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Dr Will Young

Dr Will Young

Senior Lecturer in Rehabilitation Psychology

 Richards Building RB105B

 

Richard's Building, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK

Overview

I gained my BSc (2004) and PhD (2009) qualifications from The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at The University of Birmingham. I then worked as a post-doctoral researcher in fields of Psychology (Queen’s University Belfast), Neurology/Neurorehabilitation (Stanford University), and Sports Psychology (Brunel University London) before taking a Lectureship in Rehabilitation Psychology in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Brunel University London (2015). In 2019 I joined the School of Sport and Health Sciences at The University of Exeter as a Senior Lecturer in Rehabilitation Psychology. 

My research relates to the topic of falls prediction and prevention, both in older adults and people with neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's. I am especilly interested in examining how anxiety (about falling) can influence the control of balance/walking. I conduct this research both in the laboratory (using virtual reality, eye tracking and biomechanical analyses) and in the community (working with Physiotherapists and clinicans specialising in neurological rehabilitation) with the goal of developing practical and low-cost strategies to help prevent falls and improve mobility.  

Qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy

Chartered Psychologist (British Psychological Society)

Career

2019 - current:     Senior Lecturer in Rehabilitation Psychology, University of Exeter

2015 – 2018:       Senior Lecturer in Rehabilitation Psychology, Division of Physiotherapy, Brunel University.  

2013 – 2015:       Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Life Sciences, Brunel University London.

2008 – 2013:       Postdoctoral Researcher, School of Psychology, Queen’s University Belfast (periodically based at the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University)

2005 – 2009:       PhD. School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham.

 

 

Research

Research interests

- Ageing and falls (preiction & prevention)

- Influence of anxiety (fear of falling) on balance and gait

- Developing strategies for improving mobility in people with Parkinson's (especially related to freezing of gait)

- Developing low-cost fall-prevention therapies for use in the health service

Research projects

Evaluating the influence of anxiety on planning and executing stepping action during dynamic gait in young and older adults. A series of projects funded by the British Academy and a Brunel BRIEF award

Evaluating the effectiveness of community-based exercise classes in older adults. Project funded by Sport England. 

Using analogies to overcome freezing of gait in Parkionson's. Project funded by Parkinson's UK

Evaluating the relationship between anxiety and freezing of gait in people with Parkinson's

Examining the potential role of anxiety in mediating sensory reweighting during balance tasks in young adults, older adults and people with Parkinson's

Research networks

I maintain collaborations with several national and international research groups including:-

2017 – present     Prof. Paul Holmes (Manchester Metropolitan University). Project theme: psychological determinants of gait instability in older adults.

2015 – present     Dr Meriel Norris (Brunel University London). Project theme: Evaluating the relationship between anxiety and freezing of gait in people with Parkinson's

2014 – present     Dr. Thomson Wong (Hong Kong University, HK) & Prof. Rich Masters (University of Waikato, NZ). Project theme: Evaluating psychological determinants of postural instability in older adults.

2017 – present     Prof A. Mark Williams (University of Utah, USA). Project theme: Using virtual adaptive gait tasks to determine perceptual and cognitive factors that influence fall-risk in older adults.

2014 – present     Dr Natela Shanidze (Smith-Kettlewell Eye Institute, CA-USA). Project theme: Eveluating how anxiety influences reliance on vision in people with age-related macular degeneration.

2012 – present     Dr. Helen Bronte-Stewart (Stanford University, CA-USA). Project theme: determining neurological underpinnings of freezing of gait in Parkinson’s disease.  

