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Bernadette Murphy


Faculty of Health Sciences

Contact information

Science Building - Room 348
North Oshawa
2000 Simcoe Street North
Oshawa, ON L1G 0C5

905.721.8668 ext. 2778

Research topics

  • sensorimotor integration
  • neural adaptation and learning
  • neurophysiology of musculoskeletal treatments
  • chronic pain processing
  • neural effects of exercise
  • brain plasticity in virtual reality

Research and expertise

  • Background and interests

    Research area of specialty:

    • understanding how altering sensory input from the spine and limbs affects sensorimotor integration and motor control
    • brain plasticity during virtual training in virtual reality (VR) including the role of altered sensory feedback in VR
    • altered sensory processing in chronic and recurrent pain 

    Techniques: electroencephalography (EEG), nerve stimulation, somatosensory evoked potential techniques (SEPs) to measure processing of sensory input by the brain, electromyography (EMG) to measure electrical activity in muscles, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate the output of the human motor cortex. 

  • Education
    PhD Physiology, University of Auckland
    MSc Physiology, University of Auckland
    Doctor of Chiropractic, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College
    BA Life Sciences, Queen's University
  • Courses taught
    • NSCI 2400U Introduction to Movement Neuroscience*
    • NSCI 3470U Anatomy of Human Movement*
    • Kine 4477U Applied Techniques in Neuromechanics*
  • Publications

    For a comprehensive list of publications, please visit PubMed.

    Ambalavanar, U.*, Yielder, P. C., McCracken, H. S.*, Tabbert, H.*, & Murphy, B. (2024). Subclinical Neck Pain Leads to Differential Changes in Somatosensory Evoked Potentials in Response to a Novel Force Matching Tracking Task. Journal of Integrative Neuroscience. 2024 23(1):10. doi: 10.31083/j.jin2301010.

    Tabbert, H.*, Ambalavanar, U.*, Murphy, B. (2023) Neck Muscle Vibration Alters Cerebellar Processing Associated with Motor Skill Acquisition of a Proprioceptive-Based Task. Brain Sciences. Oct 4;13(10):1412. doi: 10.3390/brainsci13101412.

    McCracken, H. S.*, Murphy, B. A., Ambalavanar, U.*, Zabihhosseinian, M.*, & Yielder, P. C. (2023). Sensorimotor Integration and Motor Learning During a Novel Visuomotor Tracing Task in Young Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Neurophysiology. Jan 1;129(1):247-261. doi: 10.1152/jn.00173.2022.

    Ambalavanar, U.*, La Delfa, N., McCracken, H. S.*, Zabihhosseinian, M.*, Yielder, P. C., & Murphy, B. (2022). Differential Changes in Somatosensory Evoked Potentials and Motor Performance: Pursuit Movement Task versus Force Matching Tracking Task. Journal of Neurophysiology, Dec 1-128(6), 1453-1465. doi: 10.1152/jn.00308.2022.

    Tabbert, H.*, Ambalavanar, U.*, Murphy, B. (2022) Neck Muscle Vibration Alters Upper Limb Proprioception as Demonstrated by Changes in Accuracy and Precision During an Elbow Repositioning Task. Brain Sciences Nov 12;12(11):1532. doi: 10.3390/brainsci12111532.

    Zabihhosseinian, M.*, Holmes, M., Howarth, S., Ferguson, B.*, Murphy, B. (2017) Neck muscle fatigue differentially alters scapular and humeral kinematics during humeral elevation in subclinical neck pain participants versus healthy controls. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. 33: 73-82. DOI: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2017.02.002.

    Dancey, E.*, Murphy, B., Andrew, D.*, Yielder, P. (2016) The interactive effect of acute pain and motor learning on sensorimotor integration and motor learning outcomes. Journal of Neurophysiology. Vol. 116(5): 2210-2220 DOI: 10.1152/jn.00337.2016

    Baarbé JK*, Holmes MW, Murphy HE, Haavik H, Murphy BA. (2016) Influence of Subclinical Neck Pain on the Ability to Perform a Mental Rotation Task: A 4-Week Longitudinal Study With a Healthy Control Group Comparison. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 39(1): 23-30. DOI: 10.16/j.jmt.2015.12.002

    Zabihhosseinian M.*, Holmes MW, Murphy B. (2015) Neck muscle fatigue alters upper limb proprioception. Experimental Brain Research. 233(5): 1663-75. DOI: 10.1007/s0021-015-4240-xAndrew D, Yielder P, Murphy B. (2014) Do pursuit movement tasks lead to differential changes in early somatosensory evoked potentials related to motor learning compared with typing tasks? Journal of Neurophysiology. 113(4): 1156-64. DOI:10.1152/jn.00713.2014.

  • Graduate student research
    PhD Thesis Supervisor (last 6 years)
  • Grants

    Last 6 years:

    Natural Sciences and Engineering Council Discovery Grant “Effect of altered neck sensory feedback on brain plasticity and upper limb sensorimotor integration (2022, 5 years) $325,000

    Natural Sciences and Engineering Council Research Tools & Instruments Grant “A high-density electromyography system for non-invasive functional motor unit characterization” 2022    $68,638                 

    Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation “The role of central sensitization and sensorimotor integration in understanding the biological basis of Chiropractic”           2021-2023 $26,500      

    NCMIC Research Foundation “Impact of chiropractic care on visuomotor coordination and sensorimotor integration in a subclinical neck pain population” 2019-21 $95,000 USD 

    MITACS “The effects of One to Zero Technique on neural function, health and well-being” $45,000 2019-2021