Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The goals of this application are: (1) to further develop the applicant's research program in basic neuroscience investigating brain mechanisms relevant to neurological rehabilitation. (2) To expand the applicant's research program into translational research, by applying to clinical investigation the approaches and methods that we have gained expertise in while addressing basic science questions. (3) To expand the applicant's ability to mentor beginning clinician-investigators in the arena of neurological rehabilitation, by training them in the application of our methods and approaches to the study of how particular neuro-rehabilitative interventions work. The focus in this application is on basic and clinical studies relevant for the rehabilitation of individuals with sensory impairment, particularly in the visual domain. In the long term, the goal is to improve neurological rehabilitation, by targeting interventions to the most appropriate patient groups and by designing and evaluating novel interventions and approaches. The methods to be used in this application include careful sensory testing, and brain scanning using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the nature of changes in brain activity and connectivity. Specifically, we will study cross-modal interactions between vision and touch, multisensory processing, perceptual learning and the effects of blindness, and apply the insights gained from these studies to the rehabilitation of patients with partial visual loss, visual field deficits and hemineglect. With respect to the rehabilitative interventions tested, fMRI will be used to study neural changes that accompany the associated functional recovery. In turn, this is expected to aid further development of neurorehabilitative procedures. Relevance To Public Health: The proposed work aims to develop ongoing basic research and translate it into improving approaches available for the rehabilitation of people with various neurological disorders, especially those affecting senses such as vision. A key aspect of this application is the provision of support for the Principal Investigator to mentor individuals who are beginning a research career in neurorehabilitation.
Effective start/end date5/1/064/30/12


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