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About the promoting upper limb stroke recovery lab

The promoting upper limb stroke recovery (PULSE) lab aims to develop and validate novel therapeutic interventions that facilitate the recovery of arm and hand movements after stroke.

One area of research focuses on the application of noninvasive brain stimulation, such as transcranial direct current stimulation, to augment recovery of movements. Transcranial direct current stimulation is a promising approach because it can prime brain cells, which can then enhance the brain’s capacity to re-learn how to move.

A second area of research aims to understand how we can harness music to facilitate mood and movement after stroke. Listening to music makes us feel good and often makes us want to move—who has not had the urge to sway their hips when listening to a samba tune? Understanding the links between music, mood and movement may help us devise novel and fun interventions for stroke recovery.

We use techniques such as behavioural testing, neuroimaging (e.g., magnetic resonance imaging) and noninvasive brain stimulation. These approaches allow us to understand better how stroke has affected the brain’s capacity for recovery, determine biomarkers that may predict recovery and elucidate the neural mechanisms that may underlie recovery.


Name: Joyce Chen, PhD
E-mail address:
Telephone number: 416-480-6100 ext. 685410; Fax: 416-480-4223
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, M6 176
Toronto, ON Canada M4N 3M5