Research and Outreach
The ISYS was founded by the Michigan Legislature in 1978. The current mission of the Institute is to provide leadership, conduct scientific research and engage in service or outreach that transforms the face of youth sports in ways that maximize the beneficial physical, psychological and social effects of participation for children and youth while minimizing detrimental effects. Directed by Dan Gould, Ph.D.
Through a collaboration between the Departments of Kinesiology and Epidemiology, the Center for Physical Activity and Health (CPAH) partners with businesses, organizations, and industries to help develop policy initiatives related to promoting a healthier lifestyle. Our aim is to position MSU as a leader for impacting the lives of Michigan and U.S. citizens in terms of appropriate physical activity intervention strategies. Directed by James Pivarnik, Ph.D.
The Health Behaviors and Cognition Laboratory (HBCL) is focused on gaining a greater understanding of the neurological mechanisms underlying the relationship between health-oriented behaviors and cognition, and the translation of this relationship to scholastic achievement. Directed by Matt Pontifex, Ph.D.
Originally established in 1953, the Human Energy Research Laboratory (HERL) continues a long tradition of cutting edge research investigating the anatomical and physiological effects of various types, intensities, and durations of physical activity with the primary goal of enhancing human health and well being. Directed by James Pivarnik, Ph.D.
Research in the Motor Neuroscience Laboratory (MNL) uses behavioral and neurophysiological techniques to address questions about brain mechanisms underlying human motor control. Although the lab is primarily oriented towards basic research, knowledge gained in this research is relevant in the context of understanding motor learning processes, and rehabilitation of motor disorders. Directed by Florian Kagerer, Ph.D.
The Physical Activity Laboratory (PAL) is focused on the measurement of physical activity in pediatric populations and the development of longitudinal school-based and family-based interventons to increase physical activity. Directed by Karin Pfeiffer, Ph.D.
The Social Processes in Physical Activity Laboratory (SPPAL) is focused on generating deeper understanding of social and motivational processes within sport, physical education, and other youth physical activity contexts. Recent work has also examined physical activity as a way to address social, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms in young children with ADHD. We employ a social and developmental psychology vantage and conduct interdisciplinary research with colleagues in neuroscience, motor control, and clinical psychology. Directed by Alan L. Smith, Ph.D.
The Sport-Related Concussion Laboratory (SRCL) is focused on the neurocognitive function of athletes who incur a sports-related concussion. Specifically, investigating sex and age related differences in the long-term recovery of concussed athletes. This research has implications for sports medicine professionals regarding the neurocognitive status of athletes, critical to establishing safe return to participation. Directed by Tracey Covassin, Ph.D.
The Sports Skills Program (SSP) provides opportunities for participation in sport and physical activities to children and adults with disabilities through the coaching efforts of our undergraduate students in our Adapted Physical Activity course (KIN 465). For more information, please visit the Sports Skills
page. Directed by George Harnick, M.S.
Started in 1967, the Motor Performance Longitudinal Database provides semi-annually collected data from over 1200 participants on measures assessing physical growth, biological maturity, and motor skill acquisition in children and youths.