Image Marjorie Woollacott
Marjorie Woollacott
Ph.D. Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Southern California
M.A. Asian Studies, University of Oregon
B.A. University of Southern California

Research Interests

Human perception, cognition and performance include a number of important aspects and skills. In the Woollacott lab we have studied many of these including 1) the development of balance and attentional abilities in normal children and in children with motor problems such as cerebral palsy and Down Syndrome; 2) factors leading to loss of balance function in the older adult, and in patients with motor disorders such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease, in order to improve the quality of life and independence of adults well into old age; 3) the design of new assessment and treatment strategies to improve balance and attentional abilities, including testing the efficacy of alternative forms of therapy such as tai chi and meditation for improving both attention and balance in patient populations; 4) the development of musical performance skills in musicians; 5) changes in attentional performance skills and underlying neural networks associated with the mental training of meditation and tai chi; and 6) the neural correlates of mystical experience, including those occurring in deep meditation and near-death experiences.