I am a kinesiologist/cognitive psychologist and I study motor control. Motor control research seeks to understand how the neuromuscular system accomplishes coordinated movements. Below is a great quote from Professor Wolpert’s TED talk that explains the importance of motor control to understand the brain.

“Why do we, and other animals, have brains? … Now you may reasonably [think we] have one to perceive the world or to think, and that’s completely wrong… We have a brain for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to produce adaptable and complex movements. There is no other reason to have a brain. Think about it, movement is the only way you have of effecting the environment around you… It’s really important to remember that sensory, memory, and cognitive processes are all important, but they’re only important to either drive or suppress future movements.”

Motor control requires an understand of perception, information processing/dynamical systems, neuroanatomy, and biomechanics. It is a diverse field with researchers located in Psychology (e.g. Richard Ivry), Neuroscience (Jack L Feldman), Engineering (Daniel Wolpert), and Kinesiology (Mark Latash) departments. Check our this link to Google Scholar for more motor control researchers. You can also view my Google Scholar page.

Academia

Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas

University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada

  • PhD in Kinesiology (January 2010 – March 2015)
  • MSc in Kinesiology (September 2007 – December 2010)

University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

  • Honours BSc Kinesiology co-op and Mathematics minor (September 2001 – December 2006)

Publications

Blinch J, Kim Y, Chua R (in press) Trajectory analysis of discrete goal-directed pointing movements: How many trials are needed for reliable data? Behavior Research Methods

Blinch J, Franks IM, Carpenter MG, Chua R (in press) Response selection contributes to the preparation cost for bimanual asymmetric movements. Journal of Motor Behavior

Blinch J, de Cellio Martins G, Chua R (2017) Effects of integrated feedback on discrete bimanual movements in choice reaction time. Experimental Brain Research, 235(1), 247-257

Doan JB, Awosoga O, Provost T, Blinch J, Hudson J (2017) Perceived affordances and postures for lifting children. Theoretical Issues in Egonomics Science, 18(5), 422-432

Roberts JW, Blinch J, Elliott D, Chua R, Lyons JL, Welsh TN (2016) The violation of Fitts’ law: an examination of displacement biases and corrective submovements. Experimental Brain Research, 234(8), 2151-2163

Chua R, Cameron BD, Blinch J (2016) Volitional initiation and fast visuomotor networks: why movements are slow to start and quick to correct. Motor Control, 20(2), 154-161

Blinch J, Franks IM, Carpenter MG, Chua R (2015) Unified nature of bimanual movements revealed by separating the preparation of each arm. Experimental Brain Research, 233(6), 1931-1944

Blinch J, Cameron BD, Franks IM, Carpenter MG, Chua R (2015) Facilitation and interference during the preparation of bimanual movements: contributions from starting locations, movement amplitudes, and target locations. Psychological Research, 79(6), 978-988

Blinch J, Cameron BD, Cressman EK, Franks IM, Carpenter MG, Chua R (2014) Comparing movement preparation of unimanual, bimanaul symmetric, and bimanual asymmetric movements. Experimental Brain Research, 232(3), 947-955

Cameron BD, Blinch J, Plecash A, Squair J, Wou L, Chua R (2013) Adapting to target error without visual feedback. Acta Psychologica, 143(1), 129-135

Blinch J, Cameron BD, Hodges NJ, Chua R (2012) Do preparation or control processes result in the modulation to Fitts’ law for movements to targets with placeholders? Experimental Brain Research, 223(4), 505-515

Blinch J, Cameron BD, Franks IM, Chua R (2011) Bimanual reaches with symbolic cues exhibit errors in target selection. Experimental Brain Research, 212(4), 541-554

Blinch J (2009) On-line control of the limbs during bimanual reaching with directly- and symbolically-cued target perturbations. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Blinch J, Allard F (2007) Sequence learning and working memory. Unpublished undergrad thesis, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Presentations

Conferences

SCAPPS Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology
NASPSPA North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity

