The Neuroplasticity, Imagery, and Motor Behaviour Laboratory (NIMBL) is a CFI, NSERC, and Michael Smith Health Research BC funded lab dedicated to research in the areas of motor learning and stroke-related neuroscience, encompassing both basic and applied neuroscience. Our overarching goal is to improve motor learning and relearning after brain injury. Basic work focuses on understanding brain function and plasticity associated with motor learning through non-physical forms of practice (imagined practice and action observation). Applied work focuses on informing, developing, and testing interventions using non-physical forms of practice, and tools to aid such practice, to promote recovery after stroke. To learn more about ongoing work in the NIMBL, click here.


Dr. Sarah Kraeutner leads the NIMBL. Sarah Kraeutner completed a PhD in psychology and neuroscience at Dalhousie University in August, 2019 as a Killam Laureate. While at Dalhousie, Sarah was a member of the Laboratory for Brain Recovery and Function, and worked with her supervisor and mentor, Dr. Shaun Boe. Her PhD dissertation sought to characterise the neural mechanisms of learning via both physical and imagined practice, and further our understanding of how brain plasticity can be modulated to improve learning in both sports and rehabilitation.

Prior to joining the University of British Columbia – Okanagan, Sarah was a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellow and Michael Smith Health Research BC Trainee at the Brain Behaviour Laboratory at the University of British Columbia – Vancouver. Here, Sarah worked with her supervisor and mentor, Dr. Lara Boyd, to further our understanding of what happens in the brain after stroke and how we can apply physical and imagined practice to promote recovery after stroke.

Sarah’s research interests also encompass commercialization and entrepreneurship, focusing on bridging the gap between research and industry. She is one of three inventors on a patent related to the development of a system that provides neurofeedback during motor imagery, and aims to develop tools to enhance the use of imagined practice.