Brain Plasticity Lab


The Brain Plasticity Lab has an overall mission to study the brain's ability to reorganize.

PM&R video stillPlasticity, from the root "plaistikos" (Greek): meaning to form, refers to the brain's ability to form new connections. This change can occur in either desirable or undesirable ways, such as after an injury, during rehabilitation and learning, or secondary to a disease.

Current studies from the Brain Plasticity Lab

Current studies from the Brain Plasticity Lab

The Brain Plasticity Lab is now seeking research study participants

Therapy to Improve Body Awareness after Stroke
Functional Connectivity in Relation to Proprioception and Sensorimotor Recovery in Stroke Patients (Feasibility Study)
Principal Investigator: Ann Van de Winckel, PhD, MSc, PT

Correlational Analysis and Functional Connectivity between Brain Lesions and Sensorimotor Impairments in Individuals with Stroke
Principal Investigator: Ann Van de Winckel, PhD, MSc, PT

Randomized pilot study assessing vagus nerve stimulation during rehabilitation for improved upper limb motor function after stroke (MicroTransponder's Vivistim System)
Principal Investigator: Teresa Kimberley, PhD, PT
FOX News Article

Pathophysiology of Laryngeal Dystonia: A TMS Study
Principal Investigator: Teresa Kimberley, PhD, PT

6-H2 Primed vs. Unprimed Low-Frequency rTMS in Chronic Stroke
Principal Investigator: James Carey, PhD, PT

Synergistic Effect of Combined tDCS/CIMT in Children with Hemiparesis
Principal Investigator: Bernadette Gillick, PhD, MSPT, PT





Dr. Teresa Kimberley has been awarded a grant from MicroTranponder to participate in a multicenter clinical trial testing a novel combination of upper limb rehabilitation paired with vagal nerve stimulation in stroke.

Dr. Ann Van de Winckel received a Medical School equipment grant to support her project, "Integrated Motion Analysis and Biofeedback System for Upper Extremity Performance".

Dr. Wynn Legon received a grant from the University of Minnesota Wallin Neuroscience Discovery Fund. This fund was designed to spur pioneering brain research at the University.

Dr. Bernadette Gillick was recently awarded the Foundation for Physical Therapy Magistro Family Foundation Research Grant for her research in pediatric hemiparesis.

Dr. Teresa Kimberley has received an R21 from the National Institute for Deafness and Communication Disorders from the NIH. The study is entitled, "The pathophysiology in spasmodic dysphonia: a TMS study".

Dr. Bernadette Gillick has received a K01 five-year Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) for the research titled, "Synergistic Effect of Combined tDCS/CIMT in Children with Hemiparesis".

Dr. Bernadette Gillick has received a two-year research grant from the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation for the research titled, "Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy in Pediatric Hemiparesis".

Dr. Bernadette Gillick has received a two-year research grant from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute-Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center for the research titled, "Longitudinal Outsomes in Pediatric rTMS and CIT".

Dr. Teresa Kimberley has received a grant from the Dystonia Coalition to study the effects of rTMS combined with rehabilitation in focal hand dystonia.

Dr. James Carey and Dr. Teresa Kimberley are working on a grant from the U of M CTSI (Community Collaborative Pilot Research Grant) to investigate TMS in acute stroke at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Center.

Dr. Kimberley and Dr. Carey, in combination with Dr. Mo Chen (postdoc) and Kate Frost, MS, PhD student, are working on a grant from the U of M's Institute for Engineering in Medicine to explore the effects of paired associative stimulation (i.e., TMS + peripheral nerve stimulation) in chronic stroke.

Dr. Carey is working as a co-investigator on a grant from the National Science Foundation (Bin He, principal investigator; Nessa Johnson, PhD student) exploring rTMS combined with Brain Computer Interface in chronic stroke. "A Brain Centered Neuroengineering Approach for Motor Recovery after Stroke: Combined rTMS and BCI Training."




Gillick BT, Feyma T, Menk J, Usset M, Vaith A, Wood T, Worthington R, Krach LE. "Safety and Feasibility of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Pediatric Hemiparesis: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study." Physical Therapy. 2015; 95(3):337-349.

Gillick BT, Krach LE, Feyma T, Rich TR, Moberg KJ, Menk J, Cassidy M, Kimberley T, Carey JR. Safety of primed repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and modified constraint-induced movement therapy in pediatric hemiparesis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2015 Apr; 96(4 Suppl): S104-13.

Kimberley TJ, Borich MR, Schmidt R, Carey JR, Gillick B. Focal hand dystonia:individualized intervention with repeated application of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2015 Apr;96(4 Suppl):S104-13

Samargia S, Schmidt R, Kimberley TJ. Cortical silent period reveals differences between abductor spasmodic dysphonia and muscle tension dysphonia. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2015 June 18 (Epub ahead of print)


Carey JR, Deng H, Gillick BT, Cassidy JM, Anderson DC, Zhang L, Thomas. "Serial Treatments of Primed Low-Frequency rTMS in Stroke: Characteristics of Responders vs. Non-responders.” Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience. 2014;32(2):323-35

Cassidy JM, Gillick BT, Carey JR. Priming the Brain to Capitalize on Metaplasticity in Stroke Rehabilitation. Physical Therapy. 2014;94:139-150.

Gillick BT, Kirton A, Carmel JB, Minhas P, Bikson M. "Pediatric stroke and transcranial direct current stimulation: methods for rational individualized dose optimization." Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 2014. 8:739

Gillick BT, Krach LE, Feyma T, Rich TL, Moberg K, Thomas W, Cassidy JM, Menk J, Carey JR. “Primed Low-Frequency Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy Randomized Trial for Pediatric Hemiparesis.” Developmental Medicine Child Neurology. 2014:56(1):44-52.

Samargia S, Schmidt R, Kimberley TJ. Shortened cortical silent period in adductor spasmodic sysphonia: eveidence for widespread cortical excitability. Neurosci Lett. 2014 Feb 7; 560:12-5. PubMed PMID: 24333913.

Bradnam LV, Frasca J, Kimberley TJ. Direct current stimulation of primary motor cortex and cerebellum and botulinum toxin a injections in a person with cervial dystonia. Brain Stimul. 2014 Nov-Dec;7(6)909-11.

Mueller J. Legon W. Opitz A. Sato T.F. Tyler W.J. (2014).Transcranial focused ultrasound modulates intrinsic and evoked EEG dynamics. Brain Stimul. 2014 Nov-Dec;7(6):900-8

Legon W. Sato T.F. Opitz A. Mueller J. Barbour A. Williams A.Tyler W.J.(2014). Transcranial focused ultrasound modulates the activity of primary somatosensory cortex in humans. Nature Neuroscience. 17, 322-329. doi:10.1038/nn.3620


Cunningham DA, Plow E, Machado A, Yue GH, Carey JR. Functional somatotopy revealed across multiple cortical regions using a model of complex visuomotor task. Brain Research. 2013;1531:25-36.

Johnson MD, Lim HH, Netoff TI, Connolly AT, Johnson N, Roy A, Holt A, Lim KO, Carey JR, Vitek FL, He B. Neuromodulation for Brain Disorders: Challenges and Opportunities. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. 2013;60:610-624.

Cassidy JM, Gillick BT, Carey JR. "Priming the Brain to Capitalize on Metaplasticity in Stroke Rehabilitation." Physical Therapy. 2013; 94(1):139-50

Kimberley TJ, Borich MR, Arora S, Siebner HR. Multiple sessions of low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in focal hand dystonia: clinical and physiological effects. Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2013;31(5):533-42

Deng H, Kimberley TJ, Durfee WK, Dressler BL, Steil C, Carey JR. Combined Statistical Analysis Method Assessing Fast vs. Slow Movement Training in a Single-Case with Cerebellar Stroke. Physical Therapy. 2013;93:1-12

Legon W. Dionne J.K. and Staines W.R. (2013). Continuous theta burst stimulation of the supplementary motor area: effect upon perception and somatosensory & motor evoked potentials. Brain Stimul, Nov; 6 (6): 877-83. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2013.04.007

