. Biased wrist and finger coordination in Parkinsonian patients during performance of graphical tasks. Neuropsycologia (2009).
  • Fradet L, Lee G, Stelmach GE, Dounskaia N. Joint-Specific Disruption of Control during Arm Movements in Parkinson’s Disease. Experimental Brain Research (2009).
  • Kim YK, Hinrichs RN, Dounskaia N. Multicomponent control strategy underlying production of maximal hand velocity during horizontal arm swing. Journal of Neurophysiology (2009).
  • Dounskaia N, Kim Y-K, Goble J. Directional biases during arm movements and their dependence on movement conditions. Program No. 368.9. 2009 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. Chicago, IL: Society for Neuroscience, 2009 (2009).
  • Dounskaia N, Nogueira K, Drummond E. Hierarchical control of bimanual movements revealed by arm dominance challenges the muscle homology principle. Advances in Computational Motor Control. Symposium at the Society for Neuroscience Meeting, Friday, October 16, 2009. Online (2009).
  • Kim Y.-K., Wang W., Dounskaia N. Directional biases during unconstrained 3D arm movements. Program No. 368.10. 2009 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. Chicago, IL: Society for Neuroscience, 2009 (2009).
  • Wang W., Kim Y.-K., Dounskaia N. Directional biases during arm movements in different planes. Program No. 368.11. 2009 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. Chicago, IL: Society for Neuroscience, 2009 (2009).
  • Fradet L, Lee G, Dounskaia N. Origins of submovements during pointing movements. Acta Psychologia (2008).
  • Fradet L, Lee G, Dounskaia N. Origins of submovements in movements of elderly adults. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation (2008).
  • Drummond E, Nogueira K, Dounskaia N. Unimanual control contributes to coordination of bimanual movements. Neural Control of Movement. 18th Annual Meeting, Program and Abstracts,Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, Naples, FL, Vol. 13, April 29-May 4, 2008 (2008).
  • Kim Y., Dounskaia N. The effect of load on joint control and movement speed during horizontal arm swing. Program No 861.6 2008 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. Washington D.C.: Society for Neuroscience, 2008 (2008).
  • Kim, Y., Dounskaia, N, & Hinrichs, R. Does an extra mass improve the arm swing speed?. Proceedings of XXVI International Conference on Biomechanics in Sports, Seoul, S. Korea (2008).
  • Nogueira, Keith, Dounskaia, Natalia. Distinct contribution of the leaning and subordinate joints to performance of bimanual line drawing. Program No 183.9 2008 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. Washington D.C.: Society for Neuroscience, 2008 (2008).
  • G Lee, L Fradet, C Ketcham, Natalia Dounskaia. Age-related adaptive strategies of joint control during line drawing task. Experimental Brain Research (2007).
  • Jacob Goble, Yury Shimansky, Sid Sharma, Natalia Dounskaia. Directional biases reveal utilization of arm’s biomechanical properties for optimization of motor behavior. Journal of Neurophysiology (2007).
  • Natalia Dounskaia. Kinematic invariants during cyclical arm movements. Biological Cybernetics (2007).
  • Dounskaia, Natalia, Fradet, Laetitia, Leee, Gyusung, Adler, Charles. Submovements during pointing movements in Parkinson’s disease. Motor Control, Volume 11, Supplement, 2007. Progress in Motor control VI, August 9 – 12, 2007, Santos, Brazil (2007).
  • Dounskaia, Natalia, Nogueira, Keith. Computational load as a source of coupling of bimanual movements. European Workshop on Movement Science, 2007, Book of Abstracts (2007).
  • Goble, Jacob, Zang, Yanxin, Shimansky, Yury, Dounskaia, Natalia. Extended evidence for directional biases. Program No. 828.17 2007 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. San Diego, CA: Society for Neuroscience, 2007 (2007).
