Current Areas of Interest

  • Effects of limb amputation, replantation and transplantation on sensory, motor and cognitive functions.
  • Effects of congenital limb absence on sensory, motor and cognitive functions.
  • Effects of injuries to the peripheral nervous system on brain mechanisms.
  • The effects of role of brain plasticity on the recovery of function following peripheral nerve injury and repair.
  • Planning and control of reaching and grasping with the hands, tools and prosthetics.
  • Brain mechanisms involved in post-amputation pain.

Current Techniques

The RNL currently utilizes the following techniques during research:

  • Functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) conducted at the Brain Imaging Center (
  • MRI-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
  • Kinematics tracking of the arms and hands.
  • Neuropsychological studies of individuals with brain or bodily injuries.
  • Psychophysical studies of healthy adults.

Currently funded projects in the RNL

NS083377 National Institutes of Health/ National Institutes of Research
Neurological Disease and Stroke Program: Is cortical reorganization following limb amputation functionally relevant and reversible?
Dates: 04/01/2013 – 03/31/2017
Principal Investigator: Scott H. Frey
This project uses functional and structural MRI, behavioral testing and transcranial magnetic stimulation to evaluate the functional relevance of postamputation cortical reorganization and its reversal through hand replantation.

Please see link for associated publications:

W81XWH-13-1-0496 Department of Defense Peer-Reviewed Medical Investigator-Initiated Research Award
Program: The Role of Cortical Plasticity in Recovery of Function Following Allogeneic Hand Transplantation
Dates: 09/30/2013 – 08/31/2016
Principal Investigator: Scott H. Frey
This longitudinal project uses fMRI, TMS, kinematic and behavioral testing to investigate mechanisms underlying recovery of sensory and motor functions in hand transplant recipients.