• Burrows Street, 29 Recreation Building

      16802 University Park

    • 500 University Drive, C2852 Biomedical Research Building

      17033-0859 Hershey, PA

    • 5198 Citations
    • 40 h-Index
    1991 …2023
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    Personal profile

    Research interests

    Dr. Robert Sainburg is a professor of Kinesiology and Neurology at Penn State and director of the Center for Movement Science and Technology (C-MOST) in the Huck Institute of Life Sciences. He manages two laboratories, the Movement Neuroscience laboratory at Penn State in the Department of Kinesiology at University Park, and the Neurorehabilitation Research Laboratory at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, in the Department of Neurology.

    His research program is fundamentally translational, focusing on understanding basic neural mechanisms that underlie control, coordination, adaptation and learning of voluntary movements in humans. A major theme of his research has been neural lateralization for motor control. His research in patient populations addresses the functional neuroanatomy underlying lateralized processes of motor control, and the deficits that occur due to neuronal damage to the associated structures.

    Dr. Sainburg’s research has led to a model of neural lateralization that attributes different aspects of control to each hemisphere, such that each hemisphere contributes unique control mechanisms to both sides of the body. This bi-hemispheric model of motor control has been able to predict hemisphere-specific deficits in both arms of unilaterally lesioned stroke patients. Most importantly, this work has led to a mechanistic understanding of non-paretic arm (ipsilesional) motor deficits in stroke patients. His current research along with collaborator Carolee Winstein, PT, PhD, at USC is exploring occupational therapy and physical therapy based clinical intervention that uses virtual reality and real-world training to ameliorate these deficits and improve functional independence in stroke patients.

    Education/Academic qualification

    Neurobiology, Post Doctoral Fellowship, Claude Ghez, Columbia University


    Physiology/Neurobiology, MS, Rutgers University


    Occupational Therapy, BS, New York University

    Aug 30 1980Aug 30 1984

    Neurobiology , PhD, Rutgers University


    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Robert L. Sainburg is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    • 7 Similar Profiles
    Arm Medicine & Life Sciences
    Hand Medicine & Life Sciences
    Functional Laterality Medicine & Life Sciences
    Extremities Medicine & Life Sciences
    Stroke Medicine & Life Sciences
    Torque Medicine & Life Sciences
    Proprioception Medicine & Life Sciences
    Sensory Feedback Medicine & Life Sciences

    Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

    Projects 1996 2023

    Activities of Daily Living
    Functional Laterality
    Occupational Therapy
    Nervous System

    Research Output 1991 2020

    Competition for limited neural resources in older adults leads to greater asymmetry of bilateral movements than in young adults

    Woytowicz, E. J., Sainburg, R. L., Westlake, K. P. & Whitall, J., Jan 8 2020, In : Journal of neurophysiology.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Functional Deficits in the Less-Impaired Arm of Stroke Survivors Depend on Hemisphere of Damage and Extent of Paretic Arm Impairment

    Maenza, C., Good, D. C., Winstein, C. J., Wagstaff, D. A. & Sainburg, R. L., Jan 1 2020, In : Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. 34, 1, p. 39-50 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Hand Strength
    Upper Extremity
    2 Citations (Scopus)
    Social Adjustment
    Sensory Feedback
    Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
    Social Adjustment
    Sensory Feedback
    Peripheral Nervous System Diseases


    AOTF Academy of Research

    Robert L. Sainburg (Recipient), 2019

    Prize: Honorary award

    occupational therapy