Research grants

  • 2019 Sport England
    (PI) Sport England award via by social enterprise Oomph! Wellness. Project title: Evaluating community exercise classes in older adults
  • 2018 Brunel University
    (PI) Brunel BRIEF award. Project title: Developing the Falls-Specific Attentional Profile questionnaire.
  • 2017 Parkinson's UK
    (PI) Parkinson’s UK small grant award. Project title: Using analogies to overcome freezing of gait: a first step towards making the first step.
  • 2015 Motability 10th Anniversary Trust
    (Co-I) A research proposal for the Motability 10th Anniversary Trust. Project title: Scoping our future research Priorities
  • 2014 Royal Society
    (PI) Royal Society International Exchange Award. Funding bi-lateral partnership between researchers at Brunel University and University of Hong Kong. Project title: The influence of anxiety and increased age on visual control of posture and gait.
  • 2014 RIchard Benjamin Trust
    (PI) Project title: Designing serious games for enhancing physical function and social interactivity in older adults
  • 2014 British Academy/Leverhulme
    (PI) British Academy Small Research Grant. Project title: Examining visual search behaviour as a function of movement specific reinvestment in older adults during adaptive walking tasks
  • 2013 Royal Irish Academy
    (PI) Funding research visit to work in the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University. Project title: Using action-sounds to cue stepping actions in Parkinson’s disease patients with freezing of gait.

Publications

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Key publications


Chan DCL, Wong TWL, Zhu FF, Lam CC, Young W, Capio CM, Masters RSW (In Press). Investigating changes in real-time conscious postural processing by older adults during different stance positions using electroencephalography coherence. Experimental Aging Research Full text.
Mak TCT, Young W, Lam WK, Tse ACY, Wong TWL (In Press). The Role of Attentional Focus on Walking Efficiency among Older Fallers and Non-fallers. Age and Ageing Full text.
Ellmers TJ, Cocks AJ, Young WR (2019). Evidence of a link between fall-related anxiety and high-risk patterns of visual search in older adults during adaptive locomotion. J Gerontol a Biol Sci Med Sci Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Ellmers TJ, Cocks AJ, Young WR (2019). Exploring attentional focus of older adult fallers during heightened postural threat. Psychological Research Full text.
Ellmers TJ, Young WR (2019). The influence of anxiety and attentional focus on visual search during adaptive gait. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 45(6), 697-714. Full text.
Doumas M, Morsanyi K, Young WR (2018). Cognitively and socially induced stress affects postural control. Exp Brain Res, 236(1), 305-314. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

