Steven L Wolf, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Cell Biology

Professor
Medicine

Professor
Rehab

Phone:(404) 712-4801
Email: swolf@emory.edu (University)

Office Address:
Center for Rehabilitation Medicine
Room 206
Atlanta, GA 30322

Biography

Work in our laboratory has centered on use of artificial physiological feedback (via operant conditioning) to enhance control of aberrant movement in normal human subjects and patients with neuromuscular and musculoskeletal disorders. This work has involved shaping muscle, force, and joint position control through presentation of audio or visual cues. Another area of emerging interest involves functional, biomechanical and physiological assessments of older individuals to control and change postural sway to reduce or prevent falling. This assessment has been made among subjects trained in Tai Chi as an exercise form and in people provided computerized force platform training to improve postural stability. The laboratory has also examined morphological and anatomical considerations of human muscle architecture to better understand the fundamental organization of multi-arthroidal muscles. These measurements are then used as a basis for performing EMG studies to discover how muscle partitions differentially participate in task-specific movements. These explorations form the basis for developing new therapies for selective muscle recruitment.

A thematic emphasis among colleagues working in this laboratory has centered about all aspects of restoration of upper extremity function following stroke (please visit. www.excite.emory.edu) We have now completed an NIH funded randomized national clinical trial (EXCITE, the Extremity Constraint Induced Therapy Evaluation) to explore the effect of constraint-induced movement therapy (forced use) of the hemiplegic upper extremity on recovery of movement function among patients who have sustained a stroke. The entrance criteria for this work evolved from our previous studies on operant conditioning of muscle responses in these patients and the identification of predictors of recovery. Other funding permits us to initiate explorations into the mechanisms underlying possible massed practice cortical reorganization using constraint-induced therapy. We are collaborating with Wake Forest University and the Ohio State University to co-register transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) mapping of the motor cortex with fMRI. These studies should shed some light on the extent and location of cortical reorganization with intense upper extremity training in able-bodied individuals and patients with stroke. Other collaborations address biomechanical changes in upper extremity motor control following stroke, the effects of direct motor cortical stimulation and intense upper extremity therapy on functional improvement among patients with stroke, and changes in behavior among patients and their caregivers when exposed to functionally-based therapeutic interventions. We have also received NIH funding to study the effects of robotic assistance on procurement of upper extremity function among patients with stroke.

Education

1973Ph.D.Anatomy & NeurophysiologyAtlanta, GA, USA
1972M.S.AnatomyAtlanta, GA, USA
1969M.S.Physical TherapyBoston, MA, USA

Publications

View publications on PubMed