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Dr Elmar Kal

Dr Elmar Kal
Lecturer in Physiotherapy


I gained my BSc (2011) and MSc (2012; cum laude) degrees from the Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands). I subsequently worked on a PhD project in which he investigated implicit motor learning in people after stroke. In this collaborative project, I gained experience with a range of study designs (RCT, systematic reviews, questionnaire validation), measurement techniques (e.g. EMG, 3D motion registration) and statistical approaches (e.g. regression-, meta-, and factor analysis). Towards the end of my PhD, I also worked as Lecturer in Movement Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, leading a 2nd-year BSc module on Pathology of Movement and teaching on evidence-based practice. I additionally worked as researcher at the chronic pain unit of Rehabilitation Centre Heliomare.I moved to London in March 2019, to take up my current position as Research Fellow at Brunel. I am currently in charge of the posture and gait lab, with my current research focusing on the topic of falls in older adults and neurological populations. I am mostly interested in the influence of cognitive and psychological factors on postural stability during standing and walking in these populations. This requires the use of different measurement techniques to parcel out the complex mechanisms governing healthy and pathological balance control. Ultimately my goal is to use this knowledge to improve the effectiveness of specific motor learning interventions (e.g. implicit learning) to target specific impairments in posture and gait in these populations.


PhD in Movement Sciences / Neuropsychology, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands); 2018MSc (cum laude), Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands); 2012


- Module lead of Dissertation module, pre-reg MSc Physiotherapy- Manager of gait- and posture-lab, Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Clinical Sciences, 

Newest selected publications

Kal, E., Prosée, R., Winters, M. and Van Der Kamp, J. (2018) 'Does implicit motor learning lead to greater automatization of motor skills compared to explicit motor learning? A systematic review'. PLoS ONE, 13 (9). pp. e0203591 - e0203591. ISSN: 1932-6203 Open Access Link

Journal article

Kal, E., Houdijk, H., van der Kamp, J., Verhoef, M., Prosée, R., Groet, E., et al. (2018) 'Are the effects of internal focus instructions different from external focus instructions given during balance training in stroke patients? A double-blind randomized controlled trial'. Clinical Rehabilitation, 33 (2). pp. 207 - 221. ISSN: 0269-2155 Open Access Link

Journal article

Kal, E., Winters, M., Van Kamp, JD., Houdijk, H., Groet, E., Bennekom, C. and et al. (2016) 'Is implicit motor learning preserved after stroke? A systematic review with meta-analysis'. PLoS ONE, 11 (12). pp. e0166376 - e0166376. ISSN: 1932-6203 Open Access Link

Journal article

Kal, EC., Van Der Kamp, J. and Houdijk, H. (2013) 'External attentional focus enhances movement automatization: A comprehensive test of the constrained action hypothesis'. Human Movement Science, 32 (4). pp. 527 - 539. ISSN: 0167-9457

Journal article
More publications(4)