Alexander Nowicky

Dr Alexander Nowicky

Senior Lecturer/ Programme leader MSc Neurorehabilitation - Physiotherapy

Room: Mary Seacole Building 3/21
Brunel University London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1895 268813

About Alexander

Academic qualifications

Senior Lecturer and Programme leader MSc Neurorehabilitation.

  • Bachelors Arts and Sciences (Chemistry), Northwestern University, Evanston Illinois USA.
  • PhD (Biomedical Sciences and Neuroscience), Kent State University, Kent, Ohio USA.
  • PGCHE Post graduate Certificate in Higher Education, Middlesex University, Enfield, UK.


Committee responsibilities

  • MSc Neurorehabilitation Course Committee
  • Post-graduate Taught programmes  committee
  • PhD research committee
  • Research ethics committee

Teaching responsibilities

  • Module leader ( M level):
  • HH55018 Functional Neuroscience for Rehabilitation
  • HH55017 Neurophysiological Basis for Rehabilitation of Movement
  • HH55022 Research Design

Other contributed teaching:

  • HH5609 Approaches to  Research (M level)
  • HH2601 Neurorehabilitation (Physiotherapy)

MSc dissertation supervision

Dissertation coordinator for MSc Neurorehabilitation

Laboratory based MSc Neurorehabilitation dissertation projects utilizing noninvasive brain stimulation techniques and electromyography to study voluntary control of movement in health and disease.

PhD supervision

James Ashworth Beaumont  (2013) (Brunel Isambard Scholar) – The effect of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation on spatial motor skill learning in spinal cord injured and healthy humans.

Rachel Sumner (2012) - Can differences in hemispheric lateralisation predict prognosis in HIV-1?

Sofia Lampropoulou (2010) The Relationship between Perception of Effort and Physiological Responses to an Acute Fatiguing Task of the Elbow Flexors. Evaluation of a New Rating Scale of Perception of Effort.

Emma Hawkes (2005) Changes in excitability of human inspiratory muscles following acute loaded and non-loaded inspiratory manoeuvres studied using magnetic stimulation techniques.


Research interests

My primary research area is in the use of noninvasive brain stimulation techniques to study human voluntary control of movement and neuroplasticity. Noninvasive brain stimulation involves either the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and direct current electrical stimulation (tDCS) and are used to examine motor learning and plasticity. These techniques are combined with the use of surface electromyography and are deployed to study changes in movement control in health and disease. Such stimulation techniques are applied over the scalp to activate underlying cortical areas. As these techniques are safe, noninvasive, and painless, these techniques are making important contributions to study of human motor neuroplasticity and cognitive function. Applications are far reaching and include possible use in neurorehabilitation following brain insult or injury, where together with conventional therapies they may enhance recovery of function. 

Current research projects include the application of these techniques in:

  • Perception of effort changes in acute and chronic fatigue
  • Short and long term adaptations to whole body vibration for training and rehabilitation
  • Aging related changes in motor control system
  • Enhancing motor skill performance in healthy and incomplete spinal cord injury
  • Pain relief in spinal cord injury

Coordinator - Motor control laboratory (Mary Seacole Building 006)  equipped with:

Single, paired and repetitive TMS devices

  • Direct current electrical stimulators
  • PC based data acquisition systems
  • Signal conditioners
  • Force transducers
  • Multi-channel surface electromyography system


  • Dr. Adrian Williams- Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Psychology, Brunel University
  • Mr. Maurizio Belci – National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury UK
  • Dr. Jo Corbett- Sport Sciences,  Portsmouth University


Research centres



Journal articles

Lampropoulou, S.  and Nowicky, AV.   (2014)   'Perception of Effort Changes following an Isometric Fatiguing Exercise of Elbow Flexors'. Motor Control, 18 (2).  pp. 146 - 164. doi: 10.1123/mc.2013-0010 

Sumner, RC. , Nowicky, AV. , Parton, A. , Wylock, C. , et al.   (2013)   'Prospective Relationship between Hemispheric Lateralisation and CD4+ T Cells in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type I.'. Neuroimmunomodulation, 21 pp. 31 - 36. doi: 10.1159/000355350 

