Faculty Profile

Alex Santos

Alex Santos

Associate Professor, Physical Therapy, Director of Motor Control Laboratory

Email: alex.santos@umontana.edu
Office: SB 106
Personal Website

Current Position

Assistant Professor

Director of Motor Control and Human Anatomy Laboratories



PT 510 - Clinical Applied Human Anatomy

PT 573 Orthopedics


Post-doctoral scholar – The Arizona State University, Arizona, USA

Ph.D. in Kinesiology, 2008. The Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, USA

M.Sc. Motricity Science – Human Motricity, 2001. Paulista State University of Sao Paulo, Rio Claro, Brazil (UNESP/RC)

Residence in trauma and orthopedic rehabilitation, 1999. University of Sao Paulo/Medicine School, Ribeirao Preto, Brazil (FMRP/USP)

B.Sc. Physiotherapy, 1998. State University of Londrina, Londrina, Brazil (UEL)

Research Interests

The focus of my research agenda is to investigate the effects of aging and neurodegenerative conditions (Parkinson’s, Peripheral Neuropathy) to the generation multi-muscle synergies and distribution of neural commands from the central nervous system (CNS) to skeletal muscles that are responsible for the control of vertical posture. This expertise is used clinically to assess the ability of an individual to coordinate muscles to a sufficient degree to prevent falls and fall-related injuries in specific populations (elderly, Parkinson’s patients, and Native Americans suffering of peripheral polyneuropathy, survivors of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and stroke (CVAs).

Selected Publications

  • Poston B, Danna-Dos Santos A, Jesunathadas M, Hamm TM, Santello M. Force-independent distribution of correlated neural inputs to hand muscles during three-digit grasping. J Neurophysiol. 2010 May 26. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Degani AM, Danna-Dos-Santos A, Robert T, Latash ML. Kinematic synergies during saccades involving whole-body rotation: a study based on the uncontrolled manifold hypothesis. Hum Mov Sci. 2010 Apr;29(2):243-58.
  • Klous M, Danna-dos-Santos A, Latash ML. Multi-muscle synergies in a dual postural task: evidence for the principle of superposition. Exp Brain Res. 2010 Apr;202(2):457-71.
  • Danna-Dos-Santos A, Shapkova EY, Shapkova AL, Degani AM, Latash ML. Postural control during upper body locomotor-like movements: similar synergies based on dissimilar muscle modes. Exp Brain Res. 2009 Mar;193(4):565-79.
  • Danna-dos-Santos A, Degani AM, Latash ML. Flexible muscle modes and synergies in challenging whole-body tasks. Exp Brain Res. 2008 Aug;189(2):171-87.
  • Danna-dos-Santos A, Degani AM, Zatsiorsky VM, Latash ML. Is voluntary control of natural postural sway possible ?. Journal of Motor Behavior, 2008 May;40(3):179-85.
  • Danna-dos-Santos A, Degani AM, Latash ML. Anticipatory control of head posture. Clinical Neurophysiology 18(8):1802-14, 2007.
  • Danna-Dos-Santos A, Slomka K, Zatsiorsky VM, Latash ML. Muscle modes and synergies during voluntary body sway.  Experimental Brain Research 179(4):533-50, 2007.
  • Degani AM, Danna-Dos-Santos A, Latash ML. Postural preparation to making a step: Is there a “motor programme” for postural preparation ? Journal of Applied Biomechanics (in press).
  • Degani AM, Danna-Dos-Santos A. The effect of water walking on the lower limb motion of older adults. International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education 1(3):198-210, 2007.
  • Degani AM, Danna-Dos-Santos A. Spatio-temporal parameters and interlimb coordination in older adults when walking in shallow water. The Journal of Aquatic Physical Therapy 14(1): 2-7, 2006
  • Danna-dos-Santos A, Barela, J.A. Walking abnormalities in diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy and transmetatarsal amputation. (In Portuguese). Brazilian Journal of Biomechanics 5:21-29, 2002.
  • Bonfim TR, Danna-dos-Santos A, Barela JA. Body sway and functional behavior of subtalar joint in patients with chronic ankle sprain. (In Portuguese). Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy 6:17-23, 2002.
  • Danna-dos-Santos A et al. The question of quality nutrition: a study based on the methodology of problematization. (In Portuguese). Semina 16:22-25, 1995.

Home Department

School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science 

Area of Expertise

Effects of Aging and Neurodegenerative Condtions; Motor Control