Scholar Bios

photo of Sook-Lei Liew, Phd, OTR/L

Sook-Lei Liew, Phd, OTR/L

Assistant Professor

Division of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy
Division of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy at the Ostrow School of Dentistry
Department of Neurology, Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California

Phone: 323-442-0315

Lead Mentor
C. Winstein, PhD, PT, FAPTA

Research Areas

Motor learning, neural plasticity, neurorehabilitation, stroke rehabilitation, noninvasive brain stimulation, functional neuroimaging, brain computer interfaces


  • 2006 BA Kinesiology/English, Rice University
  • 2008 MA Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California
  • 2012 PhD Occupational Science, Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Southern California
  • 2014 Postdoc Human Cortical Physiol/Stroke Neurorehab, National Institutes of Health

Current Research Funding

K01 HD091283 (Liew) 04/2017-12/2020 National Institute for Child Health & Human Development (NIH/NICHD/NCMRR): Big Data Neuroimaging to Predict Motor Behavior after Stroke. The objective of this four-year mentored career development award is to meta-analyze MRI and behavioral data from thousands of individuals after stroke by bringing together data from research and clinical sites worldwide as the chair of the ENIGMA Stroke Recovery consortium.

16IRG26960017 (Liew) 01/2016 – present American Heart Association National Innovative Research Grant  REINVENT: A Closed-Loop VR Neurofeedback System for Motor Recovery after Severe Stroke: The goal of this two-year grant is to develop and test a brain computer interface using brain imaging, muscle recording and immersive virtual reality to promote motor recovery after severe stroke.

W911NNF-14-D-0005 (Krum) 09/2017-08/2018 US Army Research Office: Cortically Coupled Computing for Augmented Reality. This funding supports innovative work to develop and assess novel virtual and augmented reality platforms integrated with brain computer interfaces to enhance human military performance. Role: Co-PI

NSF 1721266 (Moeinzadeh) 07/2017-06/2018 National Science Foundation Augmented Reality for Arm and Hand Rehabilitation Post-stroke (SBIR Phase 1): This award supports the development and testing of novel commercial augmented reality systems to promote arm and hand rehabilitation after stroke. Role: Consultant

Recent Publications

Liew, S.-L., Garrison, K.A., Ito, K.L., Heydari, P., Sobhani, M., Werner, J., Damasio, H., Winstein, C.J., & Aziz-Zadeh, L. (In press). Laterality of post-stroke cortical motor activity during action observation is related to hemispheric dominance. Neural Plasticity.

Lopez-Alonso, V.*, Liew, S.-L.*, Fernandez del Olmo, M., Cheeran, B., Sandrini, M., Abe, M., & Cohen, L.G. (2018). A preliminary comparison of motor learning across different noninvasive brain stimulation paradigms shows no consistent modulations. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 12, 253. *denotes equal contributions

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.J., 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. doi:10.1038/sdata.2018.11. *denotes equal contributions

Sprugnoli, G., Rossi, S., Emmerdorfer, A., Rossi, A., Liew, S-L., Tatti, E., di Lorenzo, G., Pascual-Leone, A., & Santarnecchi, E. (2017). Neural correlates of Eureka moment. Intelligence, 62, 99-119.

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

Sainburg, R., Liew, S.-L., Frey, S., & Clark, F. (2017). Promoting translational research between movement science, occupational science, and occupational therapy. Journal of Motor Behavior, 49(1), 1-7.

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

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.  

Ito, K., & Liew, S.-L. (2016). Calculating the laterality index using FSL for stroke neuroimaging data. Proc Brainhack Americas, GigaScience.

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. Proc Brainhack Americas, GigaScience.

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

Buch, E.*, Liew, S.-L.*, & Cohen, L. (2016). Plasticity of sensorimotor networks: Multiple overlapping mechanisms. The Neuroscientist, doi:10.1177/1073858416638641. *denotes equal contributions

Liew, S.-L., Rana, M., Cornelsen, S., Furtunato de Barros Filho, M., Birbaumer, N., Sitaram, R., Cohen, L, & Soekadar, S. (2015). Improving motor cortico-thalamic communication after stroke using real-time fMRI connectivity-based neurofeedback. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair.

Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography

University of Florida website
University of Souther California website
University of Texas Medical Branch website


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