Lam MY, Blinch J, Connors EM, Doan JB, Gonzalez CLR (2017, July) Bimanual joint action: correlated timing of “bimanual” movements accomplished by two people. Poster session at the bi-annual Joint Action Meeting, London, United Kingdom

Blinch J, Kim Y, Chua R (2017, June) Trajectory analysis of pointing movements: how many trials are needed for reliable data? Poster session at the annual meeting of NASPSPA, San Diego, California

Aguilar D, Blinch J, Gonzalez CLR (2016, November) Visuospatial abilities in humans. Presented at the annual meeting of the Prairie – Perception, Action, and Cognition Team, Canmore, Alberta

Connors EM, Lam MY, Blinch J, Doan JB, Gonzalez CLR (2016, November) The co-ordination of bimanual reaching movements between people. Presented at the annual meeting of the Prairie – Perception, Action, and Cognition Team, Canmore, Alberta

Flindall JW, Blinch J, Gonzalez CLR (2016, November) Two hands are better than one: the grasp-to-eat kinematic signature in bimanual grasping movements. Presented at the annual meeting of the Prairie – Perception, Action, and Cognition Team, Canmore, Alberta

Gonzalez CLR, Blinch J, Cormier K (2016, November) Hemispheric asymmetries in haptically-guided grasping. Presented at the annual meeting of the Prairie – Perception, Action, and Cognition Team, Canmore, Alberta

Holmes J, Blinch J, Cameron BD, Chua R (2016, October) Integration and de-integration of bimanual movements. Poster session at the annual meeting of SCAPPS, Waterloo, Ontario

Lam MY, Blinch J, Connors EM, Doan JB, Gonzalez CLR (2016, October) Bimanual joint action: correlated timing of “bimanual” movements accomplished by two people. Poster session at the annual meeting of SCAPPS, Waterloo, Ontario

Awosoga O, Blinch J, Dabravolski J, Doan JB (2016, October) Investigating the quality of life of childcare workers in Southern Alberta. Poster session at the annual meeting of the International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL), Copenhagen, Denmark

Blinch J, Doan JB, Gonzalez CLR (2016, April) Spatiotemporal coupling of bimanual reach-to-grasp movements. Poster session at the annual meeting of the Banff Annual Seminar in Cognitive Sciences (BASICS), Banff, Alberta

Cormier K, Blinch J, Gonzalez CLR (2016, April) Blind touching: a study in hemispheric asymmetries in the control of haptically-guided grasping. Poster session at the annual meeting of the Banff Annual Seminar in Cognitive Sciences (BASICS), Banff, Alberta

Cormier K, Blinch J, Gonzalez CLR (2016, March) When it comes to touching, do it with your left hand: a study in hemispheric asymmetries in the control of grasping. Presented at the annual Meeting of the Minds, Lethbridge, Alberta

Bandaralage H, de Costa M, Blinch J, Doan JB (2016, January) Systems engineering approach to identifying differences in lifting behaviours. Poster session at the annual meeting of the International Conference on Systems in Medicine and Biology (ICSMB), Kharagpur, India

Blinch J, Franks IM, Carpenter MG, Chua R (2015, October) Preparation cost for bimanual asymmetric movements is caused by response selection. Presented at the annual meeting of SCAPPS, Edmonton, Alberta

Awosoga O, Blinch J, Provost T, Doan JB (2015, August) Investigating health and wellness of childcare workers in Southern Alberta, Canada. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM), Seattle, Washington

Blinch J, Holmes JA, Cameron BD, Franks IM, Chua R (2015, June) Preparation of bimanual reaching movements: contributions from directions and amplitudes. Poster session at the annual meeting of NASPSPA, Portland, Oregon

Blinch J, Franks IM, Carpenter MG, Chua R (2014, October) Decreasing the preparation cost for bimanual asymmetric movements. Presented at the annual meeting of SCAPPS, London, Ontario

