University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Sook-Lei Liew PhD, OTR/L

Sook-Lei Liew PhD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor, joint appointments with the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, the USC Keck School of Medicine Department of Neurology and the USC Viterbi School Department of Biomedical Engineering

Room: SHN 211
(323) 865-1755
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Web: npnl.usc.edu
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Biography

Dr. Sook-Lei Liew completed her undergraduate education at Rice University where she earned bachelor’s degrees in Kinesiology (with a concentration in Sports Medicine) and English. She received her Master of Arts degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California with a focus on adult rehabilitation. She remained at USC and completed her PhD in Occupational Science (with a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience) investigating, with her advisor Dr. Lisa Aziz-Zadeh, experience-dependent changes in the motor system during action observation using neuroimaging and behavioral methods.

From 2012 to 2014, Dr. Liew was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the NIH under the guidance of Dr. Leonardo Cohen, where she studied mechanisms of neural plasticity and neural repair using noninvasive brain stimulation and brain-computer interfaces, specifically, real-time fMRI neurofeedback. During her postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Liew also completed collaborations at the University of Tübingen (with Drs. Niels Birbaumer and Surjo Soekadar) and at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (with Dr. Pablo Celnik) to examine the use of brain-computer interfaces with stroke patients and noninvasive brain stimulation to enhance motor learning in healthy individuals, respectively. She joined the USC Chan Division in January 2015.

Research Interests

Stroke is one of the leading causes of serious long-term adult disability around the world. Despite intensive physical and occupational therapy, many stroke survivors are unable to independently care for themselves due to persistent motor, cognitive and communicative difficulties. Large variations in lesion damage and individual characteristics (such as age, gender, physical fitness and genetic makeup) make stroke rehabilitation outcomes difficult to predict. Novel methods that predict and maximize each individual’s potential for recovery after stroke are thus desperately needed.

The goals of the Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory, under the direction of Dr. Sook-Lei Liew, are:

  1. to characterize and predict neural plasticity changes in healthy individuals and in individuals after stroke throughout the process of learning or recovery;
  2. to enhance neural plasticity or neural recovery in individuals using noninvasive brain stimulation, brain-computer interfaces and novel learning paradigms; and
  3. to personalize the use of plasticity-inducing paradigms in order to capitalize on each individual’s unique learning or recovery potential.

These goals support the overall mission of the laboratory, which is to enhance neural plasticity in a wide population of individuals in order to improve their quality of life and engagement in meaningful activities.

Education

Postdoctoral Fellow in Human Cortical Physiology and Neurorehabilitation
2014 | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Occupational Science (Cognitive Neuroscience concentration)
2012 | University of Southern California

Master of Arts (MA) in Occupational Therapy
2008 | University of Southern California

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Kinesiology (Sports Medicine concentration)
2006 | Rice University

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English
2006 | Rice University

Publications

2019

Journal Articles

Vourvopoulos, A., Pardo, O. M., Lefebvre, S., Neureither, M., Saldana, D., Jahng, E., & Liew, S.-L. (2019). Effects of a brain-computer interface with virtual reality (VR) neurofeedback: A pilot study in chronic stroke patients. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 13, 210. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2019.00210 Show abstract

Wathugala, M., Saldana, D., Juliano, J. M., Chan, J., & Liew, S.-L. (2019). Mindfulness meditation effects on poststroke spasticity: A feasibility study. Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/2515690X19855941 Show abstract

Liew, S.-L., Schmaal, L., & Jahanshad, N. (2019). Editorial: Collaborative efforts for understanding the human brain. Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, 13, 38. https://doi.org/10.3389/fninf.2019.00038

Santarnecchi, E., Sprugnoli, G., Bricolo, E., Costantini, G., Liew, S.-L., Musaeus, C. S., Salvi, C., Pascual-Leone, A., Rossi, A., & Rossi, S. (2019). Gamma tACS over the temporal lobe increases the occurrence of Eureka! moments. Scientific Reports, 9, 5778. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-42192-z Show abstract

