Our lab studies the mechanisms of neural plasticity in the sensorimotor system. We use both human and rodent models to examine translational questions at multiple levels, including behavioral, cellular, and circuits. We are particularly interested in understanding how the brain and spinal cord circuits interact and remodel to support learning in the intact nervous system and “relearning” after stroke. We use this knowledge to develop novel therapies to promote motor recovery in stroke patients. Our lab uses a variety of multimodal techniques including simultaneous brain-spinal cord fMRI, paired-pulse stimulation, and robotic training. In rodents, we use optogenetic fMRI for cell-type specific stimulation and visualization of neural circuits.

 PI: Shahab Vahdat, Ph.D.

 Research Highlights

  • Conducting studies to understand neuroplasticity in the spinal cord and the descending pathways in motor learning and stroke recovery
  • Specialized in optogenetic fMRI and rodent models of ischemic stroke to casually examine neuroplasticity in specific sensorimotor pathways
  • Recent publications in high impact journals such as Journal of Neuroscience, eLife, PLOS Biology, Cerebral Cortex, and Stroke