Facial Muscles Activation Influencing Somatic Motor Output with Katinka Stecina

Saturday, April 22, 2017
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Approved for 1 Primary Credit

Course is limited to 100 participants

MTAM Members:
$50 +GST

$65 +GST

Fee includes: course handouts


Facial muscles activation influencing somatic motor output: “Can manual therapy of facial muscles influence other muscles in the body?”  is a lecture style presentation with plenty of time for Q&A.

The muscles of the face are very special organs as they differ a lot from other muscles of the body but yet they are deeply connected to our entire central nervous system – including our “ancient” brains.

Everyone must have seen at least one sportsman of their liking stick their tongue out and/or make a funny face while competing in sports. Why do they do that? How do we use facial muscles to stabilize activity in other muscles of our body – even without knowing that we are using them? Why are sensations from the face so influential to other regions of the body? These will be questions addressed in this talk in addition to some basic overview of the neural systems underlying facial muscle control and their relation to movements.


Participants will be able to:

1.     Name regions within the central nervous system that controls facial and limb muscle activation and where there may be shared networks for the control of facial and limb muscles.
2.     Explain how sensory fibres in the masseter muscle are different from those in other muscles.
3.     Give plausible explanation(s) why manipulation of the masseter muscle results in changes of arm/leg muscle activation and vice-versa.


Katinka Stecina

Katinka Stecina has received her training as a Physiologist, completing her PhD work at the Spinal Cord Research Centre of the University of Manitoba in 2006. Her research addresses how spinal neural circuits function. The interactions between different neural pools within the spinal cord and the brain are in her focus in order to understand the control of movement. The spinal cord is a key place for integration of sensory input and motor commands with intricate connectivity and information processing – much like in the brain.

Her work consists mostly of basic science rodent studies with potential implications for the rehabilitation of motor function after spinal cord injury or stroke. From 2007 until 2012, she has been training in the Neural Control of Movement Research Group at Copenhagen University in Denmark and she has learned research techniques to study sensory-motor control in humans. These include electrophysiological techniques such as non-invasive brain stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation, muscle activity recording and kinematic analysis of movement during body weight-supported treadmill walking.

She is currently part of a research team developing a Human Spinal Cord Injury Research Centre for Health, Balance and Motor Control in the Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology where she has been employed as an Assistant Professor since 2014. She has active national (NSERC) and provincial (MSCRIC) research support.

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