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Human Movement Analysis Laboratory

This research group is dedicated to understanding the many facets of human movement; how we learn new skills, how we coordinate our many parts, how we are affected by disease or injury and how we may use movement as a tool to improve function. We study movement from an interdisciplinary perspective, working collaboratively with researchers across multiple disciplines such as Biomechanics, Neuroscience, Physiotherapy and Medicine.

The Human Movement Analysis Laboratory contains dedicated space and equipment that allows high-resolution 3D motion capture and analysis with a 10 camera Vicon© system, sensory feedback manipulation, fluid dynamics analysis and human electrophysiology. We also have a separate dedicated space for data processing and computational modelling including software such as Visual3D, OpenSim and Matlab.

On this site we present some of the projects and areas of research undertaken by our primary research team. If you have any questions about our work or would like to join us as a collaborator, postgraduate student, research study participant please feel free to contact us.

Our Research Team

Principal Investigators

Melanie Bussey (Director Motion Analysis Lab: Injury Biomechanics)
Chris Button (Motor Learning)
Peter Lamb (Sport Biomechanics)

Research Staff

Natalie Matheson (Assistant Research Fellow)
Daniela Aldabe (Assistant Research Fellow)
Neil Anderson (Assistant Research Fellow)


Natalie Matheson (PhD)
Jim Webb (PhD: Clinical Biomechanics/Motor Control)
Daniela Aldabe (PhD Clinical Biomechanics)
Neil Anderson (PhD Motor Learning)
(Rens) Meerhoff (PhD Motor Learning)
Marcelo Peduzzi de Castro (PhD Clinical Biomechanics)
Ryan Sixtus (MPhEd)
Maxine Shanks (BSc Neuroscience Hons)
Anita Snowdon (BSc Neuroscience Hons)
Cameron Ross (PhD Biomechanics)
Jonathan Leo Ng (MPhEd Motor Learning)

Lab Alumni

Divya Adhia (PhD: Clinical Biomechanics)
Philip Brownjohn (Postdoctoral Fellow)
Rebekah Blakemore (PhD: Neuroscience)
Katie-Rose Morris-Cole (MSc: Neuroscience)
James Kennedy (MPHED: Clinical Biomechanics)
Joanne Trezise (MPHED: Sports Biomechanics)
Justin Evans (MPHED: Sports Biomechanics)
Mr Jonathan Fox (PG Diploma: Neuroscience)
Javierr Elisan (PG Diploma: Neuroscience)
James Croft (Postdoc Fellow)
Ludovic Seifert (Postdoc Fellow)
Christophe Schnitzler (Postdoc Fellow)
David Pease (PhD Biomechanics)
Jia Yi Chow (PhD Motor Learning)
Robert Rein (PhD Motor Learning)
Matthew Dicks (PhD Motor Learning)
Luiz Uehara (PhD Motor Learning)


John Reynolds, Dept of Anatomy, University of Otago
Daniel Cury Ribeiro, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago
Prasath Jayakaran, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago
Leigh Hale, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago
Simon Hoermann, School of Medicine, University of Otago
Graeme Hammond-Tooke, School of Medicine, University of Otago
Dirk De Ridder, School of Medicine, University of Otago
Eric Perreault, Dept of Bioengineering, Northwestern University
Yasin Dhaher, Dept of Bioengineering, Northwestern University
Marcus Wilson, School of Engineering, Waikato University
Stephan Milosavljevic, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Simon Stebbings (Rheumatologist), School of Medicine, University of Otago
Niels Hammer, Department of Anatomy, University of Otago
Stephanie Madill, School of Physical Therapy, University of Saskatchewan
Steven Mills, Dept of Computer Science, University of Otago
Matthew Schofield, Dept of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Otago
Keith Davids, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Todd Pataky, Department of Bioengineering, Shinshu University, Japan

Areas of Research

The effect of pain on postural control
Ecological dynamics approach to human movement and sport performance
Water Safety and Survival Skills
Monitoring of and development of Fundamental Movement Skills
Inter-limb transfer of motor learning
Brain stimulation to enhance learning and rehabilitation
Neural and mechanical basis of pelvic stability
Neural basis of upper limb stabilisation
Physical evaluation of the pelvic joints
Low back pain in athletes
Pelvic stability and postural control
Pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain
Training with physical randomness
Dynamics of the walk to run transition
Barefoot gait

Current Research Projects

Dr. Melanie Bussey

Can manual SIJ tests detect early signs of sacroiliitis in non-radoiographic axial spondyloarthritis? (Otago Medical Research Foundation: Jack Thomson Arthritis Fund)
Manual SIJ evaluation of early sacroiliitis in non-radoiographic axial spondyloarthritis. (Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust-Project Grant-in-aid)
Towards Greater Understanding of mechanical dysfunction in the pelvis (Health Research Council of New Zealand)
The role of the pelvic muscles in transient low back pain development in healthy individuals.
Can pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain be predicted from postural and pelvic stability parameters?
The role of pelvic ligaments in the neural and mechanical stability of the pelvis.

