Christopher K. Rhea, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Christopher

Office: 237A HHP Building, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
Phone: 334-3023
Email address: ckrhea@uncg.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Applied Neuromechanics

Recent Publications

  • Rhea, C.K., Kiefer, A.W., Haran, F.J., Glass, S.M., & Warren, W.H. (in press). A new measure of the CoP trajectory in postural sway: Dynamics of heading change. Medical Engineering and Physics
  • Rhea, C.K., Kiefer, A.W., Wittstein, M.W., Leonard, K.B., MacPherson, R.P., Wright, W.G., & Haran, F.J. (in press). Fractal gait patterns are retained after entrainment to a fractal stimulus. PLOS ONE
  • Rhea, C.K. & Wittstein, M.W. (in press). Characteristics of stride behavior during treadmill walking and stationary stepping. Journal of Applied Biomechanics
  • Rhea, C.K., Kiefer, A.W., D’Andrea, S.E., Warren, W.H., & Aaron, R.K. (2014). Entrainment to a real time fractal visual stimulus modulates fractal gait dynamics. Human Movement Science, 36, 20-34. .
  • Grubaugh, J. & Rhea, C.K. (2014). Gait performance is not influenced by working memory when walking at a self-selected pace. Experimental Brain Research, 232(2), 515-525.

Brief Bio

Dr. Christopher K. Rhea is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He serves as the director of the Virtual Environment for Assessment and Rehabilitation Laboratory (VEAR Lab) and teaches courses in biomechanics, movement variability, and research methods. Dr. Rhea received his B.S. in Physical Education from the University of Central Missouri (2002), M.S. in Movement Science specializing in sports biomechanics from Barry University (2004) and Ph.D. in Motor Behavior specializing in biomechanics from Purdue University (2009). Prior to joining the UNCG faculty, Dr. Rhea was a Visiting Scholar at Brown University, while concurrently working as a Research Health Scientist at the Providence VA Medical Center (2008-2010.)

Dr. Rhea's primary research interest is the control of locomotion and balance. Dr. Rhea's research is separated into two themes; assessment and rehabilitation. In the assessment domain, Dr. Rhea's research team is exploring novel ways to quantify a person's functional mobility level. Clinical science is typically confined to subjective, course grained assessment of a patient's ability, making the accurate prescription of a rehabilitation program difficult. To this end, Dr. Rhea's research team is exploring how nonlinear dynamics can be used to index a patient's ability level. Furthermore, Dr. Rhea's team has utilized smartphone technology as an assessment tool by creating an Android-based app to identify neurological dysfunction from movement patterns.

Once the patient's functional level has been identified, Dr. Rhea's research team develops novel rehabilitation practices using virtual reality (VR) technology. Dr. Rhea created the Rehabilitation Engagement Visualized In Virtual Environments (REVIVE) project (patent pending), which uses avatars and other virtual environments to assist in the re-development of a patient's walking ability. The REVIVE project is currently being tested with patients who have a reconstructed anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and patients with chronic stroke.

Dr. Rhea and colleagues have published their work in Medical Engineering and Physics, Gait & Posture, the Public Library of Science (PLoS ONE), Journal of Applied Biomechanics, Human Movement Science, Journal of Athletic Training and Sports Health, Experimental Brain Research, Neuroscience Letters, Journal of Vision, and Ophthalmic and Pyhsiological Optics. He has given over 75 conference presentations to numerous societies, including the Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society, American Society of Biomechanics and the North American Society for Psychology in Sport and Physical Activity. His work is currently funded by the US Navy (W91CRB-11-D-0001; subcontract P010202825).