Center Projects and Research Labs

The Pediatric Stroke Research Project at the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery includes researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center, MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, Children's National Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. We use assessments of language, visuo-spatial processing, and other cognitive abilities, in combination with functional brain imaging (fMRI), to study how the developing brain recovers from strokes that occur in infancy and early childhood – and how this process of recovery compares to recovery after strokes in adults. Our goal is to understand the processes underlying recovery in the developing and adult brain, and to develop techniques that can stimulate and support recovery in children and adults.

The Learning and Development Lab is part of the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery and the Department of Neurology at Georgetown University. We study the acquisition of language, the relationship between language acquisition and language structure, and the recovery of language after damage to the brain. 

The Sign Language Research Lab is part of the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery and the Department of Neurology at Georgetown University. We study American Sign Language acquisition, processing and history, and the evolution and structure of homesign, international pidgin sign and signed languages of the world.

The Cognitive Recovery Lab, is part of the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery and the Department of Neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center and the MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital. Our research aims to improve the lives of people with cognitive and language difficulties by expanding our understanding of:

  1. how the brain performs language and cognitive functions,
  2. how these brain systems change in the face of injury or dysfunction,
  3. how we can improve recovery.

The Cognitive Aging Lab is part of the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery and the Department of Psychology at Georgetown University. We study which cognitive and neural systems decline and which are spared in the course of aging. We focus especially on implicit learning and memory which can occur without intent or awareness.

The Mechanisms of Therapeutic Rehabilitation Lab (MOTR Lab)  is part of the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery and the MedStar National Rehabilitation Network. We aim to improve the outcomes of rehabilitation for those with arm impairment after stroke and we are approaching this goal by exploring: 

  1. the physiology of normal arm movement,
  2. the neural correlates of impaired arm movement after stroke or other injury (such as amputation), and
  3. new approaches to enhance post-stroke motor recovery.

The Christoph Ruesch Neuroscience Research Center (NRC) at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital is dedicated to implementing initiatives that probe new rehabilitative interventions, address the health and rehabilitative needs of persons with disabilities, and develop better ways to deliver and pay for these services. Since its inception, the NRC has established a broad-based research program dedicated to stroke outcomes and recovery, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and the impact of cardiovascular disease across the spectrum of neurologic disabilities.