Closing the Loop: From Motor Neuroscience to Neurorehabilitation

Annu Rev Neurosci. 2018 Jul 8:41:415-429. doi: 10.1146/annurev-neuro-080317-062245. Epub 2018 Apr 30.


The fields of human motor control, motor learning, and neurorehabilitation have long been linked by the intuition that understanding how we move (and learn to move) leads to better rehabilitation. In reality, these fields have remained largely separate. Our knowledge of the neural control of movement has expanded, but principles that can directly impact rehabilitation efficacy remain somewhat sparse. This raises two important questions: What can basic studies of motor learning really tell us about rehabilitation, and are we asking the right questions to improve the lives of patients? This review aims to contextualize recent advances in computational and behavioral studies of human motor learning within the framework of neurorehabilitation. We also discuss our views of the current challenges facing rehabilitation and outline potential clinical applications from recent theoretical and basic studies of motor learning and control.

Keywords: gait; motor control; motor learning; neurorehabilitation; reaching; rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Neurological Rehabilitation*
  • Neurosciences*