Welcome to the home page of the Neuromotor Behavior and Neurorehabilitation Engineering Lab headed by Dr. Sergei Adamovich. The focus of the lab is to study neural control of movement in health and disease, and to design, develop and test novel systems and technology-based approaches to neurorehabilitation. The long-term objective is to translate the principles of neuroscience to evidence-based interventions that can be used by clinicians to rehabilitate patients with motor disorders. We are located in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology and in the Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science at Rutgers University.
Using Robotics and Virtual Reality in Stroke Rehabilitation
Dr. Adamovich, in collaboration with Dr. Alma Merians (Rutgers University), was one of the first to initiate the use of interactive virtual environments combined with instrumented gloves and hand exoskeletons for upper extremity rehabilitation, broadening the group of people that can utilize VR and gaming technology for motor rehabilitation and incorporating adaptive algorithms, activity scaling, haptic and visual effects to target specific skill re-acquisition. The group has developed a library of simulations that incorporated these devices. They use various modes of haptic feedback and distortions of visual feedback in virtual reality to allow patients with severe paralysis and even lack of volitional movement to begin training very early after a stroke. Central to this, they aim to study the underlying neural mechanisms that can be engaged with this type of training, whether these circuits in stroke patients are also mediating training-induced recovery, and if circuits’ integrity can be used to predict the responsiveness to the gain / mirror therapy. This work is currently supported in part by the NIH grant R01HD58301.
Brain Imaging and Stimulation
Dr. Adamovich has many years of experience studying brain representations of motor actions, the neural mechanisms of online correction of movement errors arising from visual and proprioceptive channels, and how we learn to reduce such error through anticipatory control. In collaboration with Dr. Eugene Tunik (Northeastern University), he has addressed these questions using a combination of various technologies (TMS, fMRI, EEG, VR, robotics) and patient-based experimentation in stroke, Parkinson’s, deafferented patients and healthy individuals. His findings highlight the critical interplay between central and peripheral mechanisms of motor control and identifies important interactions among various brain areas such as the parietal, premotor and primary motor cortices in incorporating feedback into online error correction and learning. This work is currently supported by the NIH grant R01 NS085122.
Center for Rehabilitation Robotics Sergei Adamovich and Richard Foulds, co-directors
This center is currently (2017) comprised of 8 projects applying robotics and virtual reality to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. The largest of these is an NIH project (2017-2022, $3,571,000) using a unique combination of robotics and virtual reality for neurorehabilitation of people who have arm limitations resulting from a recent stroke. Five smaller projects on wearable robots are supported by an NIDILRR center grant (2015-2020, $4,625,000) and address lower extremity exoskeletons to restore walking by individuals with stroke, epidural electrical stimulation to increase spinal cord transmission and improve the use of exoskeletons by people with spinal cord injury, and the study of new robotic technology for stroke therapy to be used in the home. Two development projects are designing new human-robot interfaces allowing users to control exoskeletons in a biologically natural way. An NSF grant is developing a new lower extremity exoskeleton for advanced research. And, a translation project supported by the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy allows the Center to equip 30 young men with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy with NJIT-developed exoskeletons that will extend the use of their arms for up to 5 years. The Kessler Foundation and Rutgers Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science are major collaborators. As of November 2017, grants total $9,210,500.
The major goal of this study was to demonstrate that robot-assisted VR therapy will improve clinical and biomechanical outcomes in children with cerebral palsy, that these improvements will be larger when compared to that of the conventional therapy, and that they will transfer to real world reach-to-grasp movements. This work was supported by NIDRR grant H133EO50011, from 2005 to 2011.
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