Shailesh Kantak PhD, PT

Institute Scientist
Director, Neuroplasticity and Motor Behavior Laboratory
Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Arcadia University.
Shailesh Kantak PhD, PT

Dr. Kantak is an institute scientist at MRRI and directs the Neuroplasticity and Motor Behavior Laboratory. He is trained as a physical therapist with specialization in neurologic physical therapy and holds a PhD in Biokinesiology from the University of Southern California.

He received his postdoctoral training from Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and University of Maryland Advanced Neuromotor Rehabilitation research Training (UMANRRT) fellowship.

His research goal is to harness the understanding of motor learning and neuroplasticity to design and test novel interventions in patients with neurologic injuries.

His research spans a spectrum from basic understanding of behavioral and neural mechanisms of motor control and motor learning to testing effects of innovative interventions for motor problems in patients with brain injuries.

His research uses behavioral methods in conjunction with motion analyses, electromyography (EMG) and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques administered with neuronavigation system. Finally, he is also keen in dissemination of scientific information to the clinicians for effective translation from research laboratory to the clinic.


Research Interests
  • Behavioral and neurophysiological mechanisms of motor skill learning
  • Brain-behavior relationship for bimanual coordination


Dutta A, Krishnan C, Kantak SS, Ranganathan R, Nitsche MA. Recurrence quantification analysis of surface electromyogram supports alterations in motor unit recruitment strategies by anodal transcranial direct current stimulation. Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2015 Mar 19. PMID: 25791041


Burtner PA, Leinwand R, Goh H, Sullivan KJ, Kantak SS. (2014). Motor Learning in Children with Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy: Feedback effects on skill acqusiton Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. Mar;56(3):259-66 PMID: 24438099

Krishnan C, Ranganathan R, Kantak SS, Dhaher YY, Rymer WZ. (2014). Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation alters elbow flexor muscle recruitment strategies. Brain Stimul. May-Jun;7(3):443-50. PMID: 24582369

Massie CL, Kantak SS, Narayanan P, Wittenberg GF. (2014). Timing of motor cortical stimulation during planar robotic training differentially impacts neuroplasticity in older adults. Clin Neurophysiol. Sep 16. pii: S1388-2457(14)00482-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2014.06.053. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25283712


Tretriluxana J, Kantak S, Tretriluxana S, Wu AD, Fisher BE. (2013). Low frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to the non-lesioned hemisphere improves paretic arm reach-to-grasp performance after chronic stroke. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. Dec 17. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 23244391

Kantak SS, Jones-Lush LM, Narayanan P, Judkins TN, Wittenberg GF. (2013) Rapid Plasticity of motor cortex with robotic reach training. Neuroscience. May 11;247C:55-64. PMID: 23669007

Massie CL, Narayanan P, Kantak SS, Jones-Lush LM, Judkins TN, Wittenberg GF. (2013). Effects of Motor Cortical Stimulation during Planar Reaching. Journal of Rehabilitation Robotics, 1, 42-53


Goh HT, Sullivan KJ, Kantak SS (2012). Movement pattern and parameter learning in children: effects of feedback frequency. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sports. Jun;83(2):346-52 PMID: 22808721

Kantak SS, Mummidisetty CK, Stinear JW. (2012). Primary motor and premotor cortex in implicit sequence learning – evidence for competition between implicit and explicit human motor memory systems. Eur J Neurosci. Jul 4. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2012.08175.x. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 22758604

Krishnan C, Ranganathan R, Kantak SS, Dhaher YY, Rymer WZ. (2012). Active robotic training improves locomotor function in a stroke survivor. J Neuroeng Rehabil. Aug 20;9(1):57.

Kantak SS, Wittenberg GF, Liao WW, Magder LS, Rogers MW, Waller SM. (2012). Posture-related modulations in motor cortical excitability of the proximal and distal arm muscles. Neurosci Lett. 2012 Nov 2. doi:pii: S0304-3940(12)01416-4. 10.1016/j.neulet..10.048. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23123777


Kantak SS, Stinear JW, Buch ET and Cohen LG. (2011). Rewiring the brain: Potential role of the premotor cortex in motor control, learning and recovery of function following brain injury. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair published online 16 September 2011 PMID: 21926382

Kantak SS, Sullivan KJ, Fisher BE, Knowlton BJ and Winstein CJ. (2011). Transfer of motor learning engages specific neural substrates during consolidation that depend on practice structure. Journal of Motor Behavior, Nov;43(6):499-507). PMID: 22150021

Kantak SS, and Winstein CJ. (2011). Learning-Performance distinction and memory processes for motor skills: A focused review and perspective. Behavioral Brain Research. Mar 1;228(1):219-31. PMID: 22142953


Kantak SS, Sullivan KJ, Fisher BE, Knowlton BJ and Winstein CJ. (2010). Neural substrates of Motor memory consolidation depend on practice structure. Nature Neuroscience, 13:923-925.

Kantak SS, Fisher BE, Sullivan KJ and Winstein CJ. (2010). Effects of different doses of low frequency rTMS on motor corticospinal excitability. Journal of Neurology and Neurophysiology


Sullivan, KJ, Kantak SS and Burtner PA. (2008). Motor Learning in Children: Feedback effects on skill acquisition. Physical Therapy. Jun; 88(6):720-32. PMID: 18339797


Chien-Ho (Janice) Lin, Allan D Wu, Shailesh Kantak, Katherine J Sullivan, Carolee J Winstein. The effect of task practice order in motor skill learning for adults with Parkinson’s disease. Physical Therapy. 2007 Sep; 87(9):1120-31. PMID: 17609332