Lampropoulou, S.  and Nowicky, AV.   (2013)   'The effect of transcranial direct current stimulation on perception of effort in an isolated isometric elbow flexion task'. Motor Control, 17 (4).  pp. 412 - 426. Download publication 

Ashworth-Beaumont, J.  and Nowicky, AV.   (2013)   'A new method for tracking of motor skill learning through practical application of Fitts’ law'. Journal ofMotor Behavior, 45 (3).  pp. 181 - 193. doi: 10.1080/00222895.2013.778813 Download publication 

Lampropoulou, SI. , Nowicky, AV.  and Marston, L.   (2012)   'Magnetic versus electrical stimulation in the interpolation twitch technique of elbow flexors'. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 11 (4).  pp. 709 - 718. 

Sumner, R. , Parton, A. , Nowicky, AV. , Kishore, U.  and Gidron, Y.   (2011)   'Hemispheric lateralisation and immune function: A systematic review of human research'. Journal of Neuroimmunology, 240-241 pp. 1 - 12. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2011.08.017 Download publication 

Katikaneni, K.  and Nowicky, A.   (2008)   'A study to explore the predictive validity of performance-orientated assessment of mobility (POAM) for falls in older people'. Agility, 2 (Winter).  pp. 5 - 9. 

Ross, EZ. , Nowicky, AV.  and McConnell, AK.   (2007)   'Influence of acute inspiratory loading upon diaphragm motor-evoked potentials in healthy humans'. Journal of Applied Physiology, 102 (5).  pp. 1883 - 1890. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00694.2006 

Hawkes, EZ. , Nowicky, AV.  and McConnell, AK.   (2007)   'Diaphragm and intercostal surface EMG and muscle performance after acute inspiratory muscle loading'. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, 155 (3).  pp. 213 - 219. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2006.06.002 

Ross, EZ. , Middleton, N. , Shave, R. , George, K.  and Nowicky, A.   (2007)   'Corticomotor excitability contributes to neuromuscular fatigue following marathon running in man'. Experimental Physiology, 92 (2).  pp. 417 - 426. doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.2006.035972 

O'Connell, NE. , Maskill, DW. , Cossar, J.  and Nowicky, AV.   (2007)   'Mapping the cortical representation of the lumbar paravertebral muscles'. Clinical Neurophysiology, 118 (11).  pp. 2451 - 2455. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2007.08.006 Download publication 

Davey, NJ. , Rawlinson, SR. , Nowicky, AV. , McGregor, AH. , et al.   (2004)   'Human corticospinal excitability in microgravity and hypergravity during parabolic flight'. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 75 (4).  pp. 359 - 363. 

Davey, NJ. , Puri, BK. , Catley, M. , Main, J. , et al.   (2003)   'Deficit in motor performance correlates with changed corticospinal excitability in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome'. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 57 (4).  pp. 262 - 264. 

Cariga, P. , Catley, M. , Nowicky, AV. , Savic, G. , et al.   (2002)   'Segmental recording of cortical motor evoked potentials from thoracic paravertebral myotomes in complete spinal cord injury'. Spine, 27 (13).  pp. 1438 - 1443. doi: 10.1097/00007632-200207010-00013 

Davey, NJ. , Lisle, RM. , Loxton-Edwards, B. , Nowicky, AV.  and McGregor, AH.   (2002)   'Activation of back muscles during voluntary abduction of the contralateral arm in humans'. Spine, 27 (12).  pp. 1355 - 1360. 

Zaman, R. , Puri, BK. , Main, J. , Nowicky, AV.  and Davey, NJ.   (2001)   'Corticospinal inhibition appears normal in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome'. Experimental Physiology, 86 (5).  pp. 547 - 550. doi: 10.1113/eph8602244 

Nowicky, AV. , McGregor, AH.  and Davey, NJ.   (2001)   'Corticospinal control of human erector spinae muscles.'. Motor control, 5 (3).  pp. 270 - 280. 

