University of Southern California
Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

The Mirror Neuron System (MNS): A Neural Substrate for Methods in Stroke Rehabilitation

Principal Investigator: Lisa Aziz-Zadeh AHA

Funding Source: American Heart Association

Project Period: 07/01/10 – 06/30/14

Award Number: 10SDG3510062

Total Award: $231,000

Collaborators: Carolee Winstein

Abstract: This study aims to understand how individuals with stroke process actions. In particular, are similar brain regions active when they make an action and when they watch someone else make an action? What parts of the brain are active when they observe an action that, due to their stroke, they themselves can no longer make? We will use functional brain imaging (fMRI) to investigate which brain regions are active when individuals with stroke make an action.  We will then see if these neural regions overlap with regions that are active when they watch other people make either actions that they themselves can perform or actions that they themselves can no longer perform. It is our goal to understand how actions are processed in the brain after an individual experiences a stroke that causes motor weakness. The results of this study can be used to develop better rehabilitation methods for motor recovery after stroke.

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The USC entry-level master's degree program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education® (ACOTE). ACOTE c/o Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.®, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449, (301) 652-6611 x2914,

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