Neuroscience and Rehabilitation Laboratory
General Laboratory Description
Dr. Philip directs the Neuroscience and Rehabilitation Laboratory. The lab has a twofold mission: understanding the basic science of how the brain controls movement, and applying that knowledge to rehabilitation of patients with nerve damage, stroke or other motor disabilities. Under the direction of Dr. Philip, the lab explores the question of human handedness.
- How is the brain organized and connected to support the specialization of the dominant hand for precision control of the hand and fingers?
- How can we take advantage of these neurological and neurophysiological differences to improve rehabilitation for individuals with unilateral impairment of the dominant hand?
General Description of Student Activities
Students will have an opportunity to learn about the clinical research process, develop emerging research skills and develop a greater understanding of occupational therapy research with a motor and rehabilitation neuroscience focus.
Students work collaboratively with Dr. Philip and other lab members on current research initiatives, attend regular lab team meetings and gain an understanding of current lab initiatives and the peer-reviewed literature in this area of study. Students are trained in and apply behavioral research techniques and procedures specific to the lab. After training, students may have the opportunity to work with healthy adults and research participants who have peripheral nerve injuries. Students will then gain experience collecting, organizing and analyzing research data under the guidance and mentorship of Dr. Philip. In the final year of the directed clinical research experience, students are mentored in writing a journal-ready manuscript either individually or in small groups. Students will have opportunities to present their work at local and national conferences.
Examples of Projects
- Behavioral Impact of Nerve Injury: Identifying how peripheral nerve injuries affect hand usage for occupational activities
- Precision Drawing: Identifying how precision drawing tasks can predict and quantify performance at activities of daily living
- Interhemispheric Connectivity: Measure how neural connectivity between the cerebral hemispheres contributes to hand dominance
- Motor Learning: Enhance skill learning to facilitate adaptation and rehabilitation