Dr. Edward Taub


University Professor/Director C.I. Therapy

Other information

Other information:
Edward TaubContact Information:

Email: etaub@uab.edu
Office Phone: (205) 934 2471
Fax: (205) 975 6140


B.A., Brooklyn College
M.A., Columbia University
Ph.D., 1970, New York University

Curriculum Vitae

Research Programs:

Edward Taub is a behavioral neuroscientist who developed a new family of techniques, termed Constraint-Induced Movement therapy or CI therapy, which has been shown to be effective in improving the rehabilitation of movement after stroke and other neurological injuries. At this point CI therapy has been used with thousands of stroke patients in this country, Germany and Scandinavia. It is currently the subject of the first multi-center national clinical trial for stroke rehabilitation funded by NIH. This work is derived from basic research he carried out with deafferented monkeys whose upper extremities had been surgically deprived of sensation.

CI Therapy consists of a family of therapies; their common element is that they teach the brain to "rewire" itself following a major injury such as stroke or traumatic brain injury. This is based upon research carried out by Edward Taub, Ph.D. and collaborators showing that patients can "learn" to improve the motor ability of the more-affected parts of their bodies and thus cease to rely exclusively or primarily on the less-affected parts. These therapies have significantly improved quality of movement and substantially increased the amount of use of a more-affected extremity in the activities of daily living for a large number of patients.

Since 1997, Dr. Taub has received 9 awards from national professional societies including: Distinguished Scientific Award for the Applications of Psychology of the American Psychological Association (2004) and the William James Award, Amer. Psychol. Soc. (1997). In addition,CI therapy was named by the Society for Neuroscience as one of top 10 Translational Neuroscience Accomplishments of the 20th century (2003) and one of the 10 “most exciting lines of neuroscience” currently being carried out (2005). Recently Dr. Taub was chair of Section J (Psychology) of AAAS (2008-11).

The CI therapy group is divided into three separate entities:

1)The Taub Training Clinic administers CI therapy for the arms or legs primarily to patients after stroke, but also traumatic brain injury and brain resection.

2) The Pediatric CI therapy program at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama treats children with cerebral palsy and other conditions involving motor disorders associated with central nervous system damage.

3) In the CI therapy research laboratory, a clinical research component is currently studying the efficacy of CI therapy for patients with multiple sclerosis and completing work with Dr. Gitendra Uswatte on a telemedicine version of an automated form of CI therapy (AutoCITE) that the laboratory had previously developed. The neuroimaging laboratory carries out experiments on the neuroplastic effect that different forms of CI therapy have on the structure of the brain.

In the 1990s, Dr. Taub in a series of studies in collaboration with German colleagues, demonstrated that the neuroplasticity demonstrated by M. Merzenich and others in animals also occurs in humans after either sustained decrease or increase of sensory input to the central nervous system, as occurs, for example, after upper extremity amputation or extensive practice on a musical instrument, respectively. This work led to an emerging picture of a very plastic adult human brain that keeps reorganizing itself to adjust to the environmental demands placed upon it. This neuroplasticity exists throughout the lifespan and persists into old age.

In other work, Dr. Taub, in collaboration with Drs. Wolfgang Miltner, Joachim Liepert and Cornelius Weiller of the University of Jena, obtained evidence that after stroke CI therapy leads to a very large use-dependent functional plastic brain reorganization, so that a more extensive area of the cerebral cortex is involved in innervating the movement of stroke patients than before therapy. This constitutes a demonstration of a change in brain function associated with a therapy-induced improvement in recovery of motor ability in humans. CI therapy has also been found to produce changes in regional blood flow and metabolic rate in the brain by research groups with which Dr. Taub collaborates and in other laboratories. These are all “functional” brain changes which can vary from moment to moment. In recent and ongoing work with Lynne Gauthier and other UAB graduate students, voxel based morphometry (VBM) has shown that CI therapy produces a profuse increase in grey matter in the sensorimotor area, more anterior motor areas, and the hippocampus on both sides of the brain, a structural brain change. One of the central enigmas of the stroke literature is that in chronic stroke patients, no physical characteristics of the damage to the brain had been found to correlate with the magnitude of motor deficit. However, in a recent study using VBM, the laboratory has shown that there is a correlation between amount of atrophy of grey matter and magnitude of motor deficit in portions of the brain at a distance from the infarct. Thus, it is not the direct damage sustained by the brain but rather the effect that this damage has on apparently healthy portions of the brain that is responsible for the magnitude and nature of the motor deficit. . In another line of work, in collaboration with Dr. Victor Mark, Dr. Taub has found that CI therapy produces as large a treatment effect in multiple sclerosis as it does after stroke.

It has also been found the CI therapy works at least as well with children 8 months to 12 years of age with cerebral palsy as it does with adults. A series of studies are also being carried out in adults to identify the contribution of each of the separate components of CI therapy to its treatment effect. In addition, a method which combines CI therapy with two other rehabilitation techniques has been developed and produces a substantial improvement in function of patients with stroke who initially have completely or almost completely paralyzed hands.

Representative Publications:

Taub E.,
Uswatte G. and Mark V.W. (2014). The functional significance of cortical reorganization and the parallel development of CI therapy. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8:396.

Taub, E., Uswatte, G., Mark, V.W., Morris, D.M., Barman, J., Bowman, M.H., Bryson, C., Delgado, A., Bishop-McKay, S. (2013). Method for enhancing real-world use of a more-affected arm in chronic stroke: transfer package of CI therapy. Stroke, 44, 1383-1388.

Taub, E.
, Uswatte, G., King, D. K., Morris, D. M., Crago, J. E., & Chatterjee, A (2006). A placebo controlled trial of Constraint-Induced Movement therapy for upper extremity after stroke. Stroke, 37, 1045-1049.

Taub, E., Ramey, S., DeLuca, S., & Echols, K. (2004). Efficacy of Constraint-Induced (CI) Movement therapy for children with cerebral palsy with asymmetric motor impairment. Pediatrics, 113, 305-312.

Taub, E.(2004). Harnessing brain plasticity through behavioral techniques to produce new treatments in neurorehabilitation. American Psychologist, 59(8), 692-704.

Taub, E., Miller, N. E., Novack, T. A., Cook, E. W. III, Fleming, W. C., Nepomuceno, C. S., Connell, J. S., & Crago, J. E. (1993). Technique to improve chronic motor deficit after stroke. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 74, 347-354.

Taub, E. (1980). Somatosensory deafferentation research with monkeys: Implications for rehabilitation medicine. In L. P. Ince (Ed.), Behavioral Psychology in Rehabilitation Medicine: Clinical Applications (pp. 371-401). New York: Williams & Wilkins.