Dr Tjerk Zult

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Vision and Eye Research Unit (VERU)

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Biomechanics of human movement , Neuroscience

Tjerk is interested in how motor performance is affected in patients with visual impairment, neurological impairment, and orthopaedic injuries. He examines the underlying neural and biomechanical mechanisms of motor deficits, which can then be targeted by movement interventions.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tjerk_Zult

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/tjerk-zult

ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Tjerk_Zult

Background

Tjerk obtained his BSc (Hons) and MSc in Human Movement Sciences at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Following his graduation, he was successful in his application to begin a fully-funded PhD at the University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands. His PhD research evaluated the clinical relevance of unilateral strength training in patients with orthopaedic and neurological impairments and whether augmented sensory feedback using a mirror can improve the strength transfer from the trained to non-trained side.

Tjerk is currently investigating how vision disorders affect activities of everyday life. He regularly presents his findings at national and international conferences and is an invited reviewer for a number of human physiology and sports medicine journals.

Spoken Languages

  • Dutch
  • English

Research interests

  • Human motion analysis
  • Human neurophysiology
  • Gaze behaviour
  • Vision disorders
  • Neurological impairments
  • Orthopaedic injuries

Tjerk is interested in the underlying neurophysiological and biomechanical mechanisms of motor performance in healthy and diseased people. His current research focuses on how visually impaired people negotiate an obstacle and perform reach-and-grasp movements. Combining motion capture data, muscle activation patterns, and cortical activity will give insight in the underlying mechanism of why people with vision disorders have more difficulty in performing everyday tasks and why they fall more often.

Areas of research supervision

  • Undergraduate and postgraduate research projects

Qualifications

  • PhD in Human Movement Sciences, University of Groningen (the Netherlands)
  • MSc in Human Movement Sciences, University of Groningen (the Netherlands)
  • BSc (Hons) in Human Movement Sciences, University of Groningen (the Netherlands
  • Qualification in ethics application procedures (ICH-GCP), Wenckenbach Institute

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology (ISEK)
  • Member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • Member of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS)
  • Member of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN)
  • Member of the Dutch Society for Human Movement Sciences (VvBN)
  • Member of review panels for 10 international journals

Selected recent publications

Zult, T., Gokeler, A., van Raay, J.J., Brouwer, R.W., Zijdewind, I. & Hortobagyi, T. 2017, "An anterior cruciate ligament injury does not affect the neuromuscular function of the non-injured leg except for dynamic balance and voluntary quadriceps activation", Knee surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy : official journal of the ESSKA, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 172-183.

Zult, T., Goodall, S., Thomas, K., Solnik, S., Hortobagyi, T. & Howatson, G. 2016, "Mirror Training Augments the Cross-education of Strength and Affects Inhibitory Paths", Medicine and science in sports and exercise, vol. 48, no. 6, pp. 1001-1013.

Zult, T., Goodall, S., Thomas, K., Hortobagyi, T. & Howatson, G. 2015, "Mirror illusion reduces motor cortical inhibition in the ipsilateral primary motor cortex during forceful unilateral muscle contractions", Journal of neurophysiology, vol. 113, no. 7, pp. 2262-2270.

Zult, T., Howatson, G., Kadar, E.E., Farthing, J.P. & Hortobagyi, T. 2014, "Role of the mirror-neuron system in cross-education", Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 159-178.

Howatson, G., Zult, T., Farthing, J.P., Zijdewind, I. & Hortobagyi, T. 2013, "Mirror training to augment cross-education during resistance training: a hypothesis", Frontiers in human neuroscience, vol. 7, pp. 396.

Recent presentations and conferences

Oral presentation at the annual symposium of the Vision and Eye Research Unit (VERU), School of Medicine, Anglia Ruskin University (2017). Title: Inter-limb mechanisms and clinical relevance of cross-education in humans.

American College of Sports Medicine 63rd Annual Meeting, Boston, United States of America (2016). Thematic poster presentation: Unilateral ACL injury does not affect neuromuscular function in the non-injured leg.

Society for Neuroscience 45th Annual Meeting, Chicago, United States of America (2015). Poster presentation: Mirror training augments the cross-education of strength and reduces the contralateral silent period duration in the untrained but not the trained wrist.

Society for Neuroscience 44th Annual Meeting, Washington, United States of America (2014). Poster presentation: Unilateral strength training while mirror viewing the exercising hand, augments cross-education and reduces cortical inhibition and corticospinal excitability.

European College of Sport Science 19th annual congress, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2014). Oral presentation: Mirror illusion reduces motor cortical inhibition in the ipsilateral primary motor cortex during effortful unilateral muscle contractions.

Vereniging voor Bewegingswetenschappen Nederland PhD-day, Groningen, the Netherlands (2014). Oral presentation: Mirror illusion reduces motor cortical inhibition in the ipsilateral primary motor cortex during forceful unilateral contractions.

5th International state-of-the-Art Congress, “Rehabilitation: Mobility, Exercise & Sports”, Groningen, the Netherlands (2014). Poster presentation: Mirror illusion reduces ipsilateral motor cortical inhibition in healthy young adults: implications for rehabilitation.

Vereniging voor Bewegingswetenschappen Nederland Student-day, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2013). Oral presentation: Mirror illusion reduces motor cortical inhibition in the ipsilateral primary motor cortex during effortful unilateral wrist flexion with shortening muscle contraction.

Media experience

National (Dutch) newspapers:

https://www.volkskrant.nl/wetenschap/optische-illusie-maakt-spieren-sterker~a4500478/

https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2017/06/12/rustende-arm-traint-gratis-mee-11049006-a1562662

Websites (Dutch):

https://www.cityoftalent.nl/nieuws/fitness-voor-de-spiegel

https://dekennisvannu.nl/site/artikel/Hoe-een-spiegel-je-rustende-arm-traint/9200

https://www.fit.nl/interview/tjerk-zult