Our Research

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.

Team B2


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Michael Vesia, PhD

Lab Director

Dr. Michael Vesia is an Assistant Professor of Movement Science at the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology. He received his PhD in Kinesiology and Health Sciences from York University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo and the Krembil Brain Institute.

Dr. Vesia has published nearly 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Neurophysiology, Experimental Brain Research, Brain Stimulation, Cerebral Cortex, Neurology, and the Journal of Neuroscience. His research focuses on understanding brain network dynamics in cognition, perception, and movement after brain injuries and neurological disease. He hopes to improve movement and cognition in older adults through non-invasive brain stimulation and motor-cognitive interventions.

mvesia@umich.edu

Ashley Rettmann

B2Lab Manager, CCRP

arettman@umich.edu

Elana Goldenkoff

PhD Candidate

egolden@umich.edu

Joseph Deluisi

PhD Student

jdeluisi@umich.edu

Tess Davis

Research Assistant

tessld@umich.edu

Julianna King

Research Assistant

juliking@umich.edu

Maxine Kugelmas

Research Assistant

mkugelma@umich.edu

Jordan Raschi

Research Assistant

jraschi@umich.edu

Varun Ravichandran

Research Assistant

varunra@umich.edu

The B2Lab is committed to supporting and promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. We recognize that we are stronger when we embrace different backgrounds, perspectives and approaches, in our lab and in our community. Everyone is welcome and will be supported in our lab, regardless of race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or any other element or personal or social identity.

We invite you to learn more about the School of Kinesiology's commitment to diversity, as well as the University of Michigan's office of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Looking to join the B2Lab? Click here!

B2Lab Alumni

Where are they now?

  • Brian Heyman - Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

  • Amir Mashni - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, M.Sc. in Human Movement Science; University of Michigan Medical School

  • Claire Shea - Michigan State College of Human Medicine

  • Danielle Destiny - Tufts University School of Medicine

  • Hallie Remer - University of Miami Miller School of medicine

  • Hannah Lavis - Baylor University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

  • Jake Dattilio - Physical Therapy Tech at ATI Canton, PT school next year

  • Julie Waineo - Surgical Neurophysiologist at Procirca CCN

  • Katy Michon - PhD student at University of Michigan Dept of Psychology

  • Megan Gordon - Rehabilitation Services Technician at Special Tree Rehabilitation Services

  • Puyan Gholizadeh - Surgical Neurophysiologist at Indiana University Health

  • Semat Adekoya - Duke University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Collaborators