Brain Behavior Lab

profile of human head with cranium area highlightedThe main research goals of the Brain Behavior Lab are to better understand the factors that influence motor-skill learning. Motor-skill factors include the type and amount of skill repetition involved, the type of skills to be learned, the type of instructions provided, issues related to aging, damage to the brain, and sleep. The lab houses multiple workstations for the collection and processing of behavioral data.

Researchers are particularly interested in understanding how individuals with brain damage, such as stroke, recover motor function and the underlying mechanisms that promote this recovery. We have recently demonstrated that individuals suffering from chronic stroke benefit from sleep to promote motor skill learning whereas older, healthy adults do not. The Brain Behavior Lab is currently working to understand which sleep parameters are associated with overnight skill enhancement using EEG.

Selected Current Projects

Sleep Promotes Transfer of Learning Poster (image)

  • Examining which sleep parameters are associated with off-line motor skill learning in individuals following stroke

  • Examining how cognition impacts sleep-dependent off-line motor skill learning in individuals following stroke

  • Assessing the role of sleep in learning a complex motor skill in young, healthy adults

  • Assessing the impact of sleep and age on learning a functional real-life task

  • Analyzing sleep disturbances in individuals with stroke and multiple sclerosis

Select Presentations

  • Sleep Promotes Off-line Enhancement of an Explicitly Learned Discrete but not Continuous Task. Research poster presentation at APTA Combined Section’s Meeting, New Orleans, LA, 2011

  • Sleep Promotes Transfer of Learning. Research poster presentation at APTA Combined Section’s Meeting, San Diego, CA, 2010

Poster Presentations

Click to view enlargements of posters Brain Behavior Lab researchers have presented.

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Sleep Enhances Off-line Spatial and Temporal Motor Learning After Stroke

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The Role of Sleep and Knowledge in Motor Skill Learning

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Sleep Enhances Motor Skill Learning and Memory Consolidation in Individuals Post-Stroke

Last modified: Sep 16, 2014

Lab Director
Catherine F. Siengsukon

Catherine F. Siengsukon, PT, PhD

Current Students
Alham Al-sharman
Krystal Hay*

Past Students
Melissa Blasing
Kristen Matthews
Erin Musil*
*Funded through the Neurological and Rehabilitation Sciences Graduate Training Program

Jared Bruce, PhD
Diane Filion, PhD
Sharon Lynch, MD
Joan McDowd, PhD
Suzanne Stevens, MD