The driving force for this project reflects the need to develop scientifically grounded, empirically tested, and accessible therapies that maximize rehabilitation outcomes for restoring hand function after stroke. The candidate's short-term goal is to test a set of novel interventions, grounded in principles of neuroscience and motor learning, in reducing impairment &increasing hand function after stroke. His long-term goal is to make these interventions broadly accessible to stroke patients in environments beyond the clinic. Research project: Reinstating hand function (finger individuation, precision grip, &force production) is most daunting and least addressed after stroke. The candidate will couple specific visual feedback in virtual reality with impairment type to test if: 1) focusing visual feedback only to pertinent movement errors will restore finger individuation, 2) 'proper'visual feedback time-locked to motor commands will operantly shape better hand coordination patterns, and 3) virtual mirror visual feedback can reduce hand paresis. Career development plan: The candidate has a strong background as a basic scientist (motor control) &physical therapist. This mentored project will enable him to develop into an independent clinical researcher. He will train intensely in 6 areas: 1) stroke pathology, 2) motor learning applications to stroke, 3) virtual reality as a therapy delivery tool, 4) TMS as a neuroplasticity assay tool, 5) grantsmanship, and 6) biostatistics in clinical research. Research environment: The resources &support at UMDNJ &Columbia (the candidate's &mentor's institutions) is outstanding. UMDNJ has freed the candidate from teaching to devote at least 80% of his time to the project &3 days/week at the mentor's lab. World recognized experts will make up the mentorship team. These ingredients should put him in a unique position to develop into a strong &independent clinical researcher. Public Health Relevance: The multidisciplinary project is a merger of biomedical engineering, rehabilitation, neuroscience, and motor learning. Knowledge gained will have far reaching implications in public health by: 1) describing the potential for brain reorganization after stroke, 2) making intervention more accessible to stroke patients (by adapting this method to a home-based system), and 3) improving the quality of empirically-proven rehabilitation.
|Saleh, Soha; Adamovich, Sergei V; Tunik, Eugene (2014) Mirrored feedback in chronic stroke: recruitment and effective connectivity of ipsilesional sensorimotor networks. Neurorehabil Neural Repair 28:344-54|
|Tunik, Eugene; Saleh, Soha; Adamovich, Sergei V (2013) Visuomotor discordance during visually-guided hand movement in virtual reality modulates sensorimotor cortical activity in healthy and hemiparetic subjects. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng 21:198-207|
|Bagce, Hamid F; Saleh, Soha; Adamovich, Sergei V et al. (2013) Corticospinal excitability is enhanced after visuomotor adaptation and depends on learning rather than performance or error. J Neurophysiol 109:1097-106|
|Grafton, Scott T; Tunik, Eugene (2011) Human basal ganglia and the dynamic control of force during on-line corrections. J Neurosci 31:1600-5|