George E. Stelmach, Ph.D.

1967-1971 University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, United States 
 1971-1990 University of Wisconsin, Madison, Madison, WI 
 1990-2010 Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, United States 
Neuroscience Biology
"George Stelmach"

George Stelmach, Emeritus Professor at Arizona State University, retired July 1, 2010.
After earning a bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois and master's and doctoral degrees at the University of California-Berkeley, Professor Stelmach went on to have an illustrious career, holding professorate positions at the University of California, Santa Barbara, (1967-1971), the University of Wisconsin, Madison, (1971-1990) and Arizona State University, (1990-2010). In addition, he had research appointments at the Imperial College of Medicine, Oxford University, and Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, Lyon, France. At ASU, he directed the Motor Control Laboratory known for training graduate students and post doctorates to become independent scientists. In the laboratory, he was known as a talented scientist, a dedicated supervisor and successful mentor.

More specifically, Professor Stelmach's teaching and research interests are in the areas of movement control and learning, aging, and the neurosciences. His diverse research examines human movement coordination and seeks to understand how the central nervous system controls and regulates movement in normal individuals and in those with neurological impairments. Research topics include: multi-joint coordination mechanisms, visuo-motor adaptation, sensorimotor integration, fine movement control, reaching and grasping, and force control. This research examines how the macro- and microstructure of upper-extremity movement is altered by transient or permanent changes in the human brain due to aging and Parkinson's disease. Of special interest is how motor control strategies are altered through normal aging and pathology.

As a lead scientist, Stelmach published more than 290 manuscripts and four books in kinesiology-related journals, and he made numerous presentations at national and international meetings, conventions, and congresses. Much of his research is well-known and considered ground-breaking in showing how movement short-term memory is influenced by sensory information. Additionally, he was one of the seminal scientists to describe the variant and invariant properties of prehensile movements, and how these coordination properties are maintained across a variety of environmental settings. Not only does his work describe how healthy individuals perform these actions, but also which control parameters are disrupted in patients with basal ganglia impairments. These studies led to one of the prominent hypotheses in the movement disorder’s area that can potentially explain why individuals with neurotransmitter disease have difficulty controlling and coordinating movement. This hypothesis utilizes output variability from the basal ganglia to the cortical motor centers which can predict most of the impairments observed in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Currently, this hypothesis is actively pursued in many laboratories throughout the world. His work also contributed to a better understanding of biological aging by showing that with advanced aging, proprioception deficits produce more variable movements and create a need to move more slowly.

Professor Stelmach’s research has been externally funded to further his research from peer reviewed grant awards in the kinesiology area throughout his 43 year career. Consistent with the interdisciplinary nature of his research, grant support came from diverse funding agencies such as the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Education, American Parkinson's Disease Association, Burroughs-Wellcome Trust, RS Flinn Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

During the course of his career, Stelmach received numerous academic achievement awards such as the University of California President's Fellow, University of Wisconsin Royalty Fund Fellow, National Academy of Science Exchange Fellow, Senior Fulbright Research Fellow, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Award, Netherlands Institute of Advanced Study Fellow, French National Institute of Medicine Fellow, German Research Council Fellow, Austrian Institute of Space Neurology Fellow, and the Max Planck Research Fellow. In addition, Stelmach was elected to fellow in the American Psychological Association, Divisions of Experimental Psychology and Engineering Psychology, American Psychological Society, and American Academy of Kinesiology. Furthermore, he was honored with invitations to be a visiting scholar at some of the most renowned Institutes of Neurology in Europe: University of Dusseldorf, University of Tubingen, University of Innsbruck, University of London, and the Imperial College of Medicine. From 1980-2009, he served as editor of the “Advances in Psychology” book series where 139 volumes were published.

Professor Stelmach lives in Paradise Valley, Arizona, with his wife Rosmary. He is involved in the Emeritus College at Arizona State University and continues to serve on review boards for the National Institutes of Health and Department of Veterans Affairs.
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Cross-listing: Kinesiology Tree

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Rand MK, Van Gemmert AW, Hossain AB, et al. (2014) Coordination deficits during trunk-assisted reach-to-grasp movements in Parkinson's disease. Experimental Brain Research. 232: 61-74
Poston B, Van Gemmert AW, Sharma S, et al. (2013) Movement trajectory smoothness is not associated with the endpoint accuracy of rapid multi-joint arm movements in young and older adults. Acta Psychologica. 143: 157-67
Rand MK, Stelmach GE. (2012) Effect of aging on coordinated eye and hand movements with two-segment sequence. Motor Control. 16: 447-65
Rand MK, Van Gemmert AW, Hossain AB, et al. (2012) Control of aperture closure initiation during trunk-assisted reach-to-grasp movements. Experimental Brain Research. 219: 293-304
Rand MK, Stelmach GE. (2011) Adaptation of gaze anchoring through practice in young and older adults. Neuroscience Letters. 492: 47-51
Ringenbach SD, van Gemmert AW, Shill HA, et al. (2011) Auditory instructional cues benefit unimanual and bimanual drawing in Parkinson's disease patients. Human Movement Science. 30: 770-82
Rand MK, Stelmach GE. (2011) Effects of hand termination and accuracy requirements on eye-hand coordination in older adults. Behavioural Brain Research. 219: 39-46
Hughes B, Van Gemmert AW, Stelmach GE. (2011) Linguistic and perceptual-motor contributions to the kinematic properties of the braille reading finger. Human Movement Science. 30: 711-30
Rand MK, Stelmach GE. (2010) Effects of hand termination and accuracy constraint on eye-hand coordination during sequential two-segment movements. Experimental Brain Research. 207: 197-211
Rand MK, Shimansky YP, Hossain AB, et al. (2010) Phase dependence of transport-aperture coordination variability reveals control strategy of reach-to-grasp movements. Experimental Brain Research. 207: 49-63
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