MRRI Launches Annual Newsletter

The Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute recently published the inaugural issue of its annual newsletter, MRRI Letters. Highlighting the Institute’s accomplishments and successes from the past year, the newsletter tells the story of 2018 at MRRI.

This first issue includes a message from the Institute’s incoming Director, Dylan Edwards, PhD; a reflection from the former Director, John Whyte, MD, PhD; as well as feature stories on some of MRRI’s focus areas during the past year. Stories included features about grants awarded for research in stroke recovery, “naming impairment” in aphasia, and Traumatic Brain Injury treatments, just to name a few.

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MRRI Launches Research Virtual Reality Lab

Virtual reality headsets have the power to transport their wearers into new 3D environments and can even make them believe they have new bodies.  The realism that these “avatars” create can help provide insight into how that brain perceives space, imitates movement, and controls the body. MRRI recently launched a new effort, called the Virtual Reality Lab, to assist researchers interested in exploring the impact of VR in studies of rehabilitation treatment.

In this video, Laurel Buxbaum, PsyD, Associate Director of the MRRI and Aaron Wong, PhD, director of the Cognitive-Motor Learning Laboratory, discuss two research projects currently underway at the VR lab.

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Relieving Phantom Limb Pain Using Virtual Reality

Many people who have lost a leg or arm experience a persistent sensation known as a “phantom limb”, which can be associated with debilitating pain. Current therapies fall short of bringing relief to most of these individuals, but recent research using virtual reality equipment is showing promise.

In this video, MRRI Associate Director Laurel Buxbaum, PsyD, explains the reearch and results so far.

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NIH Funding Renewed for MRRI Postdoctoral Training Program

Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI) has been awarded a 5-year renewal on its NIH-funded training grant entitled, “Postdoctoral Training in Translational Neurorehabilitation Research.” The grant is directed by John Whyte, MD, PhD, co-founder and former director of MRRI.

This is the only rehabilitation-focused institutional training program currently funded by the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR). The program offers mentored research training to individuals who have recently completed their PhD or MD degrees and wish to pursue careers in research that focus on understanding and treating cognitive and motor impairments that result from neurologic injury or disease. Continue Reading



Dylan Edwards Steps into Role as MRRI Director

Dylan Edwards, PhD, MRRI’s new director, has big visions for the institute’s future—which he sees as being just as bright as its prestigious past. Taking over for retiring director and co-founder John Whyte, MD, PhD, Edwards comes to MRRI from the Weill Cornell Medicine-affiliated Burke Neurological Institute in White Plains, NY. Dr. Edwards’ research has primarily focused on non-invasive brain stimulation and the use of robotics in recovery from stroke and spinal cord injury. At MRRI, he’ll find ways to continue his research while helping steer MRRI to new heights in the coming years. Continue Reading



Understanding How People Plan and Execute Skilled Movements

Aaron L. Wong, PhD, an institute scientist at the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, studies how people gain the ability to perform skilled actions – the movements exhibited, for example, by professional athletes, dancers and musicians – as a model for how individuals might recover movement abilities following neurological disorders or stroke.

In this video, he discusses his research using a robotic arm to understand how motivation in the form of reward can be used to help people more efficiently reduce their movement errors.
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