Maureen K. Holden

Associate Professor
  • Department of Physical Therapy

Office: 407 C Robinson Hall
Phone: 617-373-5274

Ph.D., Brandeis University, Experimental Psychology
M.M.Sc., Emory University, Applied Neuroscience and Neurological Physical Therapy
B.S., Northeastern University, Physical Therapy

Certification: Licensed Physical Therapist

Specializations: Neurorehabilitation,motor control and moter learning, Virtual Environments for Rehabilitation after stroke and brain injury.

The overall goal of my research is to develop and test new therapeutic regimes that can help to ameliorate the deficits suffered by patients who have neurological disorders that affect their ability to move –for example, patients with stroke or other brain injuries.  Development of new techniques must be based on a better understanding of the sensorimotor deficits themselves as well as how these deficits interact with different motor retraining methods used in rehabilitation.  New approaches are needed for motor relearning methods.   To this end, a unique aspect of my work is to combine technologies from the fields of engineering and computer science (e.g., virtual environments, robotics, and biofeedback) with Neurorehabilitation methods that are based on recent findings in the fields of neuroscience and psychology to develop novel therapeutic systems for motor and functional retraining of patients with neurological impairments.

Current Work

1.  High End Virtual Environment System for Motor Retraining and Related Projects

   a.Studies on Motor Learning in Patients with Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury


   c. Projects Related to Hand Motor Control

     – Cyberglove Reliability and Validity in Patients with Stroke

     – Effects of a Clinical Program of Modified Constraint-Induced (CI) Therapy on Hand Function in Patients with Chronic Stroke

     – Studies of Healthy Subject Hand Kinematics and Reliability

      -Kinematic Hand Synergies

2.Collaborative projects with NU Mechanical Engineering Dept, Prof. Constantine Mavroidis]

   a. Development of a Low-Cost VE-based Glove System for Hand Rehabilitation (‘Smart Glove”)

    b. Development of a VE-based Robotic System for Training Balance and Ankle Strength, Mobility and Motor Control

3.  Collaborative Project with University of Tokyo, Hokkaido Tokai University and Sapporo Medical University,  Japan, Dr. Toshiaki Tanakam, University of Tokoyo and Dr. Dr. Takashi Izumi, Hokkaido Tokai University

   a. VE therapy for patients with acute stroke

   b. Tele-rehabilitation System for Upper Extremities in Patients with Stroke using Virtual Reality Technology


1. Ding Y., Sivak M., Weinberg B., Mavroidis C., and Holden, M. (2010).  NUVABAT: Northeastern University Virtual Ankle and Balance Trainer.  Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE Haptics Conference, Waltham, MA, March 25-26, 2010.
2. Sivak, M., Mavroidis, C, and Holden, M.K. (2009).  Design of a low cost multiple user virtual environment for rehabilitation (MUVER) of  patients with stroke.  Studies in Health Technology and Infomatics, 142: 319-324.

3. Harris, M.H., Holden, M.K., Cahalin, L.P., Fitzpatrick, D., Lowe, S., Canavan, P.K. (2008).  Gait in older adults: A review of the literature with an emphasis toward achieving favorable clinical outcomes, Part II.  Clinical Geriatrics, 16(8): 37-45. 

4. Harris, M.H., Holden, M.K., Cahalin, L.P., Fitzpatrick, D., Lowe, S., Canavan, P.K. (2008).  Gait in older adults: A review of the literature with an emphasis toward achieving favorable clinical outcomes, Part I.  Clinical Geriatrics, 16(7): 33-42. 

5. Holden, M.K., Dyar, T.A., Dayan-Cimadoro, L.  (2007).  Telerehabilitation using a virtual environment improves upper extremity function in patients with stroke.  Transactions on Neural Systems & Rehabilitation Engineering, 15(1), 36-42.
6. Holden, M.K., Dyar, T.A., Dayan-Cimadoro, L.  (2006).  Design and testing of a Telerehabilitation system for motor re-training using a virtual environment.  Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop on Virtual Rehabilitation, New York, NY, Aug. 29-30, 2006, pp. 134-139.  IEEE Explorer ISBN No. 1-4244-0280-8/06

7. Holden, M.K. (2005).  Virtual environments for motor rehabilitation – A review.  Cyberpsychology and Behavior, 8(3), 187-211; discussion 212-9.

