Michelle Harris-Love

Michelle Harris-Love

Michelle Harris-Love, PhD, PT, is associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering at George Mason University. She specializes in motor recovery following stroke, neural control of reaching movements, and non-invasive brain stimulation.

Dr. Harris-Love earned a Master of Science degree in Physical Therapy at the Mayo School of Health Sciences and a PhD in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Maryland. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Human Cortical Physiology Section, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, and was a Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Visiting Fellow at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Research Interests

Dr. Harris-Love’s research interests include

  • Stroke rehabilitation
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Recovery of reaching movements post-stroke
  • Neurophysiology of motor control and motor learning
  • Non-invasive brain stimulation


Selected Research

Stimulation to improve movement (STIM): Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to improve reaching movements in severe arm impairment after stroke

Patients with severe arm impairment can make small improvements in reaching with practice, but it is not known if these practice-induced improvements could be enhanced by pre-practice modulation of brain excitability. If the brain areas that can contribute to recovery could be "primed" prior to practice, the effects of practice may be enhanced, and patients could potentially reap greater rewards for their efforts. We are looking for volunteers who have had a stroke more than 6 months ago and have weakness in the stroke-affected arm to test these questions. Preliminary results of this research have been published in Frontiers in Neurology (2017; 8:224)

Reach Forward: Mechanisms of practice-induced reaching improvement after stroke
Dr. Harris-Love is principal investigator on this study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. The neurophysiological mechanisms underlying improvements in upper-extremity motor skills in stroke patients are poorly understood. In this research, Dr. Harris-Love and colleagues found that along with training-induced motor improvements, training-specific modulation of intrahemispheric and interhemispheric mechanisms occurred after reaching practice in stroke patients. Results of this research have been published inNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair (2011;25:398-411).

View Dr. Harris-Love's publications on PubMed

Volunteer for Stroke Research

Michelle Harris-Love PhD, PT
Associate Professor
George Mason University
Department of Bioengineering
College of Health and Human Services
Office: Robinson A, 451C
Ph: 703-993-3590
Fax: 703-993-6073
Email: [email protected]

  • Research Areas
  • Neuroscience
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation