Eugene Goldfield, PhD
|Hospital Title||Staff Scientist|
|Academic Title||Assistant Professor of Psychology|
300 Longwood Avenue
Pavillion 159 and
CLS 5, Wyss Institute Motion Capture Lab
Boston, MA 02115
My basic research examines the development of sensorimotor control in typically developing infants and infants who sustain brain injury around the time of birth. Our translational research involves designing, building and testing medical devices that may promote more typical sensorimotor development in prematurely born infants, specifically in oral-motor skills and mobility.
My lab has been conducting research in a number of areas of sensorimotor control. One question we are addressing is why premature infants often have feeding problems. We are using clinical recordings of swallowing based upon videofluoroscopy (an imaging technique using low-powered X-rays) to measure timing of tongue and other movements. We have found that during feeding, the mouth works like a pump. In premature infants, the parts of the pump (tongue, lips, pharynx) are not well coordinated, and so swallowing is poorly timed with breathing. A translational research project that follows from this research is attempting to help infants learn to better coordinate sucking, breathing and swallowing. We have developed a new medical device, called the active bottle, which regulates the flow of milk based upon bottle sensors that detect the infant's behavior.
A second question of interest is why premature infants with early brain injury may fail to develop typical motor skills such as walking or using their hands to manipulate objects. With our motion-capture system, we are recording three-dimensional images of body movements for sophisticated quantitative analysis. Our work suggests that premature infants are not able to adequately explore what their bodies are able to do, and so may not develop the neuromotor connections that are the basis for skills such as walking and reaching. A translational research project is developing a new medical device designed to promote exploratory behavior, consisting of a programmable fabric-like material with embedded sensors and synthetic muscle-like elements. By wearing the device at the joints of body segments, premature infants with brain injury may progress along a more typical developmental trajectory.
A sequence of motion frames of a normally kicking baby's legs (shown in blue and green), illustrating changing joint angles at the hip and knee.
About Eugene Goldfield
Eugene C. Goldfield did his undergraduate work at the City University of New York and received a PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Connecticut. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in a project that allowed him to both conduct infant research on sensorimotor development and study neuroanatomy. He has taught at Brown University and Connecticut College, and has received research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the National Science Foundation and CIMIT.
In addition to his appointment in the Department of Psychiatry, Goldfield is Associate Faculty at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and holds an appointment in the Department of Neonatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He currently holds U.S. patents and has other patents pending for his medical device work. He has been a Yale-Mellon Faculty Fellow, has received a National Research Service Award from National Institute of Mental Health and has received the first Children's Hospital Technology Development Award.
- Goldfield E, Park Y-L, Chen B-R et al. Bio-inspired design of soft robotic assistive devices: The interface of physics, biology, and behavior. Ecological Psychology, 2012, In Press.
- Stephen D, Hsu W-H, Young D, Saltzman E, Holt KG, Newman DJ, Weinberg M, Wood RJ, Nagpal R, Goldfield E. Chos, Fractals, and Solitons, 2012, In Press.
- Wehner M, Park Y-L, Walsh C, Nagpal R, Wood R, Moore T, Goldfield E. Experimental characterization of components for active soft orthotics. Proceedings of the 4th IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, 2012, In Press.
- Goldfield EC, Buonomo C, Fletcher K, Perez J, Margetts S, Hansen A, Smith V, Ringer S, Richardson MJ, Wolff P. Premature infant swallowing: Patterns of tongue-soft palate coordination based upon videofluoroscopy. Infant Behavior and Development. 2010;33:209-218.
- Goldfield EC, Richardson MJ, Lee KG, Margetts, S. Coordination of sucking, swallowing, and breathing and oxygen saturation during early infant breast-feeding and bottle-feeding. Pediatric Research. 2006;60(4):450-455.
For a list of Eugene C. Goldfield's publications PubMed, click here.