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Paul Yielder, PhD - University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Oshawa, ON, CA

Paul Yielder, PhD Paul Yielder, PhD

Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences | University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Oshawa, ON, CANADA

Internationally renowned neuroscientist rethinks cognitive and sensory impairment to reduce pain and fatigue



Hand-eye co-ordination is one of the most basic functions we rely on to complete daily tasks. Our ability to perform various tasks with this can be altered by sensory input. Sensorimotor integration (SMI) is the brain’s ability to use sensory information from the body to formulate appropriate outputs to muscles, and plasticity is the brain’s ability to change in response to training. Dr. Paul Yielder’s latest research focuses on the use of eye tracking and electroencephalography (EEG) systems and advanced medical imaging methods to study how SMI and brain plasticity are impacted by altered sensory input. His collaborative work examines neck pain and fatigue, as well as experimentally induced pain, and the use of preferred and non-preferred limbs when learning to perform new movements. This will lead to enhancements in workplace and technology design, reduce injury risk and strengthen workplace performance.

An Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr. Yielder’s complex research agenda explores anatomy, neuroscience and neuropsychiatry within the framework of advanced clinical imaging techniques, specifically in the area of structural and functional MRI. One of the world’s authorities on functional neuroimaging, he has been studying the brain’s response to cognitive and sensory input in a clinical and academic setting originating in New Zealand for more than 30 years. Here, he served as an accredited examiner for the College of Radiographers while he was a senior lecturer in Medical Imaging programs at Unitec Auckland. He was co-responsible for the development of the Bachelor of Health Science (Medical Imaging) and Master of Health Science (Medical Imaging) degrees.

A firm believer in reinventing himself, Dr. Yielder joined UOIT in 2007 and has served as Assistant Professor, Director of Health Science Programs and Associate Dean. He completed his Doctorate in Neuromechanics, Movement Science and Bio Signalling, and Imaging Technology in 2009 at the International Doctoral School, University of Aalborg in Denmark, with prior attachment to the State Classical Academy in Moscow, Russia. A Graduate Certificate in Theoretical and Practical Education in Earth and Biological Sciences from the Durham University School of Education in England initiated his early career in teaching. When his interest shifted to health care, he earned his Graduate Diploma in Radio Diagnostic Imaging from the Society and College of Radiographers in London, England.

Industry Expertise (5)

Advanced Medical Equipment


Health and Wellness

Program Development


Areas of Expertise (12)

Anatomical Modelling

Computed Tomography


Musculoskeletal MRI


Neuromuscular Physiology



Performance Asymmetry


Theoretical Medical Radiations Science

Ultrasound Imaging

Accomplishments (2)

Professor, Medical Radiations Practice Board of Australia (professional)

Dr. Yielder holds an adjunct role which includes New Zealand.

Accredited Academic and Clinical Professor, Australian Health Practitioners Registration Agency (professional)

Dr. Yielder holds advanced PhD designations in teaching, research and supervision. He is responsible for the development and quality assurance of clinical capability frameworks.

Education (4)

International Doctoral School, University of Aalborg, Denmark: PhD, Neuromechanics, Movement Science, Imaging Technology 2009

University of Auckland, New Zealand: Ad Eundum Statum BEd Honours, Education 1991

Society and College of Radiographers, London, UK: Graduate Diploma, Radio Diagnostics 1976

Durham University School of Education: Graduate Certificate, Theoretical and Practical Education - Earth and Biological Sciences 1974

Affiliations (7)

  • College of Radiographers (London, UK)
  • Australasian Society of Human Biology
  • International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
  • International Society of Electromyography and Kinesiology
  • Alumni Association, University of Durham, North East England
  • State Classical Academy Moscow Russia
  • Australian Institute of Radiography

Languages (3)

  • English
  • Dutch
  • Conversational French

Media Appearances (1)

Three university professors awarded new funding for cutting-edge research

UOIT News  online


Innovative research at University of Ontario Institute of Technology will get a major boost thanks to a new investment by the Government of Canada. The research focuses on diverse areas of study, including energy grid security, workplace safety and the health risks of prolonged sitting.

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Event Appearances (2)

Neuromechanics and Human Tissue Modelling using Advanced Medical Imaging Modalities

Imaging Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Intelligent Systems Man and Cybernetics Society  Deakin University, Geelong, Australia


Lymph Node Imaging Using Integrated Magnetic Resonance, Positron Emission Tomography and Fluorescence Techniques in Translation from Animal Studies to Human Participant Clinical Trials

Centre for Molecular and Medical Research Centre  Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia


Patents (1)

Assessment of Viscoelastic Properties of Skin and Muscle

RU 8575


Dr. Yielder collaborated on the development of an automated-viscoelastometer to measure muscle and tendon elasticity.

Research Grants (4)

Eye-Link II Tracking and Ego My Lab Systems to Study Multi-Sensory Integration

Canada Foundation for Innovation, John Evans Leader’s Fund Amount $64676


Dr. Yielder is co-investigator of this research project which uses eye tracking and electroencephalography (EEG) systems to study how Sensorimotor integration (SMI) and brain plasticity are impacted by altered sensory input. He is exploring neck pain and fatigue, experimentally induced pain, and the use of preferred and non-preferred limbs when learning to perform new movements. His critical research will help improve workplace and technology design to reduce injury risk and enhance work performance.