Publications by category


Journal articles

Chan DCL, Wong TWL, Zhu FF, Lam CC, Young W, Capio CM, Masters RSW (In Press). Investigating changes in real-time conscious postural processing by older adults during different stance positions using electroencephalography coherence. Experimental Aging Research Full text.
Mak TCT, Young W, Lam WK, Tse ACY, Wong TWL (In Press). The Role of Attentional Focus on Walking Efficiency among Older Fallers and Non-fallers. Age and Ageing Full text.
Ellmers TJ, Cocks AJ, Young WR (2019). Evidence of a link between fall-related anxiety and high-risk patterns of visual search in older adults during adaptive locomotion. J Gerontol a Biol Sci Med Sci Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Ellmers TJ, Cocks AJ, Young WR (2019). Exploring attentional focus of older adult fallers during heightened postural threat. Psychological Research Full text.
Amini A, Banitsas K, Young WR (2019). Kinect4FOG: monitoring and improving mobility in people with Parkinson's using a novel system incorporating the Microsoft Kinect v2. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol, 14(6), 566-573. Abstract.  Author URL.
Ellmers TJ, Young WR (2019). The influence of anxiety and attentional focus on visual search during adaptive gait. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 45(6), 697-714. Full text.
Doumas M, Morsanyi K, Young WR (2018). Cognitively and socially induced stress affects postural control. Exp Brain Res, 236(1), 305-314. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Ellmers TJ, Young WR (2018). Conscious motor control impairs attentional processing efficiency during precision stepping. Gait & Posture, 63, 58-62. Full text.
Mak TCT, Young WR, Chan DCL, Wong TWL (2018). Gait Stability in Older Adults During Level-Ground Walking: the Attentional Focus Approach. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B Full text.
Ellmers TJ, Paraskevopoulos IT, Williams AM, Young WR (2018). Recalibrating disparities in perceived and actual balance abilities in older adults: a mixed-methods evaluation of a novel exergaming intervention. J Neuroeng Rehabil, 15(1). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Uiga L, Capio CM, Ryu D, Young WR, Wilson MR, Wong TWL, Tse ACY, Masters RSW (2018). The Role of Movement Specific Reinvestment in vIsuo-motor Control of Walking by Older Adults. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Keune PM, Young WR, Paraskevopoulos IT, Hansen S, Muenssinger J, Oschmann P, Müller R (2017). Measuring standing balance in multiple sclerosis: Further progress towards an automatic and reliable method in clinical practice. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 379, 157-162.
Ellmers TJ, Machado G, Wong TW-L, Zhu F, Williams AM, Young WR (2016). A validation of neural co-activation as a measure of attentional focus in a postural task. Gait Posture, 50, 229-231. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Young WR, Shreve L, Quinn EJ, Craig C, Bronte-Stewart H (2016). Auditory cueing in Parkinson's patients with freezing of gait. What matters most: Action-relevance or cue-continuity?. Neuropsychologia, 87, 54-62. Abstract.  Author URL.
Ellmers TJ, Cocks AJ, Doumas M, Williams AM, Young WR (2016). Gazing into Thin Air: the Dual-Task Costs of Movement Planning and Execution during Adaptive Gait. PLOS ONE, 11(11), e0166063-e0166063. Full text.
Whyatt C, Merriman NA, Young WR, Newell FN, Craig C (2015). A Wii Bit of Fun: a Novel Platform to Deliver Effective Balance Training to Older Adults. Games Health J, 4(6), 423-433. Abstract.  Author URL.
Keune PM, Cocks AJ, Young WR, Burschka JM, Hansen S, Hofstadt-van Oy U, Oschmann P, Muenssinger J (2015). Dynamic walking features and improved walking performance in multiple sclerosis patients treated with fampridine (4-aminopyridine). BMC Neurology, 15(1).
Young WR, Mark Williams A (2015). How fear of falling can increase fall-risk in older adults: Applying psychological theory to practical observations. Gait & Posture, 41(1), 7-12.
Young W, Williams AM (2015). The multifaceted nature of fear of falling must be considered. The Journal of Physiology
Young WR, Rodger MWM, Craig CM (2014). Auditory observation of stepping actions can cue both spatial and temporal components of gait in Parkinson's disease patients. Neuropsychologia, 57(1), 140-153. Abstract.
Bienkiewicz MMN, Young WR, Craig CM (2014). BALLS TO THE WALL: HOW ACOUSTIC INFORMATION FROM a BALL IN MOTION GUIDES INTERCEPTIVE MOVEMENT IN PEOPLE WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE. NEUROSCIENCE, 275, 508-518. Author URL.
Rodger MWM, Young WR, Craig CM (2014). Synthesis of walking sounds for alleviating gait disturbances in Parkinson's disease. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 22(3), 543-548. Abstract.
Young WR (2014). We need a balanced perspective in Wii-search. Gait & Posture, 39(4), 1156-1157.
Young W, Rodger M, Craig CM (2013). Perceiving and reenacting spatiotemporal characteristics of walking sounds. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 39(2), 464-476.
Bieńkiewicz MMN, Rodger MWM, Young WR, Craig CM (2013). Time to get a move on: Overcoming bradykinetic movement in Parkinson's disease with artificial sensory guidance generated from biological motion. Behavioural Brain Research, 253, 113-120. Abstract.
Young WR, Hollands MA (2012). Evidence for age-related decline in visuomotor function and reactive stepping adjustments. Gait Posture, 36(3), 477-481. Abstract.  Author URL.
Young WR, Wing AM, Hollands MA (2012). Influences of state anxiety on gaze behavior and stepping accuracy in older adults during adaptive locomotion. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci, 67(1), 43-51. Abstract.  Author URL.
Young WR, Hollands MA (2012). Newly acquired fear of falling leads to altered eye movement patterns and reduced stepping safety: a case study. PLoS One, 7(11). Abstract.  Author URL.
Young W, Ferguson S, Brault S, Craig C (2011). Assessing and training standing balance in older adults: a novel approach using the 'Nintendo Wii' Balance Board. Gait Posture, 33(2), 303-305. Abstract.  Author URL.
Thøgersen-Ntoumani C, Barkoukis V, Grano C, Lucidi F, Lindwall M, Liukkonen J, Raudsepp L, Young W (2011). Health and well-being profiles of older European adults. European Journal of Ageing, 8(2), 75-85.
Young WR, Hollands MA (2010). Can telling older adults where to look reduce falls? Evidence for a causal link between inappropriate visual sampling and suboptimal stepping performance. Exp Brain Res, 204(1), 103-113. Abstract.  Author URL.

