Dr. Caviness' movement neurophysiology laboratory uses a variety of modalities to study body movement control in health and disease. These modalities, which include movement sensors, electroencephalography, electromyography, evoked potentials, responses to stimulation and audio recording, are applied to Parkinson's disease, myoclonus, tremor, dystonia and other movement disorders.
The involvement of cortical mechanisms in abnormal movement is a major focus of the laboratory. The lab also studies electrophysiology measures of general cognitive ability and specific cognitive tasks, such as speech and speech perception. These measurements can be tracked over time and used to study cognitive deterioration to dementia. Additionally, these measurements may be correlated with a wide variety of phenomena; in particular, the lab correlates its data with neuropathological, as well as behavioral, measures. Movement abnormalities whose natures are not yet known, such as the "yips" phenomenon in golf, are also being studied.
Dr. Caviness' laboratory consists of personnel trained to take these neurophysiological measurements and the equipment and supplies needed to record them. The data are recorded digitally and stored for offline analysis. In addition to visual inspection — and depending on the project — the lab can perform averaging, frequency analysis and brain mapping. When needed, data may be recorded outside the laboratory and brought back for analysis.