Professor, School of Health and Exercise Sciences

Fipke 320
phone: 2508078858
    • 1987: B.P.E. – University of British Columbia
    • 1990: M.P.E. – University of British Columbia
    • 1994: Ph.D. – University of Calgary


My research focuses on gaining a better understanding of how the human brain is able to plan and execute body movements. We study this broad question in both healthy participants as well as in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to sports concussion or intimate partner violence. For this purpose, we use a suite of state-of-the-art equipment including the following:

For our basic science research, we address questions related to the  predictive processes underlying motor planning and how they are implemented in the brain. For the clinically oriented research, we are focusing on the cerebrovascular, sensorimotor, neurocognitive and blood biomarker impacts of TBI following concussion. We make use of behavioural experiments to address these issues and examine how the resulting deficits are related to changes in the underlying physiology and microstructural integrity in the brain. Finally, we use our basic and clinical findings to drive applied research aimed at better understanding TBI in the context of intimate partner violence (see our recent TEDx Kelowna talk on this topic).

Current Lab Members:

Recent Lab Alumni:


Last 5 years

van Donkelaar, P., Dierijck, J., Wright, A.D., Smirl, J.D. (2018) A history of concussion does not lead to an increase in ocular near point of convergence. International Journal of Sports Medicine, in press.

Wright, A.D., Smirl, J.D., Bryk, K., Jakovac, M., van Donkelaar, P. (2018) A prospective transcranial Doppler ultrasound-based evaluation of the effects of repetitive subconcussive head trauma on neurovascular coupling dynamics. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, in press.

Hermosillo, R.J.M., Carmody, J., Ugoalah, N., Lee, J.-H., Binsted, G., van Donkelaar, P. (2017) Motor planning influences the perceived timing of vibrotactile stimuli in an amplitude-dependent manner. Journal of Motor Behavior, 49: 172-178.

Shultz, S.R., McDonald, S.J., Vonder Haar, C., Meconi, A., Vink, R., van Donkelaar, P., Taneja, C., Iverson, G.L., Christie, B.R. (2017) The potential for animal models to provide insight into mild traumatic brain injury: Translational challenges and strategies. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 76: 396-414.

Wright, A.D., Smirl, J.D., Bryk, K., van Donkelaar, P. (2017) A prospective transcranial Doppler ultrasound-based evaluation of the acute and cumulative effects of sport-related concussion on neurovascular coupling response dynamics. Journal of Neurotrauma, doi: 10.1089/neu.2017.5020.

Wright, A.D., Jarrett, M., Vavasour, I., Shahinfard, E., Kolind, S, van Donkelaar, P., Taunton, J., Li, D., Rauscher, A. (2016) Myelin water fraction is transiently reduced after a single mild traumatic brain injury but not following repetitive subclinical head trauma. PLoS One, 11: e0150215.

Lo, O.-Y., van Donkelaar, P., Chou, L.-S. (2015) Distracting visuospatial attention during the approach to an obstacle leads to decreased toe-obstacle clearance. Experimental Brain Research, 233: 1137-1144.

Marsden, K., Strachan, N., Smith, K., Monteleone, B., Ainslie, P., Iverson, G., van Donkelaar, P. (2015) Exercise-induced increases in cerebral blood flow velocity contribute to headache exacerbation following concussion. Current Research: Concussion, 2: 17-21.

Colino F.L., Buckingham, G., Cheng, D.T., van Donkelaar, P., Binsted, G. (2014) Tactile gating in a reaching and grasping task. Physiological Reports, e00267, DOI: 10.1002/phy2.267.

Gardner, A., Tan, C.O., Ainslie, P.N. van Donkelaar, P., Stanwell, P., Levi, C.R., Iverson G.L. (2014) Cerebrovascular reactivity assessed by transcranial Doppler ultrasound in sport-related concussion: A systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2014-093901.

Mayr, U., LaRoux, C., Rolheiser, T., Osternig, L.R., Chou, L.-S., & van Donkelaar, P. (2014) Executive dysfunction assessed with a task-switching task following concussion. PLoS One, e91379, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091379.

Ritterband-Rosenbaum, A., Hermosillo, R., Kroliczak, G., & van Donkelaar, P. (2014) Hand position dependent modulation of errors in vibrotactile temporal order judgments: The effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation to the human posterior parietal cortex. Experimental Brain Research, 232: 1689-1698.

Cameron, B.D., Cheng, D.T., Chua, R., van Donkelaar, P., Binsted, G. (2013) Error expectation and real-time control of reaching. Experimental Brain Research, 229: 359-372.

Howell, D. Osternig, L., van Donkelaar, P., Chou, L.-S. (2013) Neuropsychological and attentional testing following sport concussion in adolescents. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45:1030-1037.