Opitz A. Legon W. Rowlands A. Paulus W. Bickel W. and Tyler W.J. (2013). Physiological observations validate finite element models for estimating subject-specific electric field distributions induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation of the human motor cortex. NeuroImage, Nov 1; 81: 253-64. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.04.067

Van de Winckel A, Verheyden G, Wenderoth N, Peeters R, Sunaert S, Van Hecke W, Perfetti C, De Cock P, Desloovere K, Eyssen M, Feys H. Does somatosensory discrimination activate different brain areas in children with unilateral cerebral palsy compared to typically developing children? An fMRI study. Res Dev Dis 2013 34(5):1710-1720. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2013.02.017.

Van de Winckel A, Klingels K, Bruyninckx F, Wenderoth N, Peeters R, Sunaert S, Van Hecke W, De Cock P, Eyssen M, De Weerdt W, Feys H. How does brain activation differ in children with unilateral cerebral palsy compared to typically developing children during active and passive movements, and tactile stimulation? An fMRI study. Res Dev Dis 2013, 34(1):183–197. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2012.07.030


Edwardson MA, Lucas TH, Carey JR, Fetz EE. New modalities of brain stimulation for stroke rehabilitation. Experimental Brain Research. 2012;224:335-358.

Plow EB, Carey JR. Pilot fMRI investigation of representational plasticity associated with motor skill learning and its functional consequences. Brain Imaging and Behavior. 2012;6:437-453.

Deng H, Durfee WK, Nuckley DJ, Rheude BS, Severson AE, Skluzacek KM, Spindler KK, Davey CS, Carey JR. Complex Versus Simple Ankle Movement Training in Stroke Using Telerehabilitation: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Physical Therapy. 2012;92:197-209.

Gillick, BT, Zirpel L. "Neuroplasticity: An Appreciation From Synapse to System." Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2012; 93 (10): 1846-55.

Gillick B, Effects of constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) on gross motor outcomes. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 2012; 24(3):300

Kimberley TJ & Pickett KA Differential activation in the primary motor cortex during individual digit movement in focal hand dystonia vs. healthy. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience. 30:247-254, 2012

Borich MR, Kimberley TJ. Using actigraphy and transcranial magnetic stimulation to assess the relationship between sleep and visuomotor skill learning. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience. 30:81-90, 2012

Olman CA, Pickett KA, Schallmo MP, Kimberley TJ. Selective BOLD responses to individual finger movements measured with fMRI at 3T. Human Brain Mapping. 2012; 33(7):1594-1606.

Legon W. Rowlands A. OpitzSato T. Tyler W.J. (2012). Pulsed ultrasound differentially stimulates somatosensory circuits in humans as indicated by EEG and fMRI. PLoS One.2012;7(12): e51177.DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051177

Van de Winckel A, Wenderoth N, Feys H, Sunaert S, Peeters R, Thijs V, Swinnen S, Perfetti C, De Weerdt W. Frontoparietal involvement in passively guided shape and length discrimination: A comparison between subcortical stroke patients and healthy controls. Exp Brain Res 2012, 220(2):179-189. doi: 10.1007/s00221-012-3128-2.

Klingels K, Feys H, De Wit L, Jaspers E, Van de Winckel A, Verbeke G, De Cock P, Molenaers G. Arm and hand function in children with unilateral cerebral palsy: A one-year follow-up study. Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2012, 16(3):257-265. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2011.08.001.

Verhoeven J, Rommel N, Prodi E, Leemans A, Zink I, Vandewalle E, Noens I, Wagemans J, Steyaert J, Boets B, Van de Winckel A, Decock P, Sunaert S. Is there a common neuro-anatomical substrate of language deficit between Autism Spectrum Disorder and Specific Language Impairment? Cereb Cortex 2012 22(10):2263-2271. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhr292


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Children's Rehab Clinic

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Brain Plasticity Lab
Program in Physical Therapy
University of Minnesota
MMC 388
420 Delaware Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Lab location:

306 Children's Rehabilitation Center
426 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

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