Publications by year


In Press

Chan DCL, Wong TWL, Zhu FF, Lam CC, Young W, Capio CM, Masters RSW (In Press). Investigating changes in real-time conscious postural processing by older adults during different stance positions using electroencephalography coherence. Experimental Aging Research Full text.
Mak TCT, Young W, Lam WK, Tse ACY, Wong TWL (In Press). The Role of Attentional Focus on Walking Efficiency among Older Fallers and Non-fallers. Age and Ageing Full text.

2019

Ellmers TJ, Cocks AJ, Young WR (2019). Evidence of a link between fall-related anxiety and high-risk patterns of visual search in older adults during adaptive locomotion. J Gerontol a Biol Sci Med Sci Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Ellmers TJ, Cocks AJ, Young WR (2019). Exploring attentional focus of older adult fallers during heightened postural threat. Psychological Research Full text.
Amini A, Banitsas K, Young WR (2019). Kinect4FOG: monitoring and improving mobility in people with Parkinson's using a novel system incorporating the Microsoft Kinect v2. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol, 14(6), 566-573. Abstract.  Author URL.
Ellmers TJ, Young WR (2019). The influence of anxiety and attentional focus on visual search during adaptive gait. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 45(6), 697-714. Full text.

2018

Doumas M, Morsanyi K, Young WR (2018). Cognitively and socially induced stress affects postural control. Exp Brain Res, 236(1), 305-314. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Ellmers TJ, Young WR (2018). Conscious motor control impairs attentional processing efficiency during precision stepping. Gait & Posture, 63, 58-62. Full text.
Mak TCT, Young WR, Chan DCL, Wong TWL (2018). Gait Stability in Older Adults During Level-Ground Walking: the Attentional Focus Approach. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B Full text.
Ellmers TJ, Paraskevopoulos IT, Williams AM, Young WR (2018). Recalibrating disparities in perceived and actual balance abilities in older adults: a mixed-methods evaluation of a novel exergaming intervention. J Neuroeng Rehabil, 15(1). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Uiga L, Capio CM, Ryu D, Young WR, Wilson MR, Wong TWL, Tse ACY, Masters RSW (2018). The Role of Movement Specific Reinvestment in vIsuo-motor Control of Walking by Older Adults. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

2017

Keune PM, Young WR, Paraskevopoulos IT, Hansen S, Muenssinger J, Oschmann P, Müller R (2017). Measuring standing balance in multiple sclerosis: Further progress towards an automatic and reliable method in clinical practice. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 379, 157-162.