Blinch J, Rasman BG, Clark K, May C, Cameron BD, Franks IM, Carpenter MG, Chua R (2013, October) Interference during the preparation of bimanual movements: the role of asymmetric starting locations, movement amplitudes, and target locations. Presented at the annual meeting of SCAPPS, Kelowna, British Columbia

Blinch J, Franks IM, Chua R (2013, July) Eliminating the preparation cost for bimanual asymmetric movements. Poster session at the biannual meeting of Progress in Motor Control, Montreal, Quebec

Blinch J, Cameron BD, Cressman EK, Plecash A, Chua R (2012, June) Precuing one or both arms of a bimanual asymmetric movement eliminates preparation costs. Presented at the annual meeting of NASPSA, Waikiki, Hawaii

Luxon S, Rurak C, Blinch J, Chua R, Inglis T (2011, November) Audio-spinal reflex response in human limb muscles. Poster session at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), Washington, District of Columbia

Blinch J, Chua R (2010, October) Bimanual reaches with symbolic cues exhibit errors in target selection. Presented at the annual meeting of SCAPPS, Ottawa, Ontario

Blinch J, Chua R (2009, October) Symbolically-cued asymmetric reaches results in spatial interference during initiation and execution. Poster session at the annual meeting of SCAPPS, Toronto, Ontario

Blinch J, Cameron BC, Lam M, Hua S, Cory M, Chua R (2008, October) Bimanual interference during on-line control to symbolically- vs. directly-cued target locations. Poster session at the annual meeting of SCAPPS, Canmore, Alberta

Other

Blinch J (2014, May) Repeated-measures ANOVAs: like a boss. Presented at the annual Kinesiology Graduate Student Research Day, Vancouver, British Columbia

Blinch J (2012, May) The accidental mind. Presented at the annual Kinesiology Graduate Student Research Day, Vancouver, British Columbia

Blinch J (2012, March) Motor areas of the frontal cortex. Presented recent research from macaque monkeys to the UBC Neuromechanical journal club

Blinch J (2011, Summer) Seminar series on electroencephalography (EEG). Presented four lectures to the UBC Neuromechanical group as part of a comprehensive exam.  Topics were as follows

Blinch J (2010, June) Bimanual coordination from a cognitive psychology perspective. Presented at the annual Kinesiology Graduate Student Research Day, Vancouver, British Columbia

Awards

  • Named as an honoured faculty by a Phi Beta Kappa member (2017)
  • Franklin Henry young scientist award from SCAPPS (2015)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) postgraduate scholarship – Doctoral (2010-2012)
  • UBC four-year doctoral fellowship (2010-2013)
  • UBC dean of education scholarship (2011-2012)
  • NSERC Canada graduate scholarship – Masters (2008-2009)
  • UBC graduate entrance scholarship (2007-2008)
  • Ontario graduate scholarship (2007-2008, declined to study at UBC)
  • Canadian Interuniversity Sport academic all-Canadian (2004-2005)

Experience

Application development

  • Co-op work terms in Software Engineering with Cedara Software (medical imaging), BMO Financial Group, and Inscriber Technologies (video editing and computer graphics)
  • Currently use Matlab, Psychtoolbox, C++, and Optotrak API to build experiments
  • Fluent in web technologies (CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and SQL) from working with CarDATA Consultants and Applied Health Sciences Computing Office

Employment

  • UBC senior residence advisor (2008-2009)
  • Human factors engineering – General Dynamics (2005)
    • Applied cognitive ergonomics to hardware and software military projects
    • Completed user reviews with the Ministry of Defence and the Department of National Defence

University service

Texas Tech University

  • Kinesiology senior and assistant professor searches, selection committee (2017)
  • Undergraduate research conference, judge (2017)
  • Kinesiology research and progress club, facilitator (2016-2017)
  • Kinesiology assistant professor search, selection committee (2016)