Asoc Prof Chris Button

Using depth cameras to evaluate and monitor fundamental movement skills in children
The role of gymnastics training in developing postural control of children
Teaching aquatic survival skills to children: The ‘forgotten’ fundamental movement
Using inertial monitoring units to evaluate training load of elite snowsports athletes

Dr Peter Lamb

Exploring the stable and critical states of gait
Effects of barefoot locomotion on gait dynamics
Applying varying levels of surface friction randomness to putting training
Performance analysis of amateur golfers using shot tracking

Completed Research Projects

Dr. Melanie Bussey

Gluteus medius activity in hockey players during a prolonged standing task predicts low back pain
Predictive factors in pregnancy related pelvic pain.
An evaluation of the clinical utility of the modified FABER’s test: Can it discriminate for low back pain of sacroiliac joint origin?
Coordination variability in elite sprinters

Asoc Prof Chris Button

Follow-the-Leader: Examining the perceptual information used to regulate interpersonal coordination
A contextualized skill acquisition research approach to the development of Brazilian football players
A multidisciplinary examination of the human response to sudden cold water immersion

Dr Peter Lamb

Coordination changes associated with chipping to different target distances

Future Research Projects / How to Get Involved

Dr. Melanie Bussey

We aim to further our understanding of postural stability and load transfer with projects on:

  • Somatosensory information in postural stability, with and without pain
  • Factors that predict low back and pelvic girdle pain
  • Musculoskeletal modeling of the healthy and painful lumbo-pelvis
  • Anticipatory and compensatory postural adjustments

Please contact Melanie Bussey for more information about getting involved in these projects as a student researcher or research volunteer.

Asoc Prof Chris Button

Any projects applying an ecological dynamics framework to human performance will be considered. Please get in touch with Chris Button for further information.

Dr. Peter Lamb

Projects related to golf swing biomechanics and golf performance analysis are of interest as well as more general topics involving the study of human coordination and movement variability. Please contact Peter Lamb for further information.


Dr. Melanie Bussey

  • Castro, M. P., Stebbings, S. M., Milosavljevic, S., & Bussey, M. D. (2015). Role of Physical Evaluation in the Early Identification of Axial Spondyloarthritis : A Research Proposal, Clinical Medicine Insights: Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders. 59–64.
  • Castro, M. P., Stebbings, S. M., Milosavljevic, S., & Bussey, M. D. (2015). Construct validity of clinical spinal mobility tests in ankylosing spondylitis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Rheumatology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10067-015-3056-1
  • Adhia, D. B., Tumilty, S., Mani, R., Milosavljevic, S., & Bussey, M. D. (2015). Can hip abduction and external rotation discriminate sacroiliac joint pain? Manual Therapy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2015.08.002
  • Bussey, M. D., Kennedy, J. E*., & Kennedy, G. (2015). Gluteus medius coactivation response in field hockey players with and without low back pain. Physical Therapy in Sport. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2015.03.002
  • Adhia, D. B., Mani, R., Milosavljevic, S., Tumilty, S., & Bussey, M. D. (2015). Does repeated palpation-digitization of pelvic landmarks for measurement of innominate motion introduce a systematic variation? A psychometric investigation. Manual Therapy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2015.09.009
  • Castro, M. P., Stebbings, S. M., Milosavljevic, S., & Bussey, M. D. (2015). Criterion-concurrent validity of spinal mobility tests in ankylosing spondylitis: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Rheumatology, 42(2), 243-251. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.140901
  • Bussey, M. D., & Milosavljevic, S. (2015). Asymmetric pelvic bracing and altered kinematics in patients with posterior pelvic pain who present with postural muscle delay. Clinical Biomechanics, 30(1), 71-77. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2014.11.002
  • Adhia, D. B., Milosavljevic, S., Tumilty, S., & Bussey, M. D. (2015). Innominate movement patterns, rotation trends and range of motion in individuals with low back pain of sacroiliac joint origin. Manual Therapy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2015.06.004
  • Bussey, M. D. (2015). Mechanics of pelvic girdle stability and self-bracing in SIJ-related pelvic girdle pain: A review. Physical Therapy Reviews. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1179/1743288X15Y.0000000010

