Hannah J. Block

(812) 855-5390
PH 176

  • Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Ph.D., 2009
  • University of British Columbia, BSc, 2002
  • NEUS N500 Neural Science I
  • SPH K550 MATLAB for Data Analysis
  • SPH K641 Topics in Motor Integration
  • SPH K543 Cortical Control of Human Movement
  • 2009-2013: Postdoctoral Fellowship in Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

2018-2021: Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation research grant 1753915. "Reciprocal effects of adaptation in the brain's motor and sensory systems."

Research Interests

When we encounter a perturbation in the environment or our body—reaching to grasp an object underwater, for example—there are significant challenges the brain must overcome.  Light is bent by water, so we see the underwater hand in a different location from where we feel it proprioceptively.  While initially movement errors occur in a situation like this, a healthy person quickly learns to compensate.  This compensation can take different forms, including motor adaptation, changes in multisensory processing, or both. 

Failure to compensate for a perturbation can result in movement difficulties, yet little is known about the functional relationships or neural bases of these processes.  In addition to providing direction in rehabilitation of patient groups with sensorimotor deficits, this knowledge would help answer fundamental questions about how sensory and motor processes interact in the brain.  I use behavioral and neurophysiological techniques to study the neural basis of these compensatory sensorimotor processes in healthy adults.

Sensorimotor Neurophysiology Lab

Selected Publications

Article - Block, H.J., Mirdamadi, J.L., Ryckman, S., Wilson, R., Lynch, A.K., Udayan, D., Massie, C. (2019). A tool for accurate measurement of proprioception in the clinical setting. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy.

Article - Block, H.J., Sexton, B.M., Liu, Y. (2019). Nuance in statistical reporting: Reply to Héroux. Letter to the Editor. Journal of Neurophysiology.

Article - Liu, Y., Sexton, B.M., Block, H.J. (2018). Spatial bias in estimating the position of visual and proprioceptive targets. Journal of Neurophysiology 119, 1879-1888.

Article - Munoz-Rubke, F., Mirdamadi, J.L., Lynch, A.K., Block, H.J. (2017). Visuo-proprioceptive misalignment and associated changes in motor cortex physiology. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 29(12): 2054-67.

Spampinato, D., Block, H.J., Celnik, P. (2017). Cerebellar-M1 connectivity changes associated to motor learning are somatotopic specific. J Neurosci 2511-16.

Hoseini, N., Munoz, L.F., Wan, H.Y., Block, H.J. (2016). Motor point associative stimulation (MPAS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over sensorimotor cortex to improve manual dexterity. Neuroscience Letters: 633: 134-140.

Hoseini, N., Sexton, B.M., Kurtz, K., Liu, Y., Block, H.J. (2015). Adaptive staircase measurement of proprioception. PLoS One: 10(8).

Block, H.J., and Celnik, P. (2013). Stimulating the Cerebellum Affects Visuomotor Adaptation but not Intermanual Transfer of Learning. Cerebellum: 12(6): 781-93.

Block, H.J., Bastian, A.J., Celnik, P. (2013). Virtual lesion of angular gyrus disrupts the relationship between visuoproprioceptive weighting and realignment. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 25(4):636-48.

Block, H.J., and Celnik, P. (2012). Can cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation become a valuable neurorehabilitation intervention? Invited Editorial, Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics 12(11): 1275-1277(3).

Block, H.J., and Bastian, A.J. (2012). Cerebellar involvement in motor but not sensory adaptation. Neuropsychologia 50(8): 1766-75.

Block, H.J., and Bastian, A.J. (2011). Sensory weighting and realignment: Independent compensatory processes. Journal of Neurophysiology 106: 59-70.

Block, H.J., and Bastian, A.J. (2010). Sensory reweighting in targeted reaching: Effect of conscious effort, error history, and target salience. Journal of Neurophysiology 103: 206-217.

Bo, J., Block, H.J., Clark, J.E., and Bastian, A.J. (2008). A cerebellar deficit in sensorimotor prediction explains movement timing variability. Journal of Neurophysiology 100: 2825-32.

Reisman, D.S., Block, H.J., and Bastian, A..J. (2005). Interlimb cooridination during locomotion: What can be adapted and stored? Journal of Neurophysiology 94: 2403-15.