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Rehabilitation of cognitive impairments

How does stroke influence sensorimotor networks in the human brain? – This is the major question driving our research activities.

ag_rehabilitation of cognitive impairments

Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the western world. In Germany, approximately 200,000 people per year suffer from a stroke, and over 50% of stroke survivors remain disabled by a permanent neurological deficit, despite pharmacological treatment and extensive physiotherapy (

The scientific mission of the “Rehabilitation of Cognitive Impairments” group is to further our understanding of stroke-induced disturbances in brain network functions and the development of novel treatment strategies to promote recovery of function.

The aim is to elucidate which brain regions constitute key players in the process of functional reorganization, and how non-invasive brain stimulation may be used to “re-shape” neural networks to promote recovery of function.
To achieve this, we combine neuroimaging (structural/functional MRI, electroencephalography) and computational neuroscience with behavioral, technical or pharmacological interventions that allow us to enhance neural plasticity and neurorehabilitation.

Brain connectivity

Action TMS

Selected publications:

  • Volz LJ, Rehme AK, Michely J, Nettekoven C, Eickhoff SB, Fink GR, Grefkes C. Shaping Early Reorganization of Neural Networks Promotes Motor Function after Stroke. Cereb Cortex. 2016 Jun;26(6):2882-94.
  • Grefkes C, Fink GR. Connectivity-based approaches in stroke and recovery of function. Lancet Neurol. 2014 Feb;13(2):206-16.
  • Grefkes C, Nowak DA, Wang LE, Dafotakis M, Eickhoff SB, Fink GR. Modulating cortical connectivity in stroke patients by rTMS assessed with fMRI and dynamic causal modelling. Neuroimage 2010, 50: 234-243.
  • Grefkes C, Nowak DA, Eickhoff SB, Dafotakis M, Küst J, Karbe H, Fink GR. Cortical connectivity after subcortical stroke assessed with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Ann Neurol. 2008 Feb;63(2):236-46.

Additional Information

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Christian Grefkes

Visiting Scientists

Dr. Shivakumar Viswanathan

Jochen Michely

Dr. Anne Rehme

Dr. Lukas Volz