Carolynn Patten, Ph.D., P.T., F.A.P.T.A.

Carolynn Patten, Ph.D., P.T., F.A.P.T.A.




  • Director and Professor, Biomechanics, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Lab


Carolynn Patten is not currently accepting new patients. For assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).

Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center

4860 Y St., Suite 3850
Sacramento, CA 95817
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Primary Phone:

Additional Phone Numbers

Clinic Phone: 916-734-4303
Clinic Phone: 530-754-0589
Clinic Fax: 916-734-7838
Physician Referrals: 800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)



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Clinical Interests

Dr. Patten is a neuroscientist and physical therapist who specializes in assessment and treatment of motor dysfunction associated with aging and adult neuropathologies, such as stroke. She directs the UC Davis Biomechanics, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Lab and Co-Leads the UC Davis Center for Neuro Engineering and Medicine.

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Patten’s research focuses on understanding the neural basis of human movement, investigating human motor control and learning from a perspective of neuromechanics. Using concurrent behavioral and neurophysiological methods, her laboratory has developed techniques sensitive to motor impairment. An emphasis of the lab’s current work is identi?cation of biomarkers to predict motor recovery following stroke and the critical factors that contribute to rehabilitation ef?cacy. To achieve these goals, projects in the BRaIN lab investigate: neural mechanisms and biomechanical consequences of CNS pathologies causing motor dysfunction; novel means to induce neuroplasticity and motor recovery; and individual differences in both the natural history of motor recovery and response to rehabilitation interventions. 


Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Center/Program Affiliation

Center for Mind and Brain
Center for Health and Technology


M.S.P.T., Boston University, Boston MA 1992

Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Amherst MA 1998

B.A., University of Washington, Seattle WA 1980


Post-doctoral Fellowship, Stanford University, VA Rehab Research Center, Stanford/Palo Alto CA 1998-2001

Board Certifications

Physical Therapist, California (#22929),

Physical Therapist, Massachusetts (#9246),

Professional Memberships

American Physical Therapy Association

American Stroke Association

International Motoneuron Society

Society for Neuroscience

Society for the Neural Control of Movement

Honors and Awards

Research Career Scientist, VA Rehab R&D Service, 2015-2019, 2020

University of Florida Research Foundation Professor, University Florida, 2015-2017, 2018

Research Career Scientist, VA Rehab R&D Service, 2010-2014, 2015

Catherine Worthingham Fellow, American Physical Therapy Assn, 2016

Deans Citation Paper Award | Coll Public Health & Health Prof, University Florida, 2014

Linda Crane Research Award | Florida Physical Therapy Assn, 2012, 2014

Visiting Scientist, Neural Control of Movement Lab, The Pannum Institute, University of Copenhagen, DENMARK, 2011

Greene Memorial Lecturer, Dept Physical Therapy, Spring?eld College, MA, 2011

Publication Award, CA Chapter American Physical Therapy Association, 2007

Visiting Scientist, Fac Biomedical Kinesiology, Katholike University, BELGIUM, 2006

Select Recent Publications

Little VL, McGuirk TE, Patten C. Slower Than Normal Walking Speeds Involve a Pattern Shift in Joint and Temporal Coordination Contributions. Exp Brain Res. 2019 Sep 11. doi: 10.1007/s00221-019-05648-2. PMID: 31511954.

Banks CL, Little VL, Walker ER, Patten C. Lower Extremity Long Latency Re?exes Di?erentiate Walking Function After Stroke. Exp Brain Res, 2019 August 1. doi: 10.1007/s00221-019-05614-y. PMID: 31372688.

Ding Q, Triggs WJ, Kamath S, Patten C. Short Intra-cortical Inhibition During Voluntary Movement Reveals Persistent Impairment in Cortical Stroke. Fron Neurology - Stroke. 2019 Jan 4., PMID: 30662425.

Banks CL, Huang H, Little VL, Patten C. EMG Exposes Heterogeneity in Muscle Co-contraction Following Stroke. Front Neurol. 2017 Dec 22;8:699. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2017.00699. PMID: 29312124.

Banks CL, Pai M, McGuirk TE, Fregly BJ, Patten C. Methodological Choices in EMG Synergy Analysis Impact Di?erentiation of Physiological Characteristics Following Stroke. Front. Comput. Neurosci. 2017. doi: 10.3389/fncom.2017.00078. PMID: 28700708.

Little VL, McGuirk TE, Patten C. Impaired limb shortening in gait post-stroke: What’s in a name? PLoS One. 2014 Oct 16. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110140. PMID: 25329317.

Phadke CP, Robertson CT, Patten C. Upper-extremity re?ex inhibition is reproducible and strongly related to grip force post-stroke. Int’l J Neuroscience, 2015;125(6):441-448. doi:10.3109/00207454.2014.946990, PMID: 24703887.

Clark DJ, Manini TM, Fielding RA, Patten C. Neuromuscular determinants of fast walking speed in healthy, well functioning older adults. Exp Geront. 2013;48(3): 358-63. PMID: 23376102.  

Patten C, Condli?e EG, Dairaghi CA & Lum PS. Concurrent neuromechanical and functional gains following upper-extremity power training post-stroke. J NeuroEng & Rehab. 2013;10:1. PMID: 23336711.

Clark DJ, Patten C. Eccentric versus concentric resistance training to enhance neuromuscular activation and walking speed following stroke. Neurorehab Neur Rep. 2013;27(4): 225-44. PMID: 23292848 for a complete list: