The Institute of Movement Science - E.J. Marey (ISM)

Over the past ten years, the ISM has developed a renowned expertise in the multidisciplinary approach to the mechanisms underlying complex motor behavior and cognition, physiology, sociology and biomechanics. ISM also has expertise in the field of virtual reality, biomimicry and biorobotics. ISM focuses on the study of movement from different scientific approaches. The laboratory’s main area of research concerns the study and modeling of human movement.

The originality of the research carried out at the ISM is that  behavior is considered as a reference base to study the subjacent mechanisms and the role of various origins constraints (neural, cognitive, muscular, energetic, skeletal, environmental, mechanical) at multiple levels of observation, i.e. from the neuromuscular junction to complex individual and collective behavior.
In this perspective, constraints and mechanisms are considered either separately or in jointly, according to disciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches.
To support its projects, ISM has acquired highly technical equipment for movement analysis and its (neuro)physiological, biomechanical and muscular principles.
This equipment can be combined with virtual reality and paired with embedded and mobile sensors, developed and customized by specialized engineers of the lab to study ecologically valid behaviors.
ISM has five high-tech platforms.

The Mediterranean Virtual Reality Centre (CRVM) leads the field in the study of human movement through interactive immersive techniques, and is a well known resources center for scientific and industrial applications.

The Aix-en-Provence Technology Platform promotes innovation and technology transfer in the field of (bio)mechanics.

A flight arena has also been built for research in biorobotics, with the financial support of Robotex, the French national association of robotics platforms.

The MECABIO platform: in the service of companies for the benefit of patients. This platform enables mechanical characterization tests to be carried out on any types of materials, biomaterials or biological materials.

The most recent platform, TechnoSport, has been  established to combine high-level sports with scientific research to enhance athlete performances, but also to gain insights into more vulnerable populations (obese, elderly people) to improve health and quality of life.

ISM works with various clusters (poles of competitivity). Its research is supported by long-term corporate partnerships through university chairs (Oxylane for sports equipment industry, PSA for automotive industry, Eurocopter for aerospace industry and AG2R to design training situation tests in order to prevent the risk of falls and the decline of cognitive-motor functions).