Amy J. Bastian PhD PT is a neuroscientist who has made fundamental discoveries about human sensorimotor learning and the role of the cerebellum in action. She is currently the Chief Science Officer of the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Professor of Neuroscience, Neurology and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She earned her BS in physical therapy from the University of Oklahoma and her PhD in movement science at Washington University in St. Louis. She was a postdoctoral fellow in neuroscience at Washington University and subsequently joined the faculty there in the Program in Physical Therapy and Department of Neuroscience. In 2001, she joined the Kennedy Krieger Institute and became faculty in Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore Maryland. She has received several awards for her research including a Javits Award from NINDs and the American Society for Neurorehabilitation Outstanding Clinician Scientist Award for her work combining behavioral and clinical studies to provide a mechanistic basis for neurorehabilitation.

Research Interests

Amy Bastian's research is focused on normal and disordered sensorimotor control and learning in humans. She is widely recognized for work on the cerebellar learning mechanisms that are involved in making sensorimotor predictions for accurate movement control. Bastian’s laboratory has also pioneered mechanistic studies of gait control and plasticity, motivated by the fact that walking is particularly vulnerable to neurological disease and has debilitating effects on function. Using novel techniques, including split-belt treadmills and virtual reality, she has shown how new walking patterns are acquired, retained, and generalized, and how distinct brain lesions alter these processes in children and adults. Her laboratory has demonstrated that fundamental behavioral processes in human motor learning are differentially impacted following cerebellar versus cerebral cortical brain damage. In sum, her work forms a novel mechanistic basis for new motor rehabilitation approached for adults and children with neurological damage.

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Primary Section

Section 28: Systems Neuroscience