Therapeutic Neural Correlates of Motor Learning

presented by Dustin R. Grooms

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Neuroplasticity, or the ability of the nervous system to be plastic (change), is the gateway to patient recovery and optimizing functional capacity. The treatment of everything from ankle sprains to spinal cord injury requires inducing positive, adaptive neuroplasticity. This course will briefly address the foundational and theoretical knowledge related to key brain anatomy for motor control and learning, with an extended focus on how therapy can induce adaptive plasticity to restore patient function. Everything the clinician does, from what feedback they give and how it is delivered to new technologies like virtual reality, will be explored to maximize patient functional recovery.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Dustin R. Grooms, PhD, ATC, CSCS

    Dustin Grooms, PhD, ATC, CSCS, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Athletic Training in the School of Applied Health Sciences and Wellness at Ohio University. Dr. Grooms received his doctorate from the Ohio State University in health and rehabilitation sciences, with a focus on neuroscience and biomechanics. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, Dr. Grooms was an assistant athletic trainer and instructor at the College of Mount Saint Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio, and completed a master’s degree from the University of Virginia in kinesiology, an internship with the Cincinnati Bengals, and a bachelor’s degree from Northern Kentucky University in Athletic Training. His main research interest is how the brain and movement mechanics change after musculoskeletal injury and therapy. 

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Key Neural Anatomy and Neuroplasticity Concepts

    1. Key Neural Anatomy and Neuroplasticity Concepts

    In this first chapter, Dr. Grooms will review the basic neural anatomy and principles of neuroplasticity, focusing on the brain substrates for motor learning.

  2. Neural Correlates of Movement, Action, Control, and Learning

    2. Neural Correlates of Movement, Action, Control, and Learning

    This section will expand upon the previous section by highlighting the anatomy and the principles of neuroplasticity to transition to mechanisms of motor learning and how the nervous system programs movement. This is a “bring-it-together" section before going into therapy implications.

  3. Therapy Implications

    3. Therapy Implications

    This final section will utilize the knowledge of the previous two sections to provide concrete and implemental clinical practice changes to induce adaptive neuroplasticity, as well as highlight future directions for the field.