Influence of Altered Sensory Input and Cortical Asymmetry on Movement Induced Plasticity

NSERC Discovery Grant $125000


This six-year Discovery Grant addresses how extraneous sensory stimuli influence whether movement induced plasticity is adaptive or maladaptive. Hand dominance or laterality is a model of lifelong use-dependent plasticity and this grant also seeks to understand how motor control differences between the Dominant (Dom) and non-dominant (Non Dom) limbs influences the potential for adaptive or maladaptive plasticity in response to motor training

Influence of Altered Sensory Input and Cortical Asymmetry on Movement Induced Plasticity

NSERC Discovery Grant $40000


This initial Discovery Grant established a sequence of studies to support the broader and longer-term scientific program currently funded by NSERC that furthers our understanding of the relationship between altered sensory input, cortical asymmetry and movement induced neural plasticity.

The Effects of a Single Session of Chiropractic Care on Brain Source Connectivity

Australian Spinal Research Foundation and Hamblin Trust $106000


As a co-investigator of this two-year research project, Dr. Yielder aims to uncover the mechanisms and levels of required mechanism to evidence the effects of a single session of chiropractic care on brain source connectivity.

Courses (3)

Advanced Topics in Neuromuscular Physiology/Pathophysiology

HLSC 4414U, 4th Year Undergraduate Course

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Neuroscience in Rehabilitation Kinesiology

HLSC 5320G, Graduate Course

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Theory, Application and Analysis of Biomedical Signals

HLSC 5322G, Graduate Course

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Articles (9)

The Interactive Effect of Acute Pain and Motor Learning on Sensorimotor Integration and Motor Learning Outcomes Journal of Neurophysiology


Previous work has demonstrated differential changes in early somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) when motor learning acquisition occurred in the presence of acute pain; however, the learning task was insufficiently complex to determine how these underlying neurophysiological differences impacted learning acquisition and retention.

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The Effect of Local Versus Remote Experimental Pain on Motor Learning and Sensorimotor Integration Using a Complex Typing Task Pain: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain


Recent work demonstrated that capsaicin-induced acute pain improved motor learning performance; however, baseline accuracy was very high, making it impossible to discern the impact of acute pain on motor learning and retention. In addition, the effects of the spatial location of capsaicin application were not explored.

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Manipulation of Dysfunctional Spinal Joints Affects Sensorimotor Integration in the Prefrontal Cortex: A Brain Source Localization Study Neural Plasticity


Studies have shown decreases in N30 somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) peak amplitudes following spinal manipulation (SM) of dysfunctional segments in subclinical pain (SCP) populations. This study sought to verify these findings and to investigate underlying brain sources that may be responsible for such changes.

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Time Course of Corticospinal Excitability Changes Following a Novel Motor Training Task Neuroscience Letters


Motor learning is known to take place over several days, and there are a number of studies investigating the time course of improvements in motor performance, yet only a limited number that have investigated the time course of neurophysiological changes that accompany motor learning. The aim of this study was to investigate the time course of changes to corticospinal excitability, following novel motor training in the dominant hand, during two sessions of motor training and testing.

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Somatosensory Evoked Potentials Show Plastic Changes Following a Novel Motor Training Task with the Thumb Clinical Neurophysiology


Accumulating evidence indicates that plastic changes can be maladaptive in nature, resulting in movement and neurological disorders. The aim of this study was to further the understanding of these neurophysiological changes in sensorimotor integration (SMI) using somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) and concurrent performance changes following a repetitive typing task.

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Do Pursuit Movement Tasks Lead to Differential Changes in Early Somatosensory Evoked Potentials Related to Motor Learning Compared with Typing Tasks? Journal of Neurophysiology


Central nervous system (CNS) plasticity is essential for development; however, recent research has demonstrated its role in pathology, particularly following overuse and repetition. Previous studies investigating changes in sensorimotor integration (SMI) have used relatively simple paradigms resulting in minimal changes in neural activity, as determined through the use of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs). This study sought to utilize complex tasks and compare separate motor paradigms to determine which one best facilitates long-term learning.

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The Effect of Experimental Pain on Motor Training Performance and Sensorimotor Integration Experimental Brain Research


Experimental pain is known to affect neuroplasticity of the motor cortex as well as motor performance, but less is known about neuroplasticity of somatosensory processing in the presence of pain. Early somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) provide a mechanism for investigating alterations in sensory processing and sensorimotor integration (SMI). The overall aim of this study was to investigate the interactive effects of acute pain, motor training, and sensorimotor processing.

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A Novel Protocol to Investigate Motor Training-Induced Plasticity and Sensorimotor Integration in the Cerebellum and Motor Cortex Journal of Neurophysiology


Our group set out to develop a sensitive technique, capable of detecting output changes from the posterior fossa following a motor acquisition task. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was applied over the right cerebellar cortex 5 ms in advance of test stimuli over the left cerebral motor cortex (M1), suppressing test motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) recorded in a distal hand muscle.

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TMS Stimulus–Response Asymmetry in Left- and Right-Handed Individuals Experimental Brain Research


There have been inconsistencies in the literature regarding asymmetrical neural control and results of experiments using TMS techniques. Therefore, the aim of this study was to further our understanding of the neural relationships that may underlie performance asymmetry with respect to the distal muscles of the hand using a TMS stimulus–response curve technique.

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