Inside the Movement Science Lab at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

Sep 10, 2015 / Research & Innovation

5 Facts About the Movement Science Laboratory at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

The Movement Science Laboratory at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children uses revolutionary technology to evaluate and identify pediatric movement, so doctors can decide on the best course of treatment.

What is the Movement Science Laboratory, and how does it benefit children, researchers and the community?

Technology Based on Video Games

The same technology that helps designers create video games contributes to the work in the Movement Science Laboratory. The laboratory’s staff employs multiple cameras that track markers on a child’s body. As the child moves through the exercises in the laboratory, the cameras record and process the information. A computer translates that data into a moving stick figure that doctors and scientists can then analyze.

Laboratory Used for Both Treatment and Research

Staff members at the Movement Science Laboratory use the technology to research disorders and conditions that impact pediatric movement. However, the laboratory also serves as a diagnostic aid, so it serves double duty, both conducting research and providing treatment. Doctors refer children to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children for observation and evaluation.

Staff Can Measure Multiple Types of Movement

The camera- and computer-aided technology only constitutes part of the research conducted at the Movement Science Laboratory. Researchers at Scottish Rite Hospital use the facility to measure all types of movement. For example, a plate embedded in the laboratory’s floor allows researchers to measure the pressure a child exerts with each step.

Other devices help to measure a child’s limb strength, flexibility, range of motion, and dynamic joint motion. Researchers can also do electromyography (EMG) to analyze the electrical signals muscles send to the brain during movement.

Staff Is Comfortable Working With Children

Kids often develop anxiety when faced with a clinical setting. Fortunately, the Scottish Rite Hospital staff knows how to help children feel comfortable and safe. When kids visit for research or testing, staff members encourage parents to bring along favorite toys or stuffed animals, so their children feel more at home.

Additionally, after staff members record a child’s movements via the cameras and computers, they invite the child to show off a fun movement of his or her choice. Seeing a crazy dance on the screen, for instance, shows children the fun side of the experience.

You Can Participate

The Movement Science Laboratory at Scottish Rite Hospital invites participants who wish to give their time to research. You can call 214-559-7580 to talk about participation in a research study. If you meet the project’s qualifications, you have a chance to help Scottish Rite Hospital make an even greater impact on children’s lives.

You might also find yourself at the laboratory because of your pediatrician’s concerns about your child’s movements. In addition to movement disorders and conditions, the laboratory also works with children who wear prosthetic devices.

The Movement Science Lab creates a safe, high-tech space for studying and diagnosing movement issues in children. Whether you are visiting for research or diagnostics, you can benefit from the experience.


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