Dr. Vallis pursues three areas of inquiry in her research program including elderly individuals, a healthy young adult population and children.
Sensory information is critical for the formation of internal representations of our bodies and the external world. These representations are subsequently used to guide our movements; in fact, purposeful action is possible because the central nervous system is capable of integrating control of the motor system with available sensory information about body position in space. Although there are indications in the literature that at different stages in life, e.g. childhood, old age, there is a shift in the role of various sensory inputs for locomotor control, there is little basic scientific evidence to support this theory. Additional fundamental knowledge is necessary to fully understand the complex relationship between sensory input and executed adaptive locomotor strategies across the lifespan.