Pediatric Movement and Physical Activity Lab – Melissa Pangelinan, Ph.D.
The Pediatric Movement and Physical Activity Lab uses state-of-the-art brain and body imaging, as well as neurocognitive and movement assessments, to better understand how movement ability and physical activity participation affect brain and motor development in children and adolescents. Melissa Pangelinan, Ph.D., is the director of the Pediatric Movement and Physical Activity Lab.
The goal of her research is to develop age-appropriate interventions that will promote motor competence and physical activity participation, which will in turn impact the long-term development of brain and physical health in those with and without movement difficulties. The lab investigates how children with developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome, autism, or multiple sclerosis learn certain motor skills and how the brain communicates with the body. Furthermore, they look at how physical activity and nutrition interventions may improve motor development in special populations.
Additionally, Pangelinan and her graduate students study the physical and neural impacts of traumatic brain injury. From their research, they aim to develop proper concussion protocols for athletes and other individuals who have suffered from a brain injury to attain the best recovery and return to play.