Human Sensory Motor Neuroplasticity and Motor Learning

Our research focuses on basic scientific questions about human sensory and motor systems. The primary goal of our work is to increase our understanding of the organization of the nervous system.

Experiments in our lab are focused on how the brain controls voluntary movement, and how neuroplasticity in sensory and motor brain areas supports motor skill learning.

In our empirical studies we use robotic devices to create artificial mechanical environments, and we study how participants learn new mappings between muscle activation patterns (as measured using EMG) and arm movement. We use neurophysiological and neuroimaging techniques such as TMS, EEG, and fMRI to test hypotheses about how the nervous system supports sensorimotor learning. We also conduct theoretical studies using computational models and computer simulations to test hypotheses about motor control, neuroplasticity and motor learning.

Research on how the nervous system supports motor skill learning is important not only for our basic scientific understanding of the brain but also could have an impact in applied domains including robotics and brain-machine interfaces. Basic research into the brain could also have an impact in clinical settings like stroke rehabilitation, in which a greater understanding of motor learning may aid in the development of novel treatment approaches.

For a description of research projects underway in the lab, see the Research page.

For a full list of publications see the Publications page.

My lab is in The Brain and Mind Institute at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada.

I am also a Senior Scientist at Haskins Laboratories in New Haven, CT, USA where David Ostry and I run a research group focused on basic questions in human sensory and motor function and motor learning.