Parkin, S. , Nowicky, AV. , Rutherford, OM.  and McGregor, AH.   (2001)   'Do oarsmen have asymmetries in the strength of their back and leg muscles?'. Journal of Sports Sciences, 19 (7).  pp. 521 - 526. doi: 10.1080/026404101750238971 

Tunstill, SA. , Wynn-Davies, AC. , Nowicky, AV. , McGregor, AH.  and Davey, NJ.   (2001)   'Corticospinal facilitation studied during voluntary contraction of human abdominal muscles'. Experimental Physiology, 86 (1).  pp. 131 - 136. doi: 10.1113/eph8602071 

Nowicky, A. , Davey, NJ.  and Zaman, R.   (2001)   'Somatotopy of perceptual threshold to cutaneous electrical stimulation in man'. Experimental Physiology, 86 (1).  pp. 127 - 130. doi: 10.1113/eph8602086 

Davey, NJ. , Puri, BK. , Nowicky, AV. , Main, J.  and Zaman, R.   (2001)   'Voluntary motor function in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome'. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 50 (1).  pp. 17 - 20. doi: 10.1016/S0022-3999(00)00211-7 

Nowicky, AV. , Cariga, P.  and Davey, NJ.   (2000)   'Corticospinal input to paraspinal muscles innervated from the thoracic spinal cord in man'. JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-LONDON, 523 pp. 287P - 288P. 

Conference papers

Ashworth-Beaumont, J.  and Nowicky, AV.   (2013)   'Efficacy of Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation in rehabilitation of motor hand function in chronic incomplete spinal cord injury may depend on sensory impairment: A pilot study.' , 5th Annual Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Conference Univ. Leipzig on March 19-21. Univ. of Leipzig,Germany. - 21 March. Elsevier, pp. e114 - e115. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2013.04.183 

Kakoura, E. , Baka, K. , Katsoulaki, M. , Dang, M. , et al.   (2013)   'Age-related differences on the enhancement of non- dominant hand motor function after parallel intervention of anodal tdcs and motor task: a TMS study.' . England. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092558.31 

Ashworth-Beaumont, J.  and Nowicky, AV.   (2012)   'Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation modifies development of a spatial motor skill in healthy adult humans' , The Physiological Society. Edinburgh. 

Ashworth-Beaumont, J.  and Nowicky, AV.   (2011)   'Choose the main course: defining a practical menu of single pulse TMS outcome measures for clinical research.' , British Neuroscience Association Biennial Meeting. Harrogate,U.K. 17 - 20 April. [unpublished].  

Kalyviotis, M. , Nowicky, A. , Lepoura, A.  and Kapetan-Theologou, E.   (2008)   'Effect of low frequency somatosensory rTMS on motor cortical excitability following mirror drawing practice (Abstract)' . 

Hawkes, EZ. , Nowicky, A.  and McConnell, A.   (2006)   'Does the Intensity of Prior Inspiratory Effort Affect Subsequent Inspiratory Muscle Function in a Dose-Dependent Manner?' . LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, pp. S38 - S38. doi: 10.1249/00005768-200605001-00177 

Hawkes, EZ. , Nowicky, A.  and McConnell, A.   (2005)   'Inspiratory Mouth Pressures And Motor Evoked Potentials Following Non-fatiguing Inspiratory Loading' . LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, pp. S333 - S333. doi: 10.1097/00005768-200505001-01713 

Nowicky, AV. , Strutton, PH. , Catley, M.  and Davey, NJ.   (2002)   'Post-exercise depression of corticospinal excitability is lateralised in human leg muscles' , Conference of the Physiological-Society. UNIV LIVERPOOL, LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND. 8 - 11 July. CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS, pp. 89P - 89P. 


Sumner, RC. , Nowicky, AV. , Parton, A. , Wylock, C. , et al.   (2012)  The relation between hemispheric lateralisation and measures of immune competence and adherence in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1).  [Poster] Exhibited at. 17th International Symposium on HIV and Emerging Infectious Diseases (ISHEID), Marseille, France, 23-25 May 2012, 25/ 5/ 2012

Lampropoulou, S.  and Nowicky, AV.   (2011)  Perceived effort changes reported on the 0–10 NRS following submaximal isometric fatiguing exercise of elbow flexors.  [Poster] 

Page last updated: Monday 02 September 2013