Michael Vesia

Office Room:
Office Building:
Kinesiology Building
Person Type: 
Core Faculty
Cognitive Neuroscience
Clinical Neuroscience
Sensory Neuroscience

Assistant Professor

Our research focuses on brain-behavior relations, brain plasticity and its modulation, with a specific
focus on understanding motor and cognitive circuits and the effects of non-invasive brain stimulation.
To accomplish this, the B2Lab combines precise behavioral measurements with neurophysiology and
non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) to investigate mechanisms of motor control, learning and
cognition and their impairments in neurological disorders.
Behavioral measures range from simple psychophysics and reaction times to detailed analysis of force
and movement kinematics. Neurophysiological measures include electromyography (EMG) to detect
muscle activity and brain imaging measures of brain structure (magnetic resonance imaging, MRI) and
function (fMRI). Non-invasive brain stimulation tools to measure and modulate brain activity include
multi-locus transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).
Noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS) is rapidly developing as a powerful technique that can alter
neuronal activity in specific brain areas to help better understand brain function. It is an especially
promising tool in the treatment of many neurological and movement disorders such as stroke and
Parkinson’s disease as NIBS can induce persistent changes in brain plasticity and potentially recalibrate
and enhance neural functioning in clinical conditions. However, we have a limited understanding of how
NIBS affects a person’s brain and their control of grasping behaviors.
Knowledge gained from this research will inform future translational studies to better treat motor and
cognitive impairments in individuals with neurological disorders.