Asoc Prof Chris Button

  • Davids, K., Button, C. & Bennett, S. (2008). Dynamics of Skill Acquisition: A Constraints-led Approach. Human Kinetics, Champaign, Illinois.
  • Davids, K., Hristovski, R., Araujo, D., Balague Serre, N., Button, C. & Passos, P. (2013). Complex Systems in Sport. London, Routledge: Taylor & Francis.
  • Chow, J-Y., Davids, K., Button, C. & Renshaw, I. (2016). Nonlinear Pedagogy in Skill Acquisition: An Introduction. Taylor & Francis, Routledge. In Press.
  • Button, C. (2016). Aquatic locomotion: Forgotten fundamental movement skills? The Physical Educator, In press.
  • Renshaw, I., Araújo, D., Button, C., Chow, J-Y., Davids, K., Moy, B. (2016). Why the Constraints-led Approach is not Teaching Games for Understanding: A Clarification. PE & Sport Pedagogy. In press.
  • Croft, J. & Button, C. (2015). Interacting Factors Associated with Male Drowning in New Zealand. PlosONE. 10(6), e0130545.
  • Schnitzler, C., Button, C., Croft, J. L., & Seifert, L. (2015). A New Qualitative Typology to Classify Treading Water Movement Patterns. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 14, 530-553.
  • Button, C., Croft, J. L., Cotter, J. D., Graham, M. J., & Lucas, S. J. (2015). Integrative physiological and behavioural responses to sudden cold-water immersion are similar in skilled and less-skilled swimmers. Physiology & behavior, 138, 254-259.
  • Lee, M.C.Y. Chow, J-Y., Komar, J., Tan, C.W.K. and Button. C. (2014). Nonlinear Pedagogy: An effective approach to cater for individual differences in learning a sports skill. Plos-One, 9(8), e104744. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104744
  • Chow, J. Y., Tan, C. W. K., Lee, M. C. Y., & Button, C. (2014). Possibilities and implications of using a motion-tracking system in physical education. European Physical Education Review, 20(4), 444-464. doi: 10.1177/1356336x14535057
  • Meerhoff, L. A., De Poel, H. J., & Button, C. (2014). How visual information influences coordination dynamics when following the leader. Neuroscience Letters, 582, 12-15. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2014.08.022

Dr. Peter Lamb

  • Croft, H., Lamb, P., & Middlemas, S. (2015). The application of self-organising maps to performance analysis data in rugby union. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 15, 1037–1046.
  • Lamb, P. F., & Stöckl, M. (2014). On the use of continuous relative phase: Review of current approaches and outline for a new standard. Clinical Biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 29(5), 484–493. doi:10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2014.03.008
  • Lamb, P. F., Bartlett, R., Lindinger, S., & Kennedy, G. (2014). Multi-dimensional coordination in cross-country skiing analyzed using self-organizing maps. Human Movement Science, 33, 54–69. doi:10.1016/j.humov.2013.08.005
  • Bartlett, R. M., Lamb, P. F., O’Donovan, D., & Kennedy, G. (2014). Use of self-organizing maps for exploring coordination variability in the transition between walking and running. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 27(2), 123–137.
  • Lamb, P. F., & Bartlett, R. (2013). Neural networks for analysing sports techniques. In T. McGarry, P. O’Donoghue, & D. Peters (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Sports Performance Analysis (pp. 225–236). London: Routledge.
  • Glazier, P. S., & Lamb, P. F. (2013). The swing. In M. Smith (Ed.), Golf Science (pp. 38–63). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Lamb, P. F. (2012). Understanding the relationship among launch variables in the golf drive using neural network visualisations. Sports Biomechanics, 11(2), 249–261. doi:10.1080/14763141.2011.638389
  • Lamb, P. F., Mündermann, A., Bartlett, R. M., & Robins, A. (2011). Visualizing changes in lower body coordination with different types of foot orthoses using self-organizing maps (SOM). Gait & Posture, 34(4), 485–489. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2011.06.024
  • Lamb, P. F., Bartlett, R. M., & Robins, A. (2011). Artificial neural networks for analyzing inter-limb coordination: The golf chip shot. Human Movement Science, 30(6), 1129–1143. doi:10.1016/j.humov.2010.12.006
  • Lamb, P. F., Stöckl, M., & Lames, M. (2011). Performance analysis in golf using the ISOPAR method. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 11(1), 184–196.
  • Stöckl, M., Lamb, P. F., & Lames, M. (2011). The ISOPAR Method: A New Approach to Performance Analysis in Golf. Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, 7(1). doi:10.2202/1559-0410.1289