In an effort to help stroke patients recover muscle function, therapists at Rusk Rehabilitation are conducting innovative research to study how human beings interact with objects in their environment. Past research has indicated that when planning a movement, healthy individuals take into account information about both the direction and extent of the movement, as well as the overall goal of the movement.
Rusk researchers tried to determine whether the individuals who had a stroke also incorporate both kinds of information in movement planning. They found that individuals with stroke have more difficulty planning the direction and extent of movements than with the goal of the movement. However, there were differences based on the side of the brain that had the stroke. The findings have implications for the development of personalized approaches to post-stroke rehabilitation.