Conferences - Seminars

  Monday 19 June 2017 11:00 - 12:00 Campus Biotech H8 Auditorium

Mechanisms of motor learning and how to modulate it in health and disease

By Prof. Leonardo G. Cohen, NINDS, National Institutes of Health, USA.

Recent years have seen significant progress in our understanding of the neural substrates of motor skill learning. Advances in neuroimaging provide new insight into functional reorganization associated with the acquisition, consolidation, and retention of motor skills.  Advances in our understanding of stages of motor skill learning and the ability to modify previously consolidated memories allow the design of new interventions based on insights into the behavioral mechanisms of human neuroplasticity.  Such neuroplastic changes can be further modulated by behavioral strategies like reward, interventional approaches like transcranial magnetic (TMS) or direct current (tDCS) stimulation and drugs.  Translation to the clinical arena advances at a pace consistent to our understanding of the mechanisms by which stimulation protocols influence brain function.

The focus of my research has been neuroplasticity associated with learning and translational neurorehabilitation. My expertise lies in the use of neuroimaging and brain stimulation to understand mechanisms of neuroplasticity and in developing novel interventional approaches to facilitate recovery of function after brain lesions and with crossmodal plasticity in the blind. The HCPS configuration is designed to include fellows and students with expertise in the fields of cognitive neurology, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), positron emission tomography (PET), and stroke. Students and fellows interact, helping and participating in each other’s studies in a multidisciplinary and collaborative way. A vast majority of HCPS graduates are independent investigators and clinician scientists in academia. Several hold Chair positions in Neurology and PMNR in Germany (4), France (1), Corea (1) and the US (1). As part of an active network of intramural and extramural collaborators we have been able to develop research with clinical impact like brain-computer interface and brain stimulation in neurorehabilitation of motor function after stroke and understanding of motor learning stages and crossmodal plasticity in health and disease. A weekly Stroke Neurorehabilitation Clinic is successfully fulfilling the recruitment needs of our chronic stroke protocols. I participate in peer reviewed activities as permanent and ad-hoc member of NIH study sections and as a member of the editorial boards of Journal of Neuroscience and Journal of Neurophysiology. I recently received the Barbro B Johansson award from the “World Stroke Congress” (2014), and the “Dr. Aaron I. Grollman Visiting Professorship” of the Graduate Program in Life Sciences at the University of Maryland and the keynote speaker invitation for the Robarts Research Annual Retreat, the last two nominated and voted by students and postdoctoral fellows (2016). In the last three years, one HCPS graduate became Chair of PMNR at Johns Hopkins University (Dr Celnik).

Organization Distinguished Lectures in Neuroprosthetics,

Contact Host: Prof F. Hummel

Accessibility Informed public

Admittance Free