Neuroplasticity and Motor Behavior Laboratory

Director: Shailesh Kantak PhD, PT


Motor function after neuromuscular disorders such as stroke relies on lesion-driven deficits in cognitive-motor function and reorganization of the residual brain networks for goal-directed actions. The guiding principle of our research is that theory-driven understanding of motor behavior and underlying neurophysiology will provide insights crucial for rehabilitation of individuals with neuromuscular disorders. Our research 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. We use detailed kinematic and kinetic analyses of goal-directed actions, neuroimaging using transcranial magnetic stimulation and magnetic resonance imaging, and standardized measures of motor and cognitive function to delineate brain-behavior relationship for motor control and learning. Our work is funded by the National Institutes of Health and Albert Einstein Society.

Programs of Research

  • Bimanual coordination in goal-directed actions
  • Perceptual-motor interaction for bimanual coordination after stroke (collaborators: George Wittenberg and Steven Jax)
  • Practice structures and motor skill learning (Collaborators: Nicolas Schweighofer, Carolee Winstein)
  • Cognitive-motor interactions for arm use after stroke (Collaborators: Laurel Buxbaum)
  • Neuromodulation for motor performance and learning
  • Pain and motor control (Collaborators: Ryan Zarzycki and Scott Stackhouse)


Research Assistants:

  • Tessa Johnson
  • William Marsh