2018

Journal Articles

Liew, S.-L., Thompson, T., Ramirez, J., Butcher, P., Taylor, J. A., & Celnik, P. A. (2018). Variable neural contributions to explicit and implicit learning during visuomotor adaptation. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 12, 610. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2018.00610 Show abstract

Liew, S.-L., Garrison, K. A., Ito, K. L., Heydari, P., Sobhani, M., Werner, J., Damasio, H., Winstein, C. J., & Aziz-Zadeh, L. (2018). Laterality of poststroke cortical motor activity during action observation is related to hemispheric dominance. Neural Plasticity, 2018, 3524960. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/3524960 Show abstract

Liew, S.-L., Anglin, J. M., Banks, N. W., Sondag, M., Ito, K. L., Kim, H., Chan, J., Ito, J., Jung, C., Khoshab, N., Lefebvre, S., Nakamura, W., Saldana, D., Schmiesing, A., Tran, C., Vo, D., Ard, T., Heydari, P., Kim, B., Aziz-Zadeh, L., Cramer, S. C., Liu, J., Soekadar, S., Nordvik, J.-E., Westlye, L. T., Wang, J., Winstein, C., Yu, C., Ai, L., Koo, B., Craddock, R. C., Milham, M., Lakich, M., Pienta, A., & Stroud, A. (2018). A large, open source dataset of stroke anatomical brain images and manual lesion segmentations. Scientific Data, 5, 180011. https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2018.11 Show abstract

Lopez-Alonso, V., Liew, S.-L., del Olmo, M. F., Cheeran, B., Sandrini, M., Abe, M., & Cohen, L. G. (2018). A preliminary comparison of motor learning across different non-invasive brain stimulation paradigms shows no consistent modulations. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 12, 253. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2018.00253 Show abstract

Dayan, E., López-Alonso, V., Liew, S.-L., & Cohen, L. G. (2018). Distributed cortical structural properties contribute to motor cortical excitability and inhibition. Brain Structure and Function, 223(8), 3801–3812. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00429-018-1722-1 Show abstract

Ito, K. L., Kumar, A., Zavaliangos-Petropulu, A., Cramer, S. C., & Liew, S.-L. (2018). Pipeline for Analyzing Lesions After Stroke (PALS). Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, 12, 63. https://doi.org/10.3389/fninf.2018.00063 Show abstract

Conference Presentations/Proceedings

Lefebvre, S., Jann, K., Schmiesing, A. N., Ito, K. L., Jog, M., Schweighofer, N., Wang, D. J., & Liew, S.-L. (2018, August). Concurrent HD-tDCS/fMRI study exploring changes in motor network physiology and complexity. Poster presented at the 2018 NYC Neuromodulation Conference & NANS Summer Series, New York, NY. Show abstract

2017

Journal Articles

Sprugnoli, G., Rossi, S., Emmendorfer, A., Rossi, A., Liew, S.-L., Tatti, E., di Lorenzo, G., Pascual-Leone, A., & Santarnecchi, E. (2017). Neural correlates of Eureka moment. Intelligence, 62, 99-118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2017.03.004 Show abstract

Anglin, J. M., Sugiyama, T., & Liew, S.-L. (2017). Visuomotor adaptation in head-mounted virtual reality versus conventional training. Scientific Reports, 7, 45469. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep45469 Show abstract

Lefebvre, S., & Liew, S.-L. (2017). Anatomical parameters of tDCS to modulate the motor system after stroke: A review. Frontiers in Neurology, 8, 29. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2017.00029 Show abstract

Sugiyama, T., & Liew, S.-L. (2017). The effects of sensory manipulations on motor behavior: From basic science to clinical rehabilitation. Journal of Motor Behavior, 49(1), 67-77. https://doi.org/10.1080/00222895.2016.1241740 Show abstract

Sainburg, R. L., Liew, S.-L., Frey, S. H., & Clark, F. (2017). Promoting translational research among movement science, occupational science, and occupational therapy. Journal of Motor Behavior, 49(1), 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1080/00222895.2016.1271299 Show abstract

Conference Presentations/Proceedings

Spicer, R., Anglin, J., Krum, D. M., & Liew, S.-L. (2017). REINVENT: A low-cost, virtual reality brain-computer interface for severe stroke upper limb motor recovery. In 2017 IEEE Virtual Reality (VR) (pp. 385-386). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/VR.2017.7892338 Show abstract

Anglin, J., Saldana, D., Schmiesing, A., & Liew, S.-L. (2017). Transfer of a skilled motor learning task between virtual and conventional environments. In 2017 IEEE Virtual Reality (VR) (pp. 401-402). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/VR.2017.7892346 Show abstract

2016

Journal Articles

Craddock, R. C., Margulies, D. S., Bellec, P., Nichols, B. N., Alcauter, S., Barrios, F. A., Burnod, Y., Cannistraci, C. J., Cohen-Adad, J., De Leener, B., Dery, S., Downar, J., Dunlop, K., Franco, A. R., Froehlich, C. S., Gerber, A. J., Ghosh, S. S., Grabowski, T. J., Hill, S., Heinsfeld, A. S., Hutchison, R. M., Kundu, P., Laird, A. R., Liew, S.-L., Lurie, D. J., McLaren, D. G., Meneguzzi, F., Mennes, M., Mesmoudi, S., O'Connor, D., Pasaye, E. H., Peltier, S., Poline, J., Prasad, G., Pereira, R. F., Quirion, P., Rokem, A., Saad, Z. S., Shi, Y., Strother, S. C., Toro, R., Uddin, L. Q., Van Horn, J. D., Van Meter, J. W., Welsh, R. C., & Xu, T. (2016). Brainhack: A collaborative workshop for the open neuroscience community. GigaScience, 5(1), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13742-016-0121-x Show abstract

Kan, E., Anglin, J., Borich, M., Jahanshad, N., Thompson, P., & Liew, S.-L. (2016). Facilitating big data meta-analyses for clinical neuroimaging through ENIGMA wrapper scripts. GigaScience, 5(Suppl. 1), 17-19. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13742-016-0147-0-p Show abstract

Ito, K. L., & Liew, S.-L. (2016). Calculating the laterality index using FSL for stroke neuroimaging data. GigaScience, 5(Suppl. 1), 14-15. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13742-016-0147-0-n Show abstract

Liew, S.-L., Rana, M., Cornelsen, S., Fortunato de Barros Filho, M., Birbaumer, N., Sitaram, R., Cohen, L. G., & Soekadar, S. R. (2016). Improving motor corticothalamic communication after stroke using real-time fMRI connectivity-based neurofeedback. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 30(7), 671-675. https://doi.org/10.1177/1545968315619699 Show abstract

Buch, E. R., Liew, S.-L., & Cohen, L. G. (2016). Plasticity of sensorimotor networks: Multiple overlapping mechanisms. Neuroscientist, 23(2), 185-196. https://doi.org/10.1177/1073858416638641 Show abstract

Conference Presentations/Proceedings

Liew, S.-L., Jahanshad, N., Anglin, J., Khoshab, N., Kim, B., Nakamura, W., Nhoung, H., Rondina, J., Tran, C., Borich, M., Boyd, L., Byblow, W., Dimyan, M., Ermer, E., Lang, C., Li, J., Nichols, T., Roberts, P., Sanossian, N., Soekadar, S., Stinear, C., Ward, N., Westlye, L. T., Winstein, C., Wittenberg, G. F., Cramer, S. C., & Thompson, P. M. (2016, November). ENIGMA Stroke Recovery: Big data neuroimaging to predict motor recovery. Presented at the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.

Anglin, J. M., Sugiyama, T., & Liew, S.-L. (2016, November). Visuomotor adaptation in head-mounted virtual reality versus conventional training. Presented at the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.

