Dr Federico Villagra Povina

BSc (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain); MSc (Birmingham University); PhD (Birmingham University)

Dr Federico Villagra Povina

Lecturer in Exercise and Health Physiology

Contact Details


Federico received a BSc in Sport Sciences (INEF) from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (Spain) & completed an MSc by research at Birmingham University in the area of human muscle Physiology. He completed his PhD thesis in the area of Motor Control of human tremors in health & disease in 1995, then moved to the University of Kansas Medical Centre where he undertook his first Post-doctoral Fellowship with Dr William C. Koller in the area of controlling tremor in Parkinson's Disease.

Between 1997 & 2002 Federico worked at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne with Professor Janet Eyre & Simon Miller to investigate how peripheral or central nervous system damage early in life can affect subsequent brain development & lead to abnormal patterns of brain organisation & function. Between 2003 & 2007 Federico worked at the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland (USA) as a Research Assistant Professor. Concurrently he working as an investigator in the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins University where he collaborated with Drs Hanley, Luft, Macko & others in understanding the principles & mechanisms underlying upper & lower extremity stroke rehabilitation & contributing to provide a scientific basis for treating this population & other neurological disabilities with exercise as main factor of recovering motor function.

Between 2007 & 2012 Federico worked at the University of Navarra in Pamplona investigating the recovery of movement control after strokes & in Parkinson's Disease using neuroimaging & non-invasive neurophysiological techniques (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation)&exercise as a therapy. Between 2013 & 2015 he contributed to establishing a new area in Sport Medicine at the Clinic University of Navarra (Spain) where the principle of "Exe

Additional Information

My teaching currently is on the Principles of the cardiorespiratory system related to health and disease. I am also teaching Research Methods to First and Second Year students of Exercise Sciences. I am currently doing a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching in Higher Education (PGCTHE) at Aberystwyth University.

Cardiovascular Physiology and Research Methods (Statistics); Research in the area of Neuroscience (Motor Control in health and Diseases) and Exercise Medicine (Prevention and treatment of chronic diseases with Exercise).

My research interest are in the area of Motor control in health and disease and in the application of Exercise as a form of Medicine to prevent and treat chronic diseases.



Trade-off between frequency and precision during stepping movements: Kinematic and BOLD brain activation patternsMartínez, M., Valencia, M., Vidorreta, M., Luis, E. O., Castellanos, G., Villagra, F., Fernández-Seara, M. A. & Pastor, M. A. 2016 In : Human Brain Mapping.37, 5, p. 1722-173716 p.
Effects of Small-Sided Games vs. Interval Training in Aerobic Fitness and Physical Enjoyment in Young Elite Soccer PlayersLos Arcos, A., Vázquez, J. S., Martín, J., Lerga, J., Sánchez, F., Villagra, F. & Zulueta, J. J. 2015 In : PLoS One.10, 9, e0137224
MRI-compatible device for examining brain activation related to steppingMartinez, M., Villagra, F., Loayza, F., Vidorreta, M., Arrondo, G., Luis, E., Diaz, J., Echeverria, M., Fernández-Seara, M. A. & Pastor, M. A. 2014 In : IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging.33, 5, p. 1044-105310 p.
Feasibility study of a wearable system based on a wireless body area network for gait assessment in Parkinson's disease patientsCancela, J., Pastorino, M., Arredondo, M. T., Nikita, K. S., Villagra Povina, F. & Pastor, M. A. 2014 In : Sensors.14, 3, p. 4618-463315 p.
Cortical hypoperfusion in Parkinson's disease assessed using arterial spin labeled perfusion MRIFernández-Seara, M. A., Mengual, E., Vidorreta, M., Aznárez-Sanado, M., Loayza, F. R., Villagra, F., Irigoyen, J. & Pastor, M. A. 2012 In : NeuroImage.59, 3, p. 2743-27508 p.
Gait assessment in Parkinson's disease patients through a network of wearable accelerometers in unsupervised environmentsCancela, J., Pastorino, M., Arredondo, M. T., Pansera, M., Pastor-Sanz, L., Villagra, F., Pastor, M. A. & Gonzalez, A. P. 2011 In : Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.2011, p. 2233-64 p.
Assessment of Bradykinesia in Parkinson's disease patients through a multi-parametric systemPastorino, M., Cancela, J., Arredondo, M. T., Pansera, M., Pastor-Sanz, L., Villagra, F., Pastor, M. A. & Martin, J. A. 2011 In : Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.2011, p. 1810-34 p.
Reliability of TMS motor evoked potentials in quadriceps of subjects with chronic hemiparesis after strokeWheaton, L. A., Villagra, F., Hanley, D. F., Macko, R. F. & Forrester, L. W. 2009 In : Journal of the Neurological Sciences.276, 1-2, p. 115-1173 p.
Treadmill exercise activates subcortical neural networks and improves walking after stroke: a randomized controlled trialLuft, A. R., Macko, R. F., Forrester, L. W., Villagra, F., Ivey, F., Sorkin, J. D., Whitall, J., McCombe-Waller, S., Katzel, L., Goldberg, A. P. & Hanley, D. F. 2008 In : Stroke.39, 12, p. 3341-335010 p.
Intracortical inhibition and facilitation with unilateral dominant, unilateral nondominant and bilateral movement tasks in left- and right-handed adultsMcCombe Waller, S., Forrester, L., Villagra, F. & Whitall, J. 2008 In : Journal of the Neurological Sciences.269, 1-2, p. 96-1049 p.
Brain activation of lower extremity movement in chronically impaired stroke survivorsLuft, A. R., Forrester, L., Macko, R. F., McCombe-Waller, S., Whitall, J., Villagra, F. & Hanley, D. F. 2005 In : NeuroImage.26, 1, p. 184-19411 p.
Abnormal corticospinal function but normal axonal guidance in human L1CAM mutationsDobson, C. B., Villagra, F., Clowry, G. J., Smith, M., Kenwrick, S., Donnai, D., Miller, S. & Eyre, J. A. 2001 In : Brain.124, 12, p. 2393-2340614 p.
Evidence of activity-dependent withdrawal of corticospinal projections during human developmentEyre, J. A., Taylor, J. P., Villagra, F., Smith, M. & Miller, S. 2001 In : Neurology.57, 9, p. 1543-5412 p.
Accuracy of reported family histories of essential tremorBusenbark, K., Barnes, P., Lyons, K., Ince, D., Villagra, F. & Koller, W. C. 1996 In : Neurology.47, 1, p. 264-2652 p.
Shooting performance is related to forearm temperature and hand tremor sizeLakie, M., Villagra, F., Bowman, I. & Wilby, R. 1995 In : Journal of Sports Sciences.13, 4, p. 313-3208 p.
The effect of alcohol on physiological tremorLakie, M., Frymann, K., Villagra, F. & Jakeman, P. 1994 In : Experimental Physiology.79, 2, p. 273-2764 p.
Limb temperature and human tremorsLakie, M., Walsh, E. G., Arblaster, L. A., Villagra, F. & Roberts, R. C. 1994 In : Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.57, 1, p. 35-428 p.
Metabolic cost and efficiency in two forms of squatting exercise in children and adultsVillagra, F., Cooke, C. B. & McDonagh, M. J. N. 1993 In : European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology.67, 6, p. 549-5535 p.