2016

Ellmers TJ, Machado G, Wong TW-L, Zhu F, Williams AM, Young WR (2016). A validation of neural co-activation as a measure of attentional focus in a postural task. Gait Posture, 50, 229-231. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Young WR, Shreve L, Quinn EJ, Craig C, Bronte-Stewart H (2016). Auditory cueing in Parkinson's patients with freezing of gait. What matters most: Action-relevance or cue-continuity?. Neuropsychologia, 87, 54-62. Abstract.  Author URL.
Ellmers TJ, Cocks AJ, Doumas M, Williams AM, Young WR (2016). Gazing into Thin Air: the Dual-Task Costs of Movement Planning and Execution during Adaptive Gait. PLOS ONE, 11(11), e0166063-e0166063. Full text.

2015

Whyatt C, Merriman NA, Young WR, Newell FN, Craig C (2015). A Wii Bit of Fun: a Novel Platform to Deliver Effective Balance Training to Older Adults. Games Health J, 4(6), 423-433. Abstract.  Author URL.
Keune PM, Cocks AJ, Young WR, Burschka JM, Hansen S, Hofstadt-van Oy U, Oschmann P, Muenssinger J (2015). Dynamic walking features and improved walking performance in multiple sclerosis patients treated with fampridine (4-aminopyridine). BMC Neurology, 15(1).
Young WR, Mark Williams A (2015). How fear of falling can increase fall-risk in older adults: Applying psychological theory to practical observations. Gait & Posture, 41(1), 7-12.
Young W, Williams AM (2015). The multifaceted nature of fear of falling must be considered. The Journal of Physiology

2014

Young WR, Rodger MWM, Craig CM (2014). Auditory observation of stepping actions can cue both spatial and temporal components of gait in Parkinson's disease patients. Neuropsychologia, 57(1), 140-153. Abstract.
Bienkiewicz MMN, Young WR, Craig CM (2014). BALLS TO THE WALL: HOW ACOUSTIC INFORMATION FROM a BALL IN MOTION GUIDES INTERCEPTIVE MOVEMENT IN PEOPLE WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE. NEUROSCIENCE, 275, 508-518. Author URL.
Rodger MWM, Young WR, Craig CM (2014). Synthesis of walking sounds for alleviating gait disturbances in Parkinson's disease. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 22(3), 543-548. Abstract.
Young WR (2014). We need a balanced perspective in Wii-search. Gait & Posture, 39(4), 1156-1157.

2013

Young W, Rodger M, Craig CM (2013). Perceiving and reenacting spatiotemporal characteristics of walking sounds. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 39(2), 464-476.
Bieńkiewicz MMN, Rodger MWM, Young WR, Craig CM (2013). Time to get a move on: Overcoming bradykinetic movement in Parkinson's disease with artificial sensory guidance generated from biological motion. Behavioural Brain Research, 253, 113-120. Abstract.

2012

Young WR, Hollands MA (2012). Evidence for age-related decline in visuomotor function and reactive stepping adjustments. Gait Posture, 36(3), 477-481. Abstract.  Author URL.
Young WR, Wing AM, Hollands MA (2012). Influences of state anxiety on gaze behavior and stepping accuracy in older adults during adaptive locomotion. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci, 67(1), 43-51. Abstract.  Author URL.
Young WR, Hollands MA (2012). Newly acquired fear of falling leads to altered eye movement patterns and reduced stepping safety: a case study. PLoS One, 7(11). Abstract.  Author URL.

2011

Young W, Ferguson S, Brault S, Craig C (2011). Assessing and training standing balance in older adults: a novel approach using the 'Nintendo Wii' Balance Board. Gait Posture, 33(2), 303-305. Abstract.  Author URL.
Thøgersen-Ntoumani C, Barkoukis V, Grano C, Lucidi F, Lindwall M, Liukkonen J, Raudsepp L, Young W (2011). Health and well-being profiles of older European adults. European Journal of Ageing, 8(2), 75-85.

2010

Young WR, Hollands MA (2010). Can telling older adults where to look reduce falls? Evidence for a causal link between inappropriate visual sampling and suboptimal stepping performance. Exp Brain Res, 204(1), 103-113. Abstract.  Author URL.

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