Liew, S.-L., Jahanshad, N., Anglin, J., Khoshab, N., Kim, B., Nakamura, W., Nhoung, H., Rondina, J., Tran, C., Borich, M., Boyd, L., Dimyan, M., Ermer, E., Lang, C., Li, J., Nichols, T., Roberts, P., Sanossian, N., Soekadar, S., Ward, N., Westlye, L. T., Winstein, C., Wittenberg, G. F., Cramer, S. C., & Thompson, P. M. (2016, June). ENIGMA Stroke Recovery: Big data neuroimaging to predict motor recovery. Presented at the Organization for Human Brain Mapping Annual Meeting, Geneva, Switzerland.

2014

Journal Articles

Liew, S.-L., Santarnecchi, E., Buch, E. R., & Cohen, L. G. (2014). Non-invasive brain stimulation in neurorehabilitation: Local and distant effects for motor recovery. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 378. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00378 Show abstract

2013

Book Chapters

Liew, S.-L., & Aziz-Zadeh, L. S. (2013). The human mirror neuron system, social control, and language. In D. D. Franks & J. H. Turner (Eds.), Handbook of neurosociology (pp. 183-205). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-4473-8_14 Show abstract

Journal Articles

Liew, S.-L., Sheng, T., Margetis, J. L., & Aziz-Zadeh, L. S. (2013). Both novelty and expertise increase action observation network activity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 541. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00541 Show abstract

Liew, S.-L., Agashe, H., Bhagat, N., Paek, A., & Bulea, T. C. (2013). A clinical roadmap for brain-neural machine interfaces: Trainees' perspectives on the 2013 International Workshop. IEEE Pulse, 4(5), 44-48. https://doi.org/10.1109/MPUL.2013.2271686 Show abstract

Garrison, K. A., Aziz-Zadeh, L., Wong, S. W., Liew, S.-L., & Winstein, C. J. (2013). Modulating the motor system by action observation after stroke. Stroke, 44(8), 2247-2253. https://doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.001105 Show abstract

Aziz-Zadeh, L. S., Liew, S.-L., & Dandekar, F. (2013). Exploring the neural correlates of visual creativity. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 8(4), 475-480. https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nss021 Show abstract

Liew, S.-L., Sheng, T., & Aziz-Zadeh, L. S. (2013). Experience with an amputee modulates one’s own sensorimotor response during action observation. NeuroImage, 69, 138-145. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.12.028 Show abstract

2012

Journal Articles

Liew, S.-L., Garrison, K. A., Werner, J., & Aziz-Zadeh, L. S. (2012). The mirror neuron system: Innovations and implications for occupational therapy. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 32(3), 79-86. https://doi.org/10.3928/15394492-20111209-01 Show abstract

Aziz-Zadeh, L. S., Sheng, T., Liew, S.-L., & Damasio, H. C. (2012). Understanding otherness: The neural bases of action comprehension and pain empathy in a congenital amputee. Cerebral Cortex, 22(4), 811-819. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhr139 Show abstract

2011

Book Chapters

Liew, S.-L., & Aziz-Zadeh, L. S. (2011). The human mirror neuron system and social cognition. In R. P. Ebstein, S. Shamay-Tsoory, & S. H. Chew (Eds.), From DNA to social cognition (pp. 63-80). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118101803.ch4

Journal Articles

Liew, S.-L., & Aziz-Zadeh, L. S. (2011). The neuroscience of language and action in occupations: A review of findings from brain and behavioral sciences. Journal of Occupational Science, 18(2), 97-114. https://doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2011.575758 Show abstract

Johnson, A. J., Liew, S.-L., & Aziz-Zadeh, L. (2011). Demographics, learning and imitation, and body schema in Body Integrity Identity Disorder. Indiana University Undergraduate Journal of Cognitive Science, 6(2011), 8-15. Show abstract

Liew, S.-L., Ma, Y., Han, S., & Aziz-Zadeh, L. S. (2011). Who's afraid of the boss: Cultural differences in social hierarchies modulate self-face recognition in Chinese and Americans. PLoS ONE, 6(2), e16901. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0016901 Show abstract

Liew, S.-L., Han, S., & Aziz-Zadeh, L. S. (2011). Familiarity modulates mirror neuron and mentalizing regions during intention understanding. Human Brain Mapping, 32(11), 1986-1997. https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.21164 Show abstract