Research Overview

Research Area “Postural Control”

Postural control describes the dynamics of maintaining balance and positioning the body in relation to the environment. Therefore, postural control is crucial for most activities of daily life. Furthermore, adequate static and dynamic postural control is an essential prerequisite for many sports. This multifaceted importance is also reflected in epidemiological studies, which show that postural instability is a key risk factor for falls, which finally underlines the importance of this topic. In the context of postural control, we are currently working on three issues: (1) Specificity of postural control, (2) Jaw clenching & postural control and (3) Assistive technologies & postural control.

Selected Publications

  • Ringhof, S., Ehrenberger, I., Beil, J., Asfour*, T. & Stein*, T. (2019). Does a passive unilateral lower limb exoskeleton affect human balance control? Front. Sports Act. Living 1:22. [*shared senior authorship]
  • Ringhof, S., Arensmann, A. & Stein, T. (2019). Reliability of measures of dynamic stability for the assessment of balance recovery after a forward loss of balance. Gait & Posture, 71, 261-266.
  • Ringhof, S., Zeeb, N., Altmann, S., Neumann, R., Woll, A. & Stein, T. (2018). Six weeks of slackline training evokes task-specific but no general balance training effects in female handball players. European Journal of Sport Science, 19 (5), 557-566.
  • Ringhof, S. & Stein, T. (2018). Biomechanical assessment of dynamic balance: Specificity of different balance tests. Human Movement Science, 58, 140-147.
  • Ringhof, S., Leibold, T., Hellmann, D. & Stein, T. (2015). Postural stability and the influence of concurrent muscle activation – Beneficial effects of jaw and fist clenching. Gait & Posture, 42 (4), 598-600.


Research Area “Human Locomotion”

The ability to move independently is fundamental to a person's quality of life. Although many different forms of locomotion have evolved, all of these behaviors can be characterized by alternating activity of limbs on opposite sides of the body, usually performed to propel the body forward. Thus, locomotion ensures physical mobility. We are especially interested in various forms of walking (e.g. straight walking, curve walking or walking up and down stairs), that are highly relevant to everyday life. In addition to this we are interested in locomotion tasks that are relevant for sports (e.g. running or cutting). In the context of human locomotion, we are currently working on two issues: (1) Coordination of walking & running and (2) Assistive technologies & walking.

Selected Publications

  • Focke, F., Steingrebe, H., Möhler, F., Ringhof, S., Sell, S., Potthast, P. & Stein, T. (2020). Effect of Different Knee Braces in ACL-Deficient Patients. Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol. 8:964.
  • Möhler, F., Marahrens, S., Ringhof, S., Mikut, R. & Stein, T. (2020). Variability of running in experts and novices: a 3D uncontrolled manifold analysis. European Journal of Sport Science, 20 (9), 1187-1196.
  • Stetter, B.J., Ringhof, S., Krafft, F.C., Stein, T.* & Sell, S.* (2020). A machine learning and wearable sensor based approach to estimate external knee flexion and adduction movements during various locomotion tasks. Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol. 8:9. [*both authors contributed equally]
  • Stetter, B.J., Herzog, M., Möhler, F., Sell, S. & Stein, T. (2020). Modularity in motor control: similarities in kinematic synergies across varying locomotion tasks. Front. Sports Act. Living 2:596063.
  • Möhler, F., Ringhof, S., Debertin, D. & Stein, T. (2019). Influence of fatigue on running coordination: a UCM analysis with a geometric 2D model and a subject-specific anthropometric 3D model. Human Movement Science, 66, 133-141.


Research Area “Motor Learning”

In sports, but also in other areas (e.g. music or craft), we developed cultural forms, where success depends on a successful movement coordination. For example, Roger Federer is attributed a special coordinative performance in tennis. This performance is the result of years of deliberate practice. Today, when Federer is given new rackets by his equipment supplier, he has to get used to these new rackets. A process which is called motor adaptation. We are currently investigating motor adaptation processes using robotic devices and a virtual reality interfaces to analyze the effect of different practice protocols on (1) consolidation and (2) generalization of motor memories.

Selected Publications

  • Thürer, B., Gedemer, S., Focke, A. & Stein, T. (2019). Contextual interference effect is independent of retroactive inhibition but variable practice is not always beneficial. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 13:165.
  • Thürer, T., Weber, F., Born, J. & Stein, T. (2018). Variable training but not sleep improves consolidation of motor adaptation. Scientific Reports, 8:15977.
  • Taubert*, M., Stein*, T., Kreutzberg, T., Stockinger, C., Hecker, L., Focke, A., Ragert, P., Villringer, A. & Pleger, B. (2016). Remote effects of non-invasive cerebellar stimulation on error processing in motor re-learning. Brain Stimulation, 9, 692-699. [*both authors contributed equally]
  • Thürer, B., Stockinger, C., Focke, A., Putze, F., Schultz, T. & Stein, T. (2016). Increased gamma band power during movement planning coincides with motor memory retrieval. NeuroImage, 15, 172-181.
  • Stockinger, C., Thürer, B., Focke, A. & Stein, T. (2015). Intermanual transfer characteristics of dynamic learning: direction, coordinate frame, and consolidation of interlimb generalization. Journal of Neurophysiology, 114 (6), 3166-3176.


Research Area “Performance Analysis”

Learning sports skills generally covers a training process of several years. In most sports, also conditional capacities such as strength, endurance or speed are of great relevance. In many sports (e.g. triathlon or shooting sports), the identification and weighting of relevant performance components is an important prerequisite for a scientifically supported planning of training processes. Additionally, to be able to diagnose the current individual performance level in sports or rehabilitation adequate diagnostic methods are necessary. Biomechanical analyses, physiological testings, and sports-related tests are examples of such methods. In the context of performance analysis, we are currently working on two issues: (1) Performance modelling using multivariate statistics as well as machine learning and (2) the development and application of performance analysis methods in sports and rehabilitation.

Selected Publications

  • Spancken, S., Steingrebe, H. & Sein, T. (2021). Factors that influence performance in Olympic air-rifle and small-bore shooting: a systematic review. PLoS ONE 16 (3): e0247353.
  • Krafft, F.C., Stetter, B.J., Stein, T., Ellermann, A., Flechtenmacher, J., Eberle, C., Sell, S. & Potthast, W. (2020). Deficient knee joint biomechanics in bilateral jumping after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Clinical Biomechanics, 77, 105048.
  • Stetter, B.J., Krafft, F.C., Fadillioglu, C., Ringhof, S., Sell, S. & Stein, T. (2020). Automated gait event detection for a variety of locomotion tasks using a novel gyroscope-based algorithm. Gait & Posture, 81, 102-108.
  • Stetter, B.J., Buckeridge, E., Nigg, S., Sell, S. & Stein, T. (2019). Towards a wearable monitoring tool for in field ice hockey skating performance analysis. European Journal of Sport Science, 19 (7), 893-901.
  • Hoffmann, M., Moeller, T., Seidel, I. & Stein, T. (2017). Predicting elite triathlon performance – a comparison of multiple regressions and artificial neural networks. International Journal of Computer Science in Sports, 16 (2), S. 101-116.