University of Lethbridge

  • Research after five series, presenter (2016)
    • Getting into grad school, getting out of grad school, and what you might do while there

University of British Columbia

  • Kinesiology directorship search, advisory committee (2013-2014)
  • Kinesiology graduate representative (2010-2012)
    • Co-organiser of the 2011 and 2012 kinesiology grad research days
  • Kinesiology graduate student advisory committee (2010-2012)
  • Kinesiology professor in aboriginal health search, selection committee (2012)
  • Kinesiology leadership, teaching, and advisory committee (2011-2012)
  • National Aboriginal Achievement Day at UBC, presenter for neuromechanical kinesiology (2012)
  • Quebec explore program at UBC, presentation and lab (2011)
  • Kinesiology lab crawl for undergrads, presenter (2010-2011)
  • Kinesiology transition program, speaker (2011-2012)
  • UBC multidisciplinary undergraduate research conference, judge (2010)

Ad hoc reviewer

  • Experimental Brain Research
  • Journal of Motor Behavior
  • Journal of Motor Learning and Development
  • Psychological Research

Teaching

Instructor at Texas Tech University

  • KIN 3303: Motor learning (2016 – present)
    • Fall 2016 course evaluation, responses from 28 of 43 students
      • The course objectives were specified and followed by the instructor, 93%
      • Overall, the instructor was an effective teacher, 88%
      • Overall, this course was a valuable learning experience, 86%
    • Spring 2017 course evaluation, responses from 52 of 91 students
      • The course objectives were specified and followed by the instructor, 100%
      • Overall, the instructor was an effective teacher, 98%
      • Overall, this course was a valuable learning experience, 98%

Sessional instructor at UBC for KIN 330: Human motor behaviour II (2013)

  • Course evaluation, responses from 26 of 57 students
    • Overall, the evaluation of student learning was fair, 90%
    • Overall, the instructor was an effective teacher, 96%
    • Overall, I learned a great deal in this course, 93%
    • Overall, I rate the quality of instruction in this course as, 91%
    • Overall, I rate this course as, 89%

Guest lectures

Blinch J (2014, December) Balance: what makes us stable and which sense help us balance? Guest lesson in grade 2 at Mary Jane Shannon Elementary School, Surrey, British Columbia

Blinch J (2014, October) Open-loop control and motor programs. Guest lecture in kinesiology (KIN 230: Human motor behaviour I) at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Blinch J (2013, February) Reaching for speed and accuracy. Guest lecture in kinesiology (KIN 230: Human motor behaviour I) at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Blinch J (2011, October) Reaching for speed and accuracy. Guest lecture in kinesiology (KPE 268: Introduction to motor learning and control) at the University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, BC

Blinch J (2009, March) Memory and human movement. Guest lecture in kinesiology (KIN 230: Human motor behaviour I) at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Mentoring

Texas Tech University

Taylor Jensen (undergrad, independent study), Zack Foster (undergrad, volunteer), Mitchel Effren (undergrad, independent study), Maria Isabela Aurellado (grad, thesis committee).

University of Lethbridge

Lara Coelho (grad), Harsha Bandaralage (grad), Kris Cormier (undergrad then grad), Daniela Aguilar Ramirez (undergrad), Paul VanWerkhoven (undergrad), Elizabeth Connors (undergrad), Nicole van Rootselaar (grad), and Clarissa Beke (undergrad).

University of British Columbia

I’ve been lucky to mentor the following undergrads working in Professor Chua’s lab as summer students (often NSERC – Undergraduate student research awards), on thesis projects (KIN 499: Undergraduate thesis), and as volunteers: Silvia Hua, Melissa Cory, Cara Rurak, Alyson Plecash, Yale Tang, Erin Spencer, Hyun Kyung Kim, Adina Dianacu, Alex Klemm, Curtis May, Brandon Rasman, Katie Clark, Amy Wang, Laurence Chin, Annie Maurer, Jada Holmes, and Guilherme De Cellio Martins.

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