University of Southern California

USC Neuroscience

Carolee J. Winstein

Professor, Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy

Research Topics

  1. Movement Science
  2. Neurorehabilitation
  3. Learning & Memory
  4. Clinical Trials
  5. Motor Systems
  6. Repair and Recovery

Research Overview

Carolee J. Winstein, PhD, PT, FAPTA is professor of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy and directs the Motor Behavior and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA. She holds a joint appointment in the Department of Neurology, USC Keck School of Medicine. She is best known for work concerned with the functional neural and behavioral basis of motor control and learning and its relationship to neurorehabilitation. She has published extensively on scientifically derived neurorehabilitation approaches to enhance recovery and repair after adult onset stroke. Winstein is principal investigator (PI) for the first clinical research network, PTClinResNet, funded by the Foundation for Physical Therapy; she is Co-PI of the first National Institutes of Health (NIH) phase III Multi-site Randomized Clinical Trial of a rehabilitation intervention for upper extremity recovery in stroke, Extremity Constraint-Induced Therapy Evaluation (EXCITE); she is PI for an individual investigator NIH funded grant, Brain and Behavioral Correlates of Arm Rehabilitation after Stroke, a companion to EXCITE; and Co-PI of a NIH roadmap planning and exploratory project, the Interdisciplinary Study of Neuroplasticity and Stroke Rehabilitation (ISNSR). In 2005, she was appointed to the National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research (NABMRR) of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the NIH. Recent research efforts that provide critical background and experience for the development of innovative approaches in neurorehabilitation include: 1) feasibility of Novel Virtual Environments and Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (NIH Phase I STTR), 2) Safety and Effectiveness of Cortical Stimulation in the Treatment of Upper Extremity Hemiparesis (Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.), and the recently awarded, NIH NINDS/NICHD Interdisciplinary Comprehensive Arm Rehabilitation Evaluation (I-CARE) Stroke Initiative, a Multi-Center phase III Randomized control Trial.

Contact Information

Web Sites:
Division of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy Clinical Research Network
Mailing Address:
1540 Alcazar St. Street
Los Angeles 90089-9006
Office Location:
CHP 147D
Office Phone:
(323) 442-2903
Lab Location:
Lab Phone:
(323) 442-1196
(323) 442-1515


  • Waisman Ctr., Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, Postdoctoral Fellow, Behavioral Neuroscience, 1989
  • Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA, Ph.D., Kinesiology, 1988
  • Univ. of Southern Calif., Los Angeles, CA, M.S., Physical Therapy, 1984
  • Univ. of California, San Francisco, CA, B.S./Certif. in Phys. Ther Physical Therapy, 1973
  • Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA, B.A., Kinesiology & Psychology, 1972

Research Images

Selected Publications

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Tretriluxana J, Gordon J, Winstein CJ. (2008) Manual asymmetries in grasp pre-shaping and transport-grasp coordination. Exp Brain Res. 188(2):305-315. -PubMed

Onla-Or SP, Winstein CJ. (2008) Determining the Optimal Challenge Point for Motor Skill Learning in Adults with Moderately Severe Parkinson's Disease. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. (In Press) -PubMed

Wolf SL, Winstein CJ, Miller JP, Thompson PA, Taub E, Uswatte G, Morris D, Blanton S, Nichols-Larsen D, Clark PC. (2008) Retention of upper limb function in stroke survivors who have received constraint-induced movement therapy: the EXCITE randomised trial. Lancet Neurol. 7(1):33-40. -PubMed

Sullivan KJ, Brown DA, Klassen T, Mulroy S, Ge T, Azen SP, Winstein CJ; Physical Therapy Clinical Research Network (PTClinResNet). (2007) Effects of task-specific locomotor and strength training in adults who were ambulatory after stroke: results of the STEPS randomized clinical trial. Phys Ther. 87(12):1580-1602.


Kaplon RT, Prettyman MG, Kushi CL, Winstein CJ. (2007) Six hours in the laboratory: a quantification of practice time during constraint-induced therapy (CIT). Clin Rehabil. 21(10):950-958. -PubMed

Boyd LA, Quaney BM, Pohl PS, Winstein CJ. (2007) Learning implicitly: effects of task and severity after stroke. Neurorehabil Neural Repair 21(5):444-454 -PubMed

Dong Y, Winstein CJ, Albistegui-DuBois R, Dobkin BH. (2007) Evolution of FMRI activation in the perilesional primary motor cortex and cerebellum with rehabilitation training-related motor gains after stroke: a pilot study. Neurorehabil Neural Repair.21(5):412-428 -PubMed

Lin CH, Sullivan KJ, Wu AD, Kantak S, Winstein CJ. (2007)  Effect of task practice order on motor skill learning in adults with Parkinson disease: a pilot study. Phys Ther. 87(9):1120-1131 -PubMed

Stewart JC, Yeh SC, Jung Y, Yoon H, Whitford M, Chen SY, Li L, McLaughlin M, Rizzo A, Winstein CJ. (2007) Intervention to enhance skilled arm and hand movements after stroke: A feasibility study using a new virtual reality system. J Neuroeng Rehabil. 23;4:21. -PubMed -Link

Wolf SL, Winstein CJ, Miller JP, Taub E, Uswatte G, Morris D, Giuliani C, Light K, Nichols-Larsen D. (2006). Effect of Constraint Induced Movement Therapy on Upper Extremity Function 3-9 Months after Stroke: The EXCITE Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA, 296: 2095-2104 -PubMed -Link