Carolee J. Winstein, PhD, PT, FAPTA

carolee winstein portrait

Faculty Profile



(323) 442-2903

Mailing Address

1540 Alcazar St., CHP 155, Los Angeles, CA 90089-9006


Motor Behavior and Neurorehabilitation

Professional Interests

Carolee J. Winstein is a faculty member in the interdisciplinary Neuroscience Graduate Program. She oversees an interdisciplinary research program focused on understanding rehabilitation outcomes at the systems level and promoting optimal recovery of goal-directed movement behaviors that emerge from a dynamic brain-behavior system in brain-damaged conditions.

For more than 20 years, she has consistently received research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, and the Foundation for Physical Therapy. She has been affiliated with the Neuroscience Graduate Program since 1998 and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Neurology at Keck School of Medicine of USC.

She has authored or co-authored more than 100 research papers including chapters, proceedings and commentaries. She has also mentored more than a dozen doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars from diverse backgrounds, including engineering, neuroscience and rehabilitation.


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Behavioral Neuroscience, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1989
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Kinesiology, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, 1988
  • Master of Science, Physical Therapy, University of Southern, 1984
  • Bachelor of Science/Certificate, Physical Therapy, University of California, San Francisco, 1973
  • Bachelor of Arts, Kinesiology and Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, 1972

See Carolee Winstein’s curriculum vitae

Selected Publications

  • Wang X, Liu BJ, Martinez C, Zhang X, Winstein CJ. “Development of a novel imaging informatics-based system with an intelligent workflow engine (IWEIS) to support imaging-based clinical trials”. Computers in Biology and Medicine, 2015.
  • Levy RM Harvey RL, Kissela BM, Winstein CJ, Lutsep HL, Parrish TB, Cramer SC, Venkatesan L. (2015). “Epidural electrical stimulation for stroke rehabilitation: Results of the prospective, multicenter, randomized, single-blinded Everest Trial.” Neurorehabilitation Neural Repair, Mar 6. pii:1545968315575613. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25748452
  • Winstein C, Requejo P. “Innovative technologies for rehabilitation and health promotion: What is the evidence?” (2015) Physical Therapy, Mar;95(3):294-8. doi: 10.2522/ptj.2015.95.2.294. PMID: 25734191
  • Sugg, K., Müller, S., Winstein, C., Hathorn, D., & Dempsey, A. R. (2015). “Does action observation training with immediate physical practice improve hemiparetic upper limb function in chronic stroke?” Neurorehabilitation & Neural Repair, Jan 22. pii: 1545968314565512. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25613984.
  • Winstein C, Lewthwaite R, Blanton SR, Wolf LB, Wishart L. (2014) “Infusing motor learning research into neurorehabilitation practice: a historical perspective with case exemplar from the accelerated skill acquisition program.” Journal of  Neurologic Physical Therapy. 2014 Jul;38(3):190-200.
  • Duff, S. V., He, J., Nelsen, M. A.,Lane, C. J., Rowe, V. T.,Wolf, S. L.,Dromerick A.W.,Winstein, C. J.(2014). “Interrater Reliability of the Wolf Motor FunctionTest-Functional Ability Scale:  Why It Matters.” Neurorehabilitationand Neural Repair.doi:10.1177/1545968314553030
  • Goh, H.-T., Gordon, J., Sullivan, K.J.,  Winstein,C. J. (2014). “Evaluation of attentional demands during motor learning: Validity of a dual-task probe paradigm.” Journal of MotorBehavior46(2).doi:10.1080/00222895.2013.868337
  • Stewart, J. C., Gordon, J., Winstein, C.J. (2014). “Control of reach extent with the paretic and non-paretic arms after unilateral sensorimotor strokeII: Planning and adjustments to control movement distance.” Experimental Brain Research232(11),3431-3443.doi:10.1007/s00221-014-4025-7
  • Stewart, J. C., Gordon, J., Winstein, C.J. (2014). “Control of reach extent with the paretic andnonparetic arms after unilateral sensorimotor stroke: Kinematic differences based on side of brain damage.” Experimental BrainResearch232(7),2407-2419.doi:10.1007/s00221-014-3938-5
  • Wade, E., Chen, C.,  Winstein,C. J.(2014). “Spectral analyses of wrist motion in individuals post-stroke: The development of a performance measure with promise for unsupervised settings.” Neurorehabilitation and NeuralRepair28(2),169-178.doi:10.1177/1545968313505911
  • Chen, S., Lewthwaite, R.,Schweighofer, N., Winstein, C. J. (2013). “Discriminant validity of a new measure of self-efficacy for reaching movements after stroke-induced hemiparesis.” Journal of Hand Therapy : Official Journal of the American Society of Hand Therapists26(2), 116-122; quiz123.doi:10.1016/j.jht.2012.09.002
  • Garrison, K. A., Aziz-Zadeh, L.,Wong, S. W., Liew,S.-L., Winstein, C. J. (2013). “Modulatingthe motor system by action observation after stroke.” Stroke—A Journal of Cerebral Circulation44(8),2247-2253.doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.001105
  • Rose, D. K., Winstein, C. J.(2013). “Temporal coupling is more robust than spatial coupling: An investigation of interlimb coordination after stroke.” Journal of Motor Behavior45(4),313-324.doi:10.1080/00222895.2013.798250
  • Stewart, J. C., Gordon, J., Winstein, C.J. (2013). “Planning and adjustments for the control of reach extent in a virtual environment.” Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation10.doi:10.1186/1743-0003-10-27
  •  Winstein, C. J., Wolf, S.L.,Dromerick, A. W., Lane, C. J., Nelsen, M. A., Lewthwaite, R.,Blanton S., Scott C., Reiss A., Cen S.Y., Holley R., Azen, S. P.(2013). “Interdisciplinary Comprehensive Arm Rehabilitation Evaluation (ICARE): A randomized controlled trial protocol.” BMC Neurology, 13.doi:10.1186/1471-2377-13-5
  • Han, C. E., Kim, S., Chen, S., Lai,Y.-H., Lee, J.-Y., Osu,R., Winstein C.J.,Schweighofer, N. (2013). “Quantifying arm nonuse in individuals post-stroke.” Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair27(5),439-447.doi:10.1177/1545968312471904
  • WinsteinCJ, Requejo PS,Zelinski EM, Mulroy SJ, Crimmins EM.(2012). “A transformative subfield in rehabilitation science at the nexus of new technologies, aging and disability.” Frontiers in Psychology, Sept, 3: Article 340
  • Goh HT, Sullivan KJ, Gordon J, WulfG, WinsteinCJ. (2012). “Dual-task practice enhances motor learning: A preliminary investigation.” Experimental Brain Research. Aug 12.
  • Tan C, Tretriluxana J, Pitsch E, RunnarongN, WinsteinCJ. (2012). “Anticipatory planning of functional reach-to-grasp: A pilot study.” Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. Mar20
  • Hidaka Y, Han CE, Wolf SL, WinsteinCJ,Schweighofer N. (2012). “Use it and improve it or lose it: Interactions between arm function and use in humans post-stroke.” PLOS Computational Biology, 8(2):e1002343.doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002343
  • Chen S, Wolf SL, Zhang Q, ThompsonPA, WinsteinC., (2012). “The minimal detectable change of the Actual Amount of Use Test and the Motor Activity Log: The EXCITE Trial.” Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. Jan 24, [Epub aheadof print]
  • Kantak SS, Winstein CJ.(2012). “Learning-performance distinction and memory processes for motorskills: A focused review and perspective.” Behavioural Brain Research ,Mar 1;228(1):219-31.
  • Kantak S, Sullivan KA, Fisher BE, KnowltonB, Winstein C. (2011). “Transfer of motor learning engages specific neural substrates during motor memory consolidation dependent on the practice structure.” Journal of Motor Behavior. Nov;43(6):499-507
  • Wade E, Winstein CJ. (2011). “Virtual reality and robotics for stroke rehabilitation: Where do we go from here?” Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation; 18(6):685-700.
  • Yeh S-C, McLaughlin M, Nam Y, Sanders S, Chang C, KennedyB,Flynn S, Lange B, Li L, Chen S, WhitfordM, WinsteinC, Jung Y, Rizzo A. (2011). “Emotions and telerehabilitation: Pilot clinical trials for virtualt elerehabilitation applications using haptic device and its impact on post stroke patients’ mood and motivation.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol.6774:119-128, Springer Heidelberg.
  • Mulroy S, Winstein C, Kulig K, BeneckG.J,Fowler E, DeMuth S, Sullivan K, Brown D, Christianne J Lane.(2011) “Secondary Mediation and Regression Analyses of thePTClinResNetDatabase:  Determining Causal Relationships amongOutcomesacross International Classification of Function Levels for Four Physical Therapist Intervention Trials.” Physical Therapy.91(12): 1766-1789
  • Schweighofer N, Lee J-Y, Goh H-T, Choi Y, Kim S, StewartJ,Lewthwaite R, Winstein CJ. (2011). “Mechanisms of the contextual interference effect in individuals post-stroke.” Journal of Neurophysiology. 106:2632-2641
  • Rizzo A, Requejo P, Winstein CJ, LangeB,Ragusa G, Merians A, Patton J, Banerjee P, Aisen M.(2011). “Virtual reality applications for addressing the needs of those aging with disability.” Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. 163:510-6.
  • Mulroy SJ, Thompson L, Kemp B, Hatchett PP, Newsam CJ, Lupold DG, Haubert LL, Eberly V, Ge TT, Azen SP, Winstein CJ, Gordon J (2011); for thecPhysical Therapy ClinicalcResearch Network (PTClinResNet). “Strengthening and Optimal Movements for Painful Shoulders (STOMPS) in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Physical Therapy. 2011 Mar;91(3):305-324. Epub2011 Feb 3.
  • Kantak SS, Fisher BE, Sullivan KJand Winstein CJ. (2010) “Effects of different doses of low frequency rTMS on motor corticospinal excitability.” Journal of Neurology and Neurophysiology – Open Access; www.omicsonline.orgdoi:10.4172/2155-9562. Volume 1• Issue1•1000102
  • Wolf SL, Thompson PA, Winstein CJ, MillerJP,Blanton SR, Nichols-Larsen DS, Morris DM, Uswatte G, Taub E,LightKE, Sawaki L. (2010). “The EXCITE stroke trial: Comparing early and delayed constraint-induced movement therapy.” Stroke,10:2309-15.
  • Kantak SS, Sullivan KJ, Fisher BE, Knowlton BJ, Winstein CJ (2010). “Neural substrates of motor memory consolidation depend on practice structure.” Nature Neuroscience, published online July 10,2010; doi:10.1038/nn.2596
  • Woodbury M, Velozo CA, Thompson PA, Light K, Uswatte G, TaubE, Winstein CJ, Morris D, Blanton S,Nichols-LarsenDS, Wolf SL. (2010). “Measurement structure of the Wolf Motor Function Test: Implications for motor control theory.” Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 9: 791-801.
  • Lin CH, Winstein CJ, Fisher BE, Wu AD.(2010) Neural Correlates of the Contextual Interference Effect in Motor Learning: A Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Investigation. Journal of Motor Behavior. Jun 21. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Lange BS, Requejo P, Flynn SM, Rizzo AA, Valero-Cuevas FJ,BakerL, Winstein C (2010). “The potential of virtual reality and gaming to assist successful aging with disability.” Physical Medicine of Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. May;21(2):339-56.
  • Garrison KA, Winstein CJ, Aziz-Zadeh L(2010)“The mirror neuron system: A neural substrate for methods in stroke rehabilitation.”  Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair.Jun;24(5):404-12.
  • Fowler EG, Knutson LM, Demuth SK, Siebert KL, Simms VD, SugiMH,Souza RB, Karim R, Azen SP (2010). “Pediatric endurance and limb strengthening (PEDALS) for children with cerebral palsy using stationary cycling: A randomized controlled trial.”; Physical Therapy Clinical Research Network (PTClinResNet). Physical Therapy. Mar;90(3):367-81. Epub 2010Jan 21.
  • Winstein CJ (2009). “The best we can be is yet to come.” Physical Therapy. 2009 Nov;89 (11):1236-49.
  • Schweighofer N, Han C, Wolf SL, Arbib M, Winstein CJ. (2009). “Understanding the functional threshold: Predictions from a Computational Model and Supporting Data from theExtremity Constraint-Induced Therapy Evaluation (EXCITE) Trial.” Physical Therapy, 89(12),1327-36.
  • Kulig K, Beneck GJ, Selkowitz DM, Popovich JM Jr., GeTT,Flanagan SP, Poppert EM, Yamada K, Powers CM, AzenS,Winstein CJ, Gordon J, Samudrala S, ChenTC,Shamie N, Khoo L, Spoonamore MJ, Wang JC and Physical Therapy Clinical Research Network (PTClinResNet). (2009). “The effect of an intensive, progressive exercise program on functional performancein patients post single-level lumbar microdiscectomy.” Physical Therapy, 89:1145-1157.
  • Ojha H, Kern R, Lin C-H, Winstein CJ.(2009). “Age affects the attentional demands of stair ambulation: Evidence from a dual-task approach.” Physical Therapy, 89:1080-8.
  • Tretriluxana J, Gordon J, FisherBE, WinsteinCJ (2009). “Hemisphere specific impairments in reach-to-grasp control after stroke: Effects of object size.” Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 23:679-91.
  • Matarić M, Tapus A, Winstein C, ErikssonJ.(2009). “Socially assistive robotics for stroke and mild TBI rehabilitation.” Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. 145:249-62.
  • Lin CH, Fisher BE, Wu AD, Ko YA, LeeLY, WinsteinCJ. (2009) “Neural correlate of the contextual interference effect in motor learning: A kinematic analysis.” Journal of Motor Behavior. 41:232-42
  • Chen SY, Winstein CJ. (2009). A systematic review of voluntary arm recovery in hemiparteic stroke: Critical predictors for meaningful outcomes using the international classification of functioning, disability, and health.” Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy, 33(1): 2-13.
  • Harvey RL, Winstein CJ; EverestTrial Group.(2009). “Design for the Everest randomized trial of cortical stimulation and rehabilitation for arm function following stroke.” Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, Jan; 23(1):32-44.
  • Lin CH, Fisher BE, Winstein CJ, Wu AD,GordonJ. (2008) “Contextual interference effect: elaborative processing or forgetting-reconstruction? A post hoc analysis of transcranial magnetic stimulation-induced effects on motor learning.” Journal of Motor Behavior, 40(6):578-86
  • Park SW, Wolf SL, Blanton S, WinsteinC, Nichols-Larsen DS. (2008). “The EXCITE trial: Predicting a clinically meaningful motor activity log outcome.” Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. 22(5):486-93.
  • Tretriluxana J, Gordon J, Winstein CJ.(2008). “Manual asymmetries in grasp pre-shaping and transport-grasp coordination.” Experimental Brain Research.188(2): 305-15
  • Wolf SL, Winstein CJ, Miller PJ, ThompsonPA,Taub E, Uswatte G, Morris D, Blanton S, Nichols-Larsen D, ClarkPC.(2008, available online 12/17/07). “Retention of upper limb function in stroke survivors who have received constraint-induced movement therapy: The EXCITE randomized trial.” The Lancet Neurology, 7(1): 33-40.
  • Onla-or P. & Winstein, CJ.(2008). “Determining the optimal challenge point for motor skill learning in adults with moderately severe Parkinson’sDisease.” Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 22(4):385-95.
  • Winstein C, Pate P, Ge T, Ervin C, BaurleyJ,Sullivan KJ, Underwood SJ, Fowler EG, Mulroy S, Brown DA, KuligK,Gordon J, Azen SP & Physical Therapy Clinical ResearchNetwork.(2008) The Physical Therapy Clinical ResearchNetwork(PTClinResNet): “Methods, efficacy and benefits of a rehabilitation research network.” American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 87(11): 937-50
  • Sullivan KJ, Brown DA, Klassen T, Mulroy S, Ge T, AzenSP,Winstein CJ (2007). “Effects of task-specific locomotor and strength training in adults who were ambulatory after stroke: Results of the STEPS randomized clinical trial.”; Physical Therapy Clinical ResearchNetwork(PTClinResNet). Physical Therapy. 2007 Dec;87(12):1580-602.
  • Wolf SL, Newton H, Maddy D, Blanton S, Zhang Q,WinsteinCJ, Morris DM, Light K. (2007). “The Excite Trial: Relationship of intensity of constraint induced movement therapy to improvement in the Wolf motor function test.” Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 25(5-6):549-62.
  • Wolf SL, Winstein CJ, Miller JP,Blanton S,Clark PC, Nichols-Larsen D (2007). “Looking in the rearview mirror when conversing with back seat drivers: The EXCITE trial revisited.” Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 21:379-387.
  • Kaplon R., Prettyman M., Kushi C. WinsteinC.J(2007).  “Six hours in the laboratory? A quantification of practice time during Constraint-Induced Therapy(CIT).” Clinical Rehabiltation. 21(10): 950-958.
  • Winstein, CJ., Bentzen, KR., Boyd,L.,Schneider, LS. (2007). “Does Donepezil, a cholinesterase inhibitor benefit declarative and non-declarative processes in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease?” Current Alzheimer Research,43: 273-6
  • Lin CH, Sullivan KJ, Wu AD, KantakS, WinsteinCJ. (2007). “Effect of task practice order on motor skill learning in adults with Parkinson’s Disease: A pilot study.” Physical Therapy, 87(9):1120-31
  • Stewart JC, Yeh SC, Jung Y, Yoon H, Whitford M, Chen SY, LiL,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.” Journal of Neuroengineering Rehabilitation., 4: 21.
  • Boyd LA, Quaney BM, Pohl PS, WinsteinCJ(2007). “Learning implicitly: Effects of task and severity after stroke.” Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 21(5):444-54.
  • Dong Y, Winstein CJ, Albistegui-DuBoisR,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.” Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 21:412-28. Epub 2007Mar16
  • Koski L., Lin C-H, Wu A, Winstein CJ.(2007). “Reliability of intracortical and corticomotor excitability estimates obtained from the upper extremities in chronic stroke.” Neuroscience Research, 58(1):19-31.
  • Mataric MJ, ErikssonJ,Feil-Seifer DJ, Winstein CJ. (2007). “Socially assistive robotics for post-stroke rehabilitation.” Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 4:5doi:10.1186/1743-0003-4-5
  • Wolf SL, Winstein CJ, Miller JP, TaubE,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.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 296: 2095-2104
  • Uswatte G, Giuliani C, Winstein C,Zerinque A,Hobbs L, Wolf SL. (2006) “Validity of accelerometry for monitoring real-world arm activity in patients with subacute stroke: Evidence from the extremity constraint-induced therapy evaluation trial.” Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 87:1340-5
  • Boyd LA, Winstein CJ. (2006). “Explicit information interferes with implicit motor learning of both discrete and continuous movement tasks after stroke. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy, 30: 46-57.
  • Dong Y, Dobkin BH, Cen SY, Wu AD, WinsteinCJ.(2006) “Motor cortex activation during treatment may predict therapeutic gains in paretic hand function after stroke.” Stroke, 37:1552-1555
  • Fisher BE, Boyd L, WinsteinCJ (2006). “Contralateral cerebellar damage impairs imperative planning but not updating of aimed arm movements in humans.” Experimental Brain Research, 174, 453-66, DOI10.1007/s00221-006-0482-y
  • Wolf, SL. Thompson, PA. Morris, DM. Rose,DK. Winstein,CJ. Taub, E. Giuliani, C.Pearson, SL. (2005). “The EXCITE* trial attributes of the Wolf MotorFunction Test in patients with subacute stroke.” Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair,19(3),194-205
  • Rose, D. Winstein, C.J. (2005). “The coordination of bimanual rapid aiming movements following stroke.” Clinical Rehabilitation, 19:1-11
  • Rose, D. Winstein, C.J. (2004). “Bimanual training after stroke: Are two hands better than one?” Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 11: (4),20-30
  • Boyd,LA, Winstein, C.J. (2004). “Cerebellar stroke impairs temporal but not spatial accuracy during implicit motor learning.” Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 18:134-143
  • Boyd, LA, Winstein, C.J. (2004). “Providing explicit information disrupts implicit motor learning after basal ganglia stroke.” Learning and Memory, 11:388-396
  • Winstein, C.J., Rose, D. Tan, S.,Lewthwaite,R., Chui, H.C., & Azen, S.P. (2004). “A randomized controlled comparison of upper extremity rehabilitation strategie sin acute stroke: Immediate and longer-term outcomes.” Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 85:620-628
  • Boyd, LA, Winstein, C.J. (2003). “Impact of explicit information on implicit motor-sequence learning following middle cerebral artery stroke.” Physical Therapy, 83:976-989
  • Winstein, CJ, Miller JP, Blanton S, MorrisD,Uswatte G, Taub E, Nichols D, Wolf