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Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation modality that delivers diffuse, low level amplitudes of current to the surface of the cortex. When tDCS is paired with rehabilitation it can potentially accelerate and enhance motor recovery for patients with stroke. In order to optimize the pairing of tDCS with other neuromodulatory rehabilitative interventions (i.e. functional electrical stimulation), it's important to understand how two neuromodulatory interventions interact. Our lab aims to understand and optimize the interaction between two neuromodulatory interventions through neuroscience principals of GATING, HEBBIAN PLASTICITY and HOMEOSTATIC NEUROPLASTICITY. Further, tDCS not only directly impacts the site of stimulation, but also has distal effects through the CONNECTOME. Our lab aims to optimize the delivery of tDCS in order to target subcortical nuclei via the connectome. 


Spinal Cord Injury

Previous work indicates that even in clinically classified motor complete spinal cord injury patients, most cases still demonstrate axonal sparing across the lesion. In some cases, patients can produce volitional muscle signal below the level of injury. Our lab aims to investigate the cortical contributions of volitional muscle activity below the level of injury and whether the reliability of volitional control can be improved by pairing transcranial magnetic stimulation with motor intention. The goal of these investigations is to improve volitional control in order to use the muscles below the level of injury as a novel signal source for neuroprosthetic control. 


Basic Neurophysiology

(Brain, Fatigue, and Muscle Performance)

Interhemispheric communication and central fatigue play a significant role in several disorders of the central nervous system. Evidence suggests interhemispheric communication can be maladaptive or adaptive, and central nervous system disorder-related fatigue is due to impaired neural transmission originating from the motor cortex. The basis of these investigations is to better understand how the two hemispheres work with and against each other in order to achieve the same goal, as well as central nervous system performance during muscle exertion. Our lab aims to understand these two abnormalities in patients with central nervous system disorders in order to develop rehabilitation protocols to mitigate maladaptive plasticity. 

Neurophys RESEARCH
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