Researchers explore ethical issues generated by the application of scientific and technological advances to the preservation, destruction, and programming of human life including orphan drug development, abortion, euthanasia, and behavior control, allocation of medical resources in technology development, ethics of the patient-physician interaction, and the ethics of technology application.
This group has addressed applications areas such as: Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging fMRI as well as developments in the treatment of decubitus ulcer by sitting, orthotics and prosthetics, wheelchairs, and assistive aids all towards providing less restrictive environments for those in need of rehabilitation. Also developments in systemics, optimisation, and computational models have been pursued as well as in Human Factors and Ergonomics, digital images processing, and in electrophysiology and signal analysis, examining the Kinesiology of movement and gait, speech synthesis, recognition, and acoustics as well as computational systems in rehabilitation.
Areas of investigation include Muscle, Nerve, and Work, Clinical Systems Neuroscience using electrophysiological methods including EMG, EEG, EOG, evoked potentials and event-related potentials, imaging, computational modeling, Neuropharmacology, psychophysics and signal detection theory, Neuroradiology (including CT, MRI PET, and spectral imaging) applied to clinical applications in rehabilitation.
Ongoing research in rehabilitation application of Evolutionary Psychology, Developmental Disability, Cognition, Kinesiology, and Rehabilitation (neuropsychology).
Developments have included computer models of nervous system function and dysfunction employing applications of theoretical physics, artificial neural networks, linear and non-linear models, bifurcation theory, and chaos theory as vehicles for simulating nervous system function and dysfunction. Additionally, analyses of applications of combinatorics, recurrence relations, and the establishment of asymptotic distributions are studied in relation to biomedical and rehabilitation systems. Research has also examined the effects of trauma and therapeutic interventions on search methods, formal proof, and knowledge representation as well as natural language understanding, scene understanding, learning, and expert systems.
Methods of Psychological Science have been employed to develop theoretical and applied strategies in rehabilitation applications. Research bridges the gap between Cognitive Science, Communication Sciences, Systemics and cellular Neuroscience, brain imaging, and Computational Neuroscience on the one hand and curriculum and instruction on the other. Changes in the electrical activity of the brain during cognition have been examined and changes in blood flow and metabolic activity of the brain during cognition are being examined. Mechanisms by which neural networks generate voluntary actions, memory, thinking, problem solving, language and emotion are being examined to learn how these capabilities malfunction in persons with brain damage, developmental disabilities, mental illness and dementia.
Rehabilitation applications include: direct retraining, process training, attention-concentration training, strategy training, nutrient and drug treatment effects of cognitive performance, orthotics methods, and domain specific training to facilitate return to work, ability to function independently, the facilitation of specialized school placement, and forensic issues.
As language and communication are central and fundamental to traumatic brain dysfunction, developmental disabilities and training, intensive independent work in Applied and Theoretical Linguistics includes:
Sociolinguistics, Semantics, Phonetics and Phonology, Syntax, Language Universals, Language Acquisition and Linguistic Theory, Discourse Analysis, Neural and Computational Methods of Speech Perception and Production
Developmental Psycholinguistics, Individual Patterns of Language Development, Second Language Acquisition, Bilingualism, and Language Teaching
Phonological Disorders, Child Language Disorders, Adult Aphasia, Communicative Disorders and Exceptionality, Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics, Language Acquisition