General Laboratory Description
Humans are capable of a remarkably diverse set of manual actions, ranging from the fine machinations of a or violinist to the seemingly mundane acts of drinking a glass of wine or shaving one’s face. Loss of these abilities due to brain or bodily injury can be devastating. Dr. Frey directs the Rehabilitation Neuroscience Laboratory (RNL), the purposes of which are twofold: 1) to understand the cognitive, sensory and motor mechanisms that make such uniquely human behaviors possible, and 2) to use this knowledge to develop more effective, neurally-motivated, evidence-based rehabilitation strategies that will improve people’s lives.
A major focus of our current work is on determining how mechanisms in the central nervous system (CNS) are affected by damage to the peripheral nervous system (PNS), and conversely the role of CNS plasticity in recovery of function. Dr. Frey's approach is to seek convergence in data gathered through a variety of different techniques including: functional and structural MRI, transcranial magnetic and direct current stimulation, detailed behavioral studies of healthy, brain- or bodily-injured populations and comparative investigations. The RNL strives to maintain ecological validity in their work while not sacrificing experimental precision.
Dr. Frey and his team believe in the absolute value of basic scientific research while endeavoring to make connections between the laboratory, the clinic and how people function in daily life.