Robert Sainburg

 Robert Sainburg

Professor of Kinesiology and Neurology

Contact Information

33 Recreation Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park PA 16802


(fax) 814-863-4755


Ph.D., 1993, Neuroscience, Rutgers University

Research Interests

Neural mechanisms underlying control of multijoint arm movements in humans. We combine both psychophysical experiments and biomechanical simulations to determine the neural processes responsible for coordinating the complex mechanics of the musculoskeletal system. Studies in patients with neurological lesions are conducted to determine the contributions of specific neural structures to control.


  • Brain Lateralization for Motor Control
  • Multijoint and Interlimb Coordination
  • Recovery of Function in Stroke Survivors

Selected Publications

Mutha PK, Haaland KY, Sainburg RL. Rethinking motor lateralization: specialized but complementary mechanisms for motor control of each arm. PLoS One. 2013;8(3).

Mani S, Mutha PK, Przybyla A, Haaland KY, Good DC, Sainburg RL. Contralesional motor deficits after unilateral stroke reflect hemisphere-specific control mechanisms. Brain. 2013 Apr;136(Pt 4):1288-303.

Mutha PK, Haaland KY, Sainburg RL. The effects of brain lateralization on motor control and adaptation. J Mot Behav. 2012;44(6):455-69.

Helms Tillery S, Sainburg RL. Multisensory integration for motor control and adaptation. J Mot Behav. 2012;44(6):389-90.

Coelho CJ, Przybyla A, Yadav V, Sainburg RL. Hemispheric differences in the control of limb dynamics: a link between arm performance asymmetries and arm selection patterns. J Neurophysiol. 2013 Feb;109(3):825-38. 

Strategic Themes

  • Domains of Health and Behavior
  • Populations of Special Interest