Bernard Martin

A street on Nice, France
Picture from Patric Murris

Current interests and expertise

My research is principally focussed on the study of human sensorimotor control systems and the application of such knowledge to the fields of human performance and human-machine interaction. I use neurophysiological, behavioral, biomechanical and modeling approaches as complementary means to investigate the role of proprioceptive, exteroceptive and visual information in the control and coordination of sensorimotor activities. Eye-head-hand coordination is investigated in that perspective. Vibration-induced perturbations are used to analyze the functional aspects of the different neurological systems involved in movement control. The occupational aspect of vibration exposure is also of concern in these investigations.  The results bring a new perspective in the field of “human vibration” where biomechanical and pathological effects are extensively described, while human performance impairments are often ignored or observed from a phenomenological point of view.

Several fields of investigation constitute currently the core of my research

  • Asymmetry of movement and force representation between the upper limb systems.  A new theory supported by feedback and feed forward models as well as imaging results is expended to determine differences between the upper limbs. Understanding of these asymmetries finds application in bimanual activities and rehabilitation procedures for patients affected unilaterally ( such as stroke for example).
  • Eye-head-hand coordination in unimanual and bimanual activities is investigated to develop human movement models that combine motor and cognitive control. The models are used to further the understanding of movement control and simulate human activities.
  • Muscle fatigue. A particular attention is paid to the long lasting effects of fatigue resulting from high, low or intermittent exertions. A muscle stimulation technique has been improved to evaluate this type of fatigue. The long term goal is to determine to contribution of fatigue to cumulative trauma disorders.
  • Biomechanics of the low back and shoulder is another area of investigation, which is related to musculoskeletal disorders, muscle fatigue and motor control. The modeling of low back and shoulder muscle activity is one of our objectives. The models will allow to determine the individual muscle load and thus, the overloaded muscles in occupational activities as well as in other types of tasks.  Also, the models are expected to predict the influence of fatigue on the redistribution of muscle load.
  • 3D human motion simulation is a novel approach in which databases of real motions are used to build models of realistic whole body motions. Applications are currently targeting, obstacle avoidance, movement chaining, hand-head coordination, work place design, car driver behavior and wheel chair user behavior.  Modeling of human behavior under whole body vibration exposure is also part of this effort in order to develop and active biodynamic model. Furthermore, the relative role of cognitive and motor processes are also investigated to combine motor and cognitive control of movements.
  • Cutaneous proprioception is a recent field of investigation concerning the properties of the tactile modality and its contribution to postural control. These investigation lead to the design of haptic devices used in rehabilitation and alarm systems used in multimodal “warning” applications


  • Vibratory environments for operators/workers using vibrating tools or machines or vehicles
  • Design of workstation and computer input devices
  • Reduction of muscle fatigue
  • Adaptation of haptic devices

Key terms

Psychophysiology, Neurosensory physiology, Human performance, Sensorimotor control systems, Vibration exposure, force control, muscle fatigue, Visual fatigue, upper limb disorders, cooperative control, cutaneous proprioception


Native: French
Others: English, Italian, Provencal, Niçois, Occitan, Catalan