Jesse V. Jacobs, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Movement Science

Jesse JacobsOffice: 306A Rowell
Phone: (802) 656-8647

As a member of the Human Motion Analysis Laboratory in the Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science, Dr. Jesse Jacobs investigates the neural mechanisms that underlie human posture and movement, with and without disease or injury. Methods include the use of electroencephalography (EEG) to record movement-related brain activation, electromyography (EMG) to record muscle activation patterns, kinematics to record a person's movement, and kinetics to record the forces produced by a person's movement. Specific populations of interest include people with musculoskeletal injury (low back pain), the elderly, and people with neurological disorders (such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis). In understanding the neural control and dyscontrol of posture and movement, Jesse then seeks to translate knowledge of these sensory-motor control mechanisms to evidence-based diagnostic tests and rehabilitation strategies that target the identified neural impairments of posture and movement in hopes of improving health and independent function. Graduate students who are interested in work with Dr. Jacobs can apply to the doctoral program in the UVM Neuroscience Graduate Program. Dr. Jacobs was a member of the Neuroscience, Behavior and Health (NBH) working group and welcomes transdisciplinary collaborations among students and program faculty.


Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Vermont, 2008
Post-Doctoral Fellow Short-Term Foreign Researcher, Kanazawa University, 2008
Ph.D., Oregon Health & Science University, Neuroscience, 2006
B.A., Neuroscience, The Colorado College, 2000

Courses Taught

EXMS 240 - Motor Skill Learning & Control
EXMS 254 - Neural Control of Movement
NSCI 302 (was ANNB 302) - Neuroscience (motor neuroanatomy sections)
RMS 095 (also WFB 185) - Human & Wildlife Motion & Gait (co-taught with Mike Kessler)
PT 295 - Independent Study

Research Interests
Selected Publications

Jacobs JV (2014) Why we need to better understand the cortical neurophysiology of impaired postural responses with age, disease, or injury. Front Integr Neurosci. 8:69. (Article)

Smith BA, Jacobs JV, Horak FB (In Press) Effects of Amplitude Cueing on Postural Responses and Preparatory Cortical Activity of People with Parkinson’s Disease. J Neurol Phys Ther. (Abstract)

Kasser SL, Jacobs JV (2014) Understanding and treating balance impairment in multiple sclerosis. J Clin Outcomes Manag. 21(9):419-432. (Abstract)

Jacobs JV, Nutt JG, Carlson-Kuhta P, Allen R, Horak FB (2014) Dual Tasking During Postural Stepping Responses Increases Falls But Not Freezing in People With Parkinson's Disease. Parkinsonism Relat Disord 20:779-781. (Abstract)

Kasser SL, Jacobs JV, Littenberg B, Foley JT, Cardinal BJ, Maddalozzo GF (2014) Exploring Physical Activity in Women with Multiple Sclerosis: Associations with Fear of Falling and Underlying Impairments. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 93:461-469. (Abstract)

Lomond KV, Henry SM, Jacobs JV, Hitt JR, Horak FB, Cohen RG, Schwartz D, Dumas JA, Naylor MR, Watts R, DeSarno MJ (2013) Protocol to assess the neurophysiology associated with multi-segmental postural coordination. Physiol Meas 34:N97-N105.(Abstract)

Smith BA, Jacobs JV, Horak FB (2012). Effects of magnitude and magnitude predictability of postural perturbations on preparatory cortical activity in older adults with and without Parkinson's disease. Exp Brain Res 222:455-470. (Abstract)

Padgett PK, Jacobs JV, Kasser SL (2012). Is the BESTest at its best? A suggested brief version based on inter-rater reliability, validity, internal consistency, and theoretical construct. Phys Ther. 92:1197-1207 (Abstract)

Jacobs JV, Kasser SL. Balance impairment in people with multiple sclerosis: Preliminary evidence for the Balance Evaluation Systems Test. Gait Posture 36:414-418. (Abstract)

Jacobs JV, Kasser SL. Effects of dual tasking on the postural performance of people with and without multiple sclerosis: a pilot study. J Neurol. 259:1166-1176 (Abstract)

Jacobs JV, Yaguchi C, Kaida C, Irei M, Naka M, Henry SM, Fujiwara K (2011) Effects of experimentally induced low back pain on the sit-to-stand movement and electroencephalographic contingent negative variation. Exp Brain Res. 215:123-134.(Abstract)

Kasser SL, Jacobs JV, Foley JT, Cardinal BJ, Maddalozzo GF (2011) A Prospective Evaluation of Balance, Gait, and Strength to Predict Falling in Women With Multiple Sclerosis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 92:1840-1846. (Abstract)

Jacobs JV, Henry SM, Jones SL, Hitt JR, Bunn JY (2011) A history of low back pain associates with altered electromyographic activation patterns in response to perturbations of standing balance. J Neurophysiol. 106:2506-2514. (Abstract)

Jacobs JV, Henry SM, Nagle KJ (2010) Low back pain associates with altered activity of the cerebral cortex prior to arm movements that require postural adjustment. Clin Neurophysiol 121:431-440. (Abstract)

Fujiwara K, Asai H, Toyama H, Kunita K, Yaguchi C, Kiyota N, Tomita H, Jacobs, JV (2010) Changes in muscle thickness of gastrocnemius and soleus associated with age and sex. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research 22:24-30. (Abstract)

Jacobs JV, Horak FB, Lou JS, Kraakevik JA (2009) The supplementary motor area contributes to the timing of the anticipatory postural adjustment during step initiation in participants with and without Parkinson's disease. Neuroscience164:877-885. (Abstract)

Jacobs JV, Henry SM, Nagle KJ (2009). People with chronic low back pain exhibit decreased variability in the timing of their anticipatory postural adjustments. Behav Neurosci 123: 455-458. (Abstract)

Jacobs JV, Nutt JG, Carlson-Kuhta P, Stephens MJ, Horak FB (2009) Knee trembling during freezing of gait represents multiple anticipatory postural adjustments. Exp Neurol 215:334-341. (Abstract)

Jacobs JV, Horak FB, Fujiwara K, Tomita H, Furune N, Kunita K (2008) Changes in the activity of the cerebral cortex relate to postural response modification when warned of a perturbation. Clin Neurophysiol 119:1431-1442. (Abstract)

Jacobs JV, Horak FB (2007) Cortical control of postural responses: a review. J Neural Trans 114:1339-1348. (Abstract)

Jacobs JV, Horak FB (2007) External postural perturbations induce multiple anticipatory postural adjustments when subjects cannot pre-select their stepping foot. Exp Brain Res 179:29-42. (Abstract)

Jacobs JV, Horak FB, Nutt JG, Tran VK (2006) Multiple balance tests improve the assessment of postural stability in subjects with Parkinson’s disease. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 77:322-326. (Abstract)

Jacobs JV, Horak FB, Nutt JG, Tran VK (2006) An alternative clinical postural stability test for patients with Parkinson’s disease. J Neurol 253:1404-1413. (Abstract)

Jacobs JV, Horak FB (2006) Abnormal proprioceptive-motor integration contributes to hypometric postural responses of subjects with Parkinson’s disease. Neuroscience 141:999-1009. (Abstract)

Jacobs JV, Dimitrova DM, Nutt JG, Horak FB (2005) Can stooped posture explain multi-directional postural instability in patients with Parkinson’s disease? Exp Brain Res 166, 78-88. (Abstract)

Research Grants
Scholarships & Awards
Past & Present Professional Affiliations

International Society for Posture and Gait Research
Movement Disorders Society
Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society
Society for the Neural Control of Movement
Society for Neuroscience, Vermont Chapter
Society for Neuroscience