AAC Research to Practice Lab Collaborative
The AAC Research to Practice Lab Collaborative is a collection of research labs focused on translating research findings to practice and improving clinical outcomes for individuals with complex communication needs who require the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to meet some or all of their communication needs. The three labs and their respective Principal Investigators are as follows:
- AAC Child Language Assessment and Intervention Lab (PI: Kent-Walsh)
- AAC Early Communication and Play Lab (PI: Feuerstein)
Our mission is to optimize the successful aging for all individuals through vitality and enrichment initiatives that facilitate engagement and participation in purposeful activities. These initiatives include research, rehabilitation services, and educational opportunities for both the individual and the healthcare workforce.
Members of the ARC Research Lab at University of Central Florida conduct research to better understand the complex processing of speech and language and its breakdown in individuals with aphasia and apraxia of speech, develop new and explore effective treatment approaches, and examine variables that impact treatment success.
The primary focus of the UCF Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Laboratory is to identify exercise and/or rehabilitation strategies that elicit the most robust physiological responses among men and women with a particular emphasis on neuromuscular and cardiovascular function. The laboratory examines various interventions to determine the applicability of exercise, devices, and/or external stimuli to promote or maintain human function in asymptomatic and clinical populations. The laboratory is currently applying BFR exercise as a rehabilitative strategy to help restore neuromuscular and muscle function among people with multiple sclerosis. The laboratory is also evaluating the utility of BFR as a countermeasure to offset the effects of prolonged spaceflight on cardiovascular function.
The primary focus of the Cellular Exercise Physiology Laboratory (CEPL) is to examine how the immune system, in conjunction inflammatory mediators that direct immune responses, influence recovery and adaptation following acute and chronic exercise interventions. The CEPL also examines how nutrition and dietary supplements impact these responses. Located in Biological Sciences building, the 400 sq. ft. CEPL houses state-of-the-art equipment used in the analysis of various blood constituents.
The Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training (CBHRT), established in spring 2017, is the first center established in the School of Social Work and the newest center established in the College of Health Professions and Sciences at the University of Central Florida. The Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training expands expertise and scientific discovery in evidence-based prevention and clinical- and population-based research to improve best practices and behavioral health outcomes for local, national and global communities.
The Early Language & Literacy Intervention & Education (ELLIE) lab is focused on building the capacity of individuals working with young children experiencing language impairments and those considered at-risk. We develop and evaluated the successful implementation of evidence-based practices to support young children’s language and emergent literacy skills in naturalistic settings.
The Exercise Physiology Intervention & Collaboration (EPIC) Laboratory is a dedicated space utilized to administer exercise interventions of various modality and houses cutting edge technologies for the assessment of neurocognitive, neuromuscular and functional aspects of exercise performance. The facility is utilized for student and faculty led research projects and to teach lab sections that complement a number of kinesiology courses.
Fluency Disorders Lab
The Fluency Disorders Lab focuses on applied research in the area of fluency disorders (such as stuttering, cluttering etc…). More specifically, Martine Vanryckeghem’s research is centered around evidence-based assessment, allowing for more accurate differential diagnosis. Basic to this approach is the investigation of the intrinsic components or the “view from within” the child and adult who is dysfluent. Towards this goal, Vanryckeghem has developed and researched nine self-report tests from the age of three through adulthood, that are standardized and have been normed in 30+ countries in different continents. As a follow-up to the assessment, her research has also focused on evidence-based treatment through systematic reviews and meta-analysis.
The Innovative Mobility Initiative (IMOVE) Lab conducts research that informs clinical services for individuals with mobility impairments. Through programs and community partnerships, the IMOVE lab extends its research into practice.
The components of the lab include:
- UCF Go Baby Go! : providing innovative accessible, and practical options to improve the lives of individuals with limited mobility, including the Knights on the Go Cafe
- Keeping Them on Their Feet: a balance and gait disorders clinic
- Grow and Play: an intergenerational physical activity program
- Challenge Me!: interventions aimed to improve cognitive, physical, and psychological well-being of individuals with dementia
- Assistive Device Technology
Through an interdisciplinary approach, the Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory focuses on clinically-relevant research that improves clinical outcomes and identifies the most accurate and efficient approach to treating various neuromusculoskeletal conditions. The lab serves as a site for research investigations to answer clinical questions and evaluate examination and treatment for musculoskeletal conditions.
The Neuromuscular Plasticity Laboratory performs cutting-edge research to better understand the neuromuscular adaptations associated with strength training, muscle fatigue, aging and disuse. We strive to serve as a collaborative think tank for researchers and clinicians, and we seek partnerships and opportunities statewide, nationally and internationally. We want our laboratory concepts and findings to support or challenge existing protocols used to prevent disease and improve human performance.
The mission of the UCF POWER Laboratory is to assess the physiological response to exercise modalities and nutritional interventions aiming to enhance health, fitness and athletic performance. Through the application of exercise physiology and the analysis of human movement, we assist in addressing the contemporary questions of healthcare providers, fitness professionals, and sport coaches to aid in decision-making and strategic development. The POWER Laboratory has the capability to measure both physical performance and the metabolic response to field- and laboratory-based exercise protocols.
The primary focus of the ROCK&T Lab is to probe the language and cognitive underpinnings of written and oral comprehension challenges for children and adolescents with autism in order to develop targeted interventions. Intervention research will include peer-mediated as well as parent-facilitated comprehension strategy instruction augmented by evidence-based practices for students with autism.
The UCF RAMP Lab aims to advance the rehabilitation of patients with musculoskeletal pain by researching how treatments provided by physical therapists reduce pain and biopsychosocial factors associated with this response. Chronic pain is highly prevalent and disabling, impacting one in five individuals in the United States.
The READY Lab aims to advance neuromuscular assessment, musculoskeletal imaging, and rehabilitation methods for the lumbopelvic-hip complex, while improving the understanding and delivery of patient care for active individuals with chronic musculoskeletal injury. The READY Lab analyzes spatial, mechanical, and electrical changes in muscle activity during static, dynamic, and sport-specific tasks using innovative applications of ultrasound imaging and surface electromyography. The use of biofeedback programming for ultrasound imaging, electromyography, and inertial measurement units to improve patient rehabilitation and recovery is integral to the mission of the READY Laboratory.
The voice lab provides laryngeal imaging of the vocal folds and upper airway, acoustic, aerodynamic analysis of laryngeal function as well as respiratory and pulmonary assessment. We treat a wide variety of disorders from professional voices, to neurologic disorders (i.e. parkinson’s disease, ALS, MS, MG, stroke), aging voice issues, athletes (who develop breathing disorders), chronic cough, transgender/voice affirmation services, corporate voice, laryngeal cancer and head & neck cancer issues.