The spinal cord comprises of a dense and distributed network of neurons that is capable of controlling, modulating and executing specific and discrete motor tasks. Injury to the spinal cord results in devastating sensorimotor deficits. In our laboratory, we investigate the role of the spinal neuronal networks – either partially or completely independent of input from the brain – in the performance of sensory-motor tasks such as walking, reaching, grasping, or maintaining posture.
By using a combination of electrical stimulation and rehabilitation training regimens, we facilitate neuronal activity and modulate the functional state of the spinal cord to evoke motor tasks. We adopt a variety of methodologies including behavioral assessment, electrophysiological evaluation and histology measures in the rodent model of spinal cord injury to achieve our research objectives.
Our research has direct implications in the development of novel motor rehabilitation strategies after motor dysfunction in persons with neurological disorders.