Collaborative Funding Awards


James Sulzer, PhD

The University of Texas at Austin, Mechanical Engineering

Can RF H-reflex be operantly conditioned?

The long-term goal of this research is to alleviate hyperreflexia of the rectus femoris (RF) in people with Stiff-Knee gait (SKG) following stroke. Operant H-reflex conditioning is a promising remedy for hyperreflexia since it is believed to modulate the supposed cause of hyperreflexia, presynaptic inhibition of Ia afferents. However, there are currently no published studies showing whether operant RF H-reflex conditioning is possible. We hypothesize that healthy individuals can down-regulate RF H-reflex activation compared to baseline performance in a standing posture. We plan to publish the results of this full experiment in a journal publication and use it as pilot data for an upcoming R21 resubmission on application of RF H-reflex down-conditioning to stroke patients with SKG. 


Ellyn Riley, Ph.D. CCC-SLP

Syracuse University, Communication Sciences & Disorders

Improving Aphasia Outcomes through tDCS-mediated Attention Management
The objective of this project is to determine if tDCS to DLPFC will result in better language recovery. A pilot study using this approach with 11 unimpaired controls showed greater than chance accuracy on a grammaticality judgment task for active tDCS but not sham. See Artificial grammar learning with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS): A pilot study for further information. This project aims to test this approach in persons with aphasia.