Research Home

Judith E. Deutsch, PhD

The RIVERS lab is an inter-disciplinary applied rehabilitation research lab. We study motor control, behavioral and neural plasticity that form the basis of rehabilitation science. We document the validity and efficacy of interventions that will accelerate recovery of mobility and fitness for individuals with neurologic conditions. We collaborate in the development and testing virtual environments, serious games and interventions to enhance activity and participation.

Virtual Reality Augmented Cycling Kit (VRACK)

We are testing whether the combination of motor control and fitness training in a cycling VR transfers to improved fitness and mobility for persons post-stroke.


Virtual Cycling (VCYCLE)

We are developing and testing cycling environments to increase cycling speed and enjoyment for persons with PD.



Digital Health Platform for assessment and intervention of balance coordination mobility and fitness

ORI (image by that name and please include the link

Go to community for sharing virtual reality simulations.


Kinecting with Clinicians 

Knowledge translation resource for using the Kinect Games for rehabilitation

Knowledge to Action (KTA)

Increasing use of outcome measures by physical therapists

Judith Deutsch

Professor and Director Rivers Lab

Harish Damodaran

Research Engineer

Phyllis Guarrera-Bowlby

Associate Professor

Jordan Van