Neuroplasticity and Motor Behavior Laboratory

Director: Shailesh Kantak PhD, PT

Overview

The main goal of the Neuroplasticity and Motor Behavior Laboratory is to optimize motor recovery and learning in patients with neurological disorders (e.g. stroke, cerebral palsy) through a better understanding of neural plasticity that underlies motor performance, recovery and rehabilitation strategies.

The research in our laboratory encompasses a spectrum from basic science experiments to understand motor behavior in healthy controls and patients at one end to exploring the effects of innovative treatment strategies to augment motor recovery at the other end.

Our research employs motion analyses to characterize and quantify movement strategies as they evolve with motor practice and time in patients with neurological disorders.

Further, we employ noninvasive brain stimulation techniques applied through careful neuronavigation to probe specific brain regions to understand their role in motor learning and recovery. Finally, we use this information to plan innovative strategies to promote learning and recovery in patients with neurological injuries.

Programs of Research
  • Brain-behavior correlates of motor skill learning and transfer following stroke
  • Physiological strategies to improve memory processes for motor skills
  • Practice structure and motor skill learning: role of non-invasive brain stimulation.
  • Bimanual coordination after stroke: effect of task constraints and practice (with Steve Jax, PhD)
  • Pain modulation with noninvasive brain stimulation (with Scott Stackhouse PhD, PT)
People
Research Assistants:
  • Robert McGrath
  • Nazaneen Zahedi