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1.  Studying the Effects of Transcranial Direct-Current Stimulation in Stroke Recovery Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging 
Transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) is showing increasing promise as an adjunct therapy in stroke rehabilitation. However questions still remain concerning its mechanisms of action, which currently limit its potential. Magnetic resonance (MR) techniques are increasingly being applied to understand the neural effects of tDCS. Here, we review the MR evidence supporting the use of tDCS to aid recovery after stroke and discuss the important open questions that remain.
doi:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00857
PMCID: PMC3859898  PMID: 24376413
transcranial direct-current stimulation; stroke recovery; MRI; humans; MRS spectroscopy
2.  The Effects of Aerobic Activity on Brain Structure 
Aerobic activity is a powerful stimulus for improving mental health and for generating structural changes in the brain. We review the literature documenting these structural changes and explore exactly where in the brain these changes occur as well as the underlying substrates of the changes including neural, glial, and vasculature components. Aerobic activity has been shown to produce different types of changes in the brain. The presence of novel experiences or learning is an especially important component in how these changes are manifest. We also discuss the distinct time courses of structural brain changes with both aerobic activity and learning as well as how these effects might differ in diseased and elderly groups.
doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00086
PMCID: PMC3311131  PMID: 22470361
exercise; plasticity; hippocampus; neurogenesis; angiogenesis; learning; environmental enrichment; aging
3.  Relevance of Structural Brain Connectivity to Learning and Recovery from Stroke 
The physical structure of white matter fiber bundles constrains their function. Any behavior that relies on transmission of signals along a particular pathway will therefore be influenced by the structural condition of that pathway. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging provides localized measures that are sensitive to white matter microstructure. In this review, we discuss imaging evidence on the relevance of white matter microstructure to behavior. We focus in particular on motor behavior and learning in healthy individuals and in individuals who have suffered a stroke. We provide examples of ways in which imaging measures of structural brain connectivity can inform our study of motor behavior and effects of motor training in three different domains: (1) to assess network degeneration or damage with healthy aging and following stroke, (2) to identify a structural basis for individual differences in behavioral responses, and (3) to test for dynamic changes in structural connectivity with learning or recovery.
doi:10.3389/fnsys.2010.00146
PMCID: PMC2990506  PMID: 21119774
MRI; diffusion imaging; white matter; stroke; recovery; motor learning; human

Results 1-3 (3)