  • C Ketcham, Natalia Dounskaia, G Stelmach. The role of vision in the control of contineous multijoint movements. Journal of Motor Behavior (2006).
  • D Wisleder, Natalia Dounskaia. The role of different submovement types during pointing to a target. Experimental Brain Research (2006).
  • Dounskaia, Natalia. Shoulder and elbow control during mirror and non-mirror bimanual movements. (2006).
  • Dounskaia, Natalia, Lee, G, Ketcham, C. Age-related adaptive strategies of joint control during line drawing tasks. Neural Control of Movement. (2006).
  • FRADET, L, LEE, G, Dounskaia, Natalia, VAN GEMMERT, A. Effects of age and Parkinson's disease on secondary submovements during pointing movements. (2006).
  • GOBLE, J, ZHANG, Y, SHARMA, S, Dounskaia, Natalia. A novel paradigm for the identification of preferred multijoint control strategies. (2006).
  • Zhang, Y, Goble, J, Dounskaia, Natalia. Biomechanical Factors and Directional Biases of Multi-joint Movements. Neural Control of Movement. (2006).
  • ZHANG, Y, GOBLE, J, Dounskaia, Natalia. Biomechanical sources of directional biases during arm movements. (2006).
  • Natalia Dounskaia. The Internal Model and the Leading Joint Hypothesis: Implications for Control of Multi-Joint Movements. Experimental Brain Research (2005).
  • Natalia Dounskaia, C Ketcham, B Leis, G Stelmach. Disruptions in joint control during arm drawing movements in Parkinson's disease. Experimental Brain Research (2005).
  • Natalia Dounskaia, D Wisleder, T Johnson. Influence of Biomechanical Factors on Substructure of Pointing Movements. Experimental Brain Research (2005).
  • Dounskaia, Natalia. Bimanual Coordination Is Driven by the Internal Model of Arm Inter-Segmental Dynamics. (2005).
  • Dounskaia, Natalia. INTERJOINT CONTROL AFFECTS STABILITY OF BIMANUAL MOVEMENTS. (2005).
  • Fradet, L, Lee, G, Dounskaia, Natalia, Teulings, H. Effect of changes in experimental conditions on submovements in accurate pointing tasks. (2005).
  • Goble, J, Sharma, S, Dounskaia, Natalia. DIRECTIONAL BIASES ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE CONTROL OF HORIZONTAL ARM MOVEMENTS. (2005).
  • Goble, J, Sharma, S, Dounskaia, Natalia. Mechanical Factors Induce Anisotropic Patterns During Arm Movements. (2005).
  • C Ketcham, Natalia Dounskaia, George Stelmach. Age-related differences in the control of multijoint movements. Motor Control (2004).
  • G Lee, Natalia Dounskaia, C Ketcham, G Stelmach. Age-related adaptive strategies of joint control during line drawing task. Abstract Viewer/Itinerary Planer. Society for Neuroscience, Online (2004).
  • Natalia Dounskaia, C Ketcham, G Stelmach. Arm geometry predicts bell-shaped velocity profile and 2/3-power law. Motor Control: Trends and Perspectives. May 20-21, 2004, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona (2004).
  • Natalia Dounskaia, D Wisleder, T Johnson, G Stelmach. Influence of biomechanical properties of the arm on end-point kinematics. Proceedings of the Second IASTED International Conference, Biomechanics. August 23-25, 2004, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, 463-018 (2004).
  • S Swinnen, Y Li, N Wenderoth, Natalia Dounskaia, W Byblow, C Stinear, J Wagemans. Perception-action coupling during bimanual coordination: The role of visual perception in the coalition of constraints that govern bimanual action. Journal of Motor Behavior (2004).
  • Dounskaia, Natalia, Ketcham, C, Stelmach, G. Arm geometry predicts bell-shaped velocity profile and 2/3-power law. Motor Control: Trends and Perspectives. (2004).
  • Goble, J, Dounskaia, Natalia, Stelmach, G. Influence of the arm's biomechanical properties on preferences in movement kinematics. (2004).
  • Lee, G, Dounskaia, Natalia, Ketcham, C, Stelmach, G. Age-related adaptive strategies of joint control during line drawing task. (2004).
  • Wisleder, D, Dounskaia, Natalia, Stelmach, G. Relative Effects of Movement Termination and Pacing on Movement Substructure During Pointing. (2004).

Research Activity

  • Dounskaia,Natalia*. Factors Contributing to Efficiency of Arm Movements Revealed Through Directional Biases. NSF-SBE(5/1/2008 - 4/30/2012).
  • Dounskaia,Natalia*. Microstructure of Arm Movements in Parkinson's Disease. MAYO CLINIC SCOTTSDALE(1/1/2006 - 12/31/2006).
  • Dounskaia,Natalia*, Stelmach,George Edward. JOINT DISCOORDINATION IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE. HHS-NIH-NINDS(1/15/2003 - 12/31/2008).
  • Dounskaia,Natalia*. AGE-RELATED DEFICITS IN MULTIJOINT COORDINATION. HHS-NIH-NIA(1/1/2003 - 12/31/2004).
  • Dounskaia,Natalia*. FACTORS INFLUENCING MICROSTRUCTURE OF AIMING MOVEMENTS. NSF-SBE(11/1/2002 - 10/31/2003).

Courses

Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
KIN 345Motor & Developmental Learning
KIN 421Human Motor Control
NTR 792Research
NTR 799Dissertation
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
KIN 423Motor Control and Aging
CHS 492Honors Directed Study
CHS 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
EXW 692Research
NTR 692Research
NTR 792Research
EXW 792Research
NTR 799Dissertation
EXW 799Dissertation
Summer 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
NTR 692Research
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
KIN 345Motor & Developmental Learning
KIN 421Human Motor Control
KIN 492Honors Directed Study
KIN 493Honors Thesis
KIN 494Special Topics
KIN 499Individualized Instruction
EXW 692Research
EXW 792Research
EXW 799Dissertation
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
KIN 492Honors Directed Study
KIN 493Honors Thesis
KIN 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
EXW 692Research
EXW 792Research
EXW 799Dissertation
Summer 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
EXW 599Thesis
NTR 692Research
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
KIN 345Motor & Developmental Learning
KIN 421Human Motor Control
KIN 492Honors Directed Study
KIN 493Honors Thesis
KIN 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
KIN 499Individualized Instruction
EXW 692Research
EXW 792Research
EXW 799Dissertation
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
KIN 423Motor Control and Aging
KIN 492Honors Directed Study
KIN 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
KIN 795Continuing Registration
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
KIN 423Motor Control and Aging
KIN 492Honors Directed Study
KIN 493Honors Thesis
KIN 494Special Topics
KIN 499Individualized Instruction
KIN 795Continuing Registration
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
KIN 423Motor Control and Aging
KIN 492Honors Directed Study
KIN 493Honors Thesis
KIN 494Special Topics
KIN 795Continuing Registration

Service

  • Personnel Committee, member (2008 - Present)
  • Personnel Committee, member (2008 - Present)
  • Journal of Motor Behavior, Consulting Editor (2007 - Present)
  • Journal of Motor Behavior, Consulting Editor (2007 - Present)
  • Harrington Department of Bioengineering, Affiliated Faculty Member (2005 - Present)
  • BioMed Central Neuroscience, Reviewer (2009 - 2009)
  • Experimental Brain Research, Reviewer (2009 - 2009)
  • Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, Reviewer (2009 - 2009)
  • Journal of Motor Behavior, Reviewer (2009 - 2009)
  • Journal of Neuroscience, Reviewer (2009 - 2009)
  • Motor Control, Reviewer (2009 - 2009)
  • Neuroscience, Reviewer (2009 - 2009)
  • Psychiatry Research, Reviewer (2009 - 2009)
  • Journal of Applied Biomechanics, Reviewer (2009 - 2009)
  • Neuroscience, Reviewer (2009 - 2009)
  • Acta Psychologia, Reviewer (2009 - 2009)
  • Journal of Motor Behaviour, Reviewer (2009 - 2009)
  • Journal of Neuroscience, Reviewer (2009 - 2009)
  • Journal of Motor Behaviour, Reviewer (2009 - 2009)
  • Transactions on Neural Systems & Rehabilitation Engineering, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Acta Psychologia, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Journal of Neurophysiology, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Journal of Neurophysiology, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Neurocomputing, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Neuroscience, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Neurocomputing, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Journal of Neurophysiology, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Journal of Motor Behaviour, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Experimental Brain Research, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Human Movement Science, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Experimental Brain Research, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Journal of Neurophysiology, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Neuroscience, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Transactions on Neural Systems & Rehabilitation Engineering, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Experimental Brain Research, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Human Movement Science, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Experimental Brain research, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Journal of Neurophysiology, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Experimental Brain Research, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Journal of Neurophysiology, Reviewer (2008 - 2008)
  • Journal of Motor Behavior, Manuscript review (2008 - 2008)
  • Academic journal IEEE Transactions on BioMedical Engineering, manuscript reviewer (2007 - 2007)
  • Academic journal Experimental Brain Research, Reviewer (2007 - 2007)
  • Academic journal Behaviour & Information Technology, manuscript reviewer (2007 - 2007)
  • Academic journal Human Movement Science, manuscript reviewer (2007 - 2007)
  • Academic journal Cortex, Reviewer (2007 - 2007)
  • Parkinson's Disease Society, UK, grant reviewer (2007 - 2007)
  • Academic journal Brain Research, reviewer (2007 - 2007)
  • Journal of Neurophysiology, manuscript reviewer (2007 - 2007)
  • IGERT program, member (2004 - 2006)
  • Search Committee, member (2005 - 2006)
  • Journal "Human Movement science", manuscript reviewer (2005 - 2005)
  • Journal "Experimental Brain Research", manuscript reviewer (2005 - 2005)
  • Journal of Neurophysiology, manuscript reviewer (2005 - 2005)
  • Arizona Chapter of National Parkinson's Foundation, grant proposal reviewer (2005 - 2005)
  • Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, manuscript reviewer (2005 - 2005)
  • Journal "Acta Psychologica", manuscript reviewer (2005 - 2005)
  • Pablisher: Garland Science, Taylor & Francis Group, Book reviewer (2005 - 2005)
  • Arizona Chapter of National Parkinson's Foundation, A member of the Board of Directors (2004)
  • Brain, manuscript reviewer (2004)
  • Human Movement Science, manuscript reviewer (2004)
  • Journal of Motor Behavior, manuscript reviewer (2004)
  • Journal of Neurophysiology, manuscript reviewer (2004)
  • Motor Control, Manuscript reviewer (2004)
  • National Science Foundation, reviewer of a grant proposal (2004)