Correlational Analysis and Functional Connectivity between Brain Lesions and Sensorimotor Impairments in Stroke

For this study, we will recruit 40 healthy adults and 40 adults who are at least 6 months post-stroke and, as a result, have weakness on one side of the body (hemiparesis). The focus of this study is investigating the recovery of function and quality of movement of the weaker arm and hand. This research study will identify how brain areas are connected to each other, and how they differ in patients with stroke compared to healthy volunteers. Further, we will investigate correlations between brain lesions and impairments of arm and hand movement and sensation in patients with stroke. This knowledge will help deepen the understanding of stroke recovery and guide individualized neurorehabilitation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do researchers hope to learn?

Researchers hope to better identify connections between brain areas among people with stroke and healthy persons and how training through proprioception can better improve motor recovery after stroke.

How will participating in this study help?

This research helps us explore ways to offer stroke therapies that can increase hand and arm strength and function, which in turn could improve their quality of life by making everyday tasks more manageable.

What are the characteristics of patients with stroke you are working with on this study?

Patients with stroke with various levels of movement impairment can participate. Patients will need to be able to feel the right index finger move, in order to do the tasks with the robot in the scanner. Patients also need to have sufficient hearing to hear the music through the headphones, when the MRI is making loud noises. Patients who have cognitive problems, are unable to speak or understand instructions, have neglect or apraxia will not be recruited. Neglect, apraxia, cognitive assessment, and sensation will be tested during the screening, so if you are not sure feel free to contact us.

How will I benefit from participating?

There is no direct benefit to participating in this study. However, information from this study may help other people in the future.

What is MRI?

MRIs use powerful magnets to make images of your body tissues, like your brain.

What are the risks for MRI?

  • There is no radiation risk associated with MRI.  However, long term effects of exposure to high magnetic fields are unknown.
  • Persons with metal implants, such as surgical clips, or pacemakers should not have an MRI. All credit cards and other items with magnetic strips should also be kept out of the MRI.  Similarly, glasses with metal will be taken off. Regular lenses usually pose no problem.
  • People who feel uncomfortable in confined spaces (claustrophobia) may feel uncomfortable in the narrow cylinder. If you have previously experienced claustrophobia, tell the principal investigator researchers (study staff) before you start the study.

Does MRI hurt?

No. The MRI makes loud banging noises as it takes images. Headphones will be used to reduce the noises and for listening to the audio guidance.

How long is the actual MRI?

The scanning in itself will take about one-and-a-half (1.5) hour. We account for count two hours in order to give you information beforehand, time to ask questions, get you comfortably in and out of the scanner.

Does this cost money to participate?

There is no charge to participate. You will receive $25 for travel reimbursement for each visit. Other personal expenses will not be covered.

I'm working full-time/in shifts, can I come before/after my work?

While we cannot always promise a perfect match, we will do our best to plan our visits around your working schedule. Visits early in the morning, after 5pm or during the weekend can be discussed.


Study Locations

Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR)

University of MinnesotaCMRR exterior
2021 Sixth Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Click here for map

From Highway I-94 take the Huron Boulevard exit and go north:

  • Proceed ~3 blocks down Huron Boulevard to Washington Avenue.
  • Continue straight across Washington Avenue.
  • Continue straight across University Avenue onto SE 23rd Avenue.
  • Proceed ~3 blocks to SE 6th Street.
  • Turn left on 6th St SE.
  • The CMRR is the second building on the right (2021)

On street parking is located on the east side of the CMRR building. Enter from 6th St SE, under skyway. Parking permits are available from the front desk.

Children's Rehabilitation Center (wheelchair accessible entrance)

426 Church Street SEChildren's Rehab Clinic
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Click here for map


From Highway I-94 take the Huron Boulevard exit and go north:

  • Left on Fulton Street SE
  • Continue straight ahead onto East River Parkway

The East River Road Garage Parking Ramp will be on your right. After parking, take the elevator to the first floor to go outside. The Coffman Memorial Union Building is in front of you, the road is Delaware Street SE. Turn right to walk on Delaware St SE and take another Right on Church St SE.  We will meet you at the front entrance of the Children's Rehabilitation Building. We will then go to Room 302.

If stairs are not an obstacle, you can also walk out of the East River Road Garage (Level C) and walk to the back entrance of the adjacent building on your left, which is the Children's Rehabilitation Center. We will wait for you at this door. Alternatively, if you prefer to come in by yourself, once inside, go through two red fire doors and walk down the hallway to the elevators. Room 302 is immediately to your left on the 3rd floor. 

Room 302 Children's Rehabilitation Center

302 Entrance Door302 Interior302 Interior 2




 The Brain Body Mind Lab - Clinical Assessment Lab


Study Status

In progress

Principal Investigator (PI):
Ann Van de Winckel, PhD, MS, PT