8. Holden, M.K., Dyar, T., Schwamm, L., & Bizzi, E. (2005).  Virtual environment-based telerehabilitation in patients with stroke.  Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 14(2), 214-233.

9. Holden, M.K., Dyar, T., Schwamm, L., & Bizzi, E. (2003).  Home-based Telerehabilitation using a virtual environment system. In Burdea GC, Thalmann D, & Lewis JA (Eds.): Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Virtual Rehabilitation, 4-12.

10. Holden, M.K. & Dyar, T. (2002).  Virtual environment training: A new tool for Neurorehabilitation. Neurology Report,  26(2), 62-71.

11. Holden, M.K., Dettwiler, A., Dyar, T., Keating, D.J., Niemann, G., & Bizzi, E.  (2002).  Virtual environment training improves functional movement in patients with acquired brain injury.  Conference Proceedings: Joint Conference of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Society of Neurorehabilitation, pp. 1-6. 

12. Holden, M.K.  (2001).  NeuroRehabilitation using 'Learning by Imitation' in virtual environments.  In Smith, J., Salvendy, G., Harris, D., & Koubek, R.J. (Eds.):  Usability Evaluation and Interface Design: Cognitive Engineering, Intelligent Agents and Virtual Reality:Proceedings of HCI International 2001 (Vol.1, pp.624-628).  London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

13. Holden, M.K., Dettwiler, A., Dyar, T., Niemann, G., & Bizzi, E.  (2001).  Retraining movement in patients with acquired brain injury using a virtual environment.  In Westwood, J.D., Hoffman, H.M., Mogel, G.T., Stredney, D., & Robb, R.A. (Eds.), Proceedings of Medicine Meets Virtual Reality (pp. 192-198).  Amsterdam: IOS Press.

14. Holden, M., Todorov, E., Callahan, J., & Bizzi, E.  (1999).  Virtual environment training improves motor performance in two patients with stroke: Case report.  Neurology Report,  23(2), 57-67. 

15. Gardner, M.B., Holden, M.K., Leikauskas, J.M. & Richard, R.L.  (1998).  Partial body weight support with treadmill locomotion to improve gait after incomplete spinal cord injury: A single-subject experimental design.  Physical  Therapy,  78(4), 361-374.

16. Kerrigan, D.C., Deming, L., & Holden, M.K.  (1996).  Knee recurvatum in gait: A study of associated knee biomechanics.  Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,  77,  645-650.

17. Holden, M., Ventura, J., & Lackner, J.R.  (1994).  Stabilization of posture by precision contact of the index finger.  Journal of Vestibular Research,  4(4), 285-301, 1994.

18. Lechner, D., McCarthy, C., & Holden, M.K.  (1987).  Gait deviations in patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.  Physical Therapy,  67(9), 1335-1341.

19. Holden, M.K., & Daniele, C.A.  (1987).  Comparison of seven- and five-day physical therapy coverage in patients with acute orthopaedic disorders.  Physical Therapy, 67 (8), 1240-1246.

20. Holden, M.K., Gill, K.M., & Magliozzi, M.R.  (1986).  Gait assessment in the neurologically impaired:  Standards for outcome assessment.  Physical  Therapy,  66(10), 1530-1539.

21. Holden, M.K., Gill, K.M., Magliozzi, M.R., Nathan, J., &  Piehl-Baker, L.  (1984).  Clinical gait assessment in the neurologically impaired:  Reliability and meaningfulness.  Physical  Therapy,  64(1), 35-40.

Books/ Book Chapters

1. Holden, M.K. & Todorov, E.  (2002).  Use of virtual environments in motor learning and rehabilitation.  In Stanney, K. (Ed):  Handbook of Virtual Environments: Design, Implementation, and Applications (Ch. 48, pp. 999-1026).  London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

2. Holden, M.K., Todorov, E., & Dyar, T.  (1999),   Kinematix Expert Learning System for Rehabilitation (KELS/R): User's Manual (pp. 1-208).   Cambridge, MA:  Kinematix, Inc.

3. Holden, M.K.  (1985).  Clinical decision making among neurological patients: Stroke.  In Wolf, S.L. (Ed):  Clinical Decision Making in Physical Therapy, (Ch. 9, pp.171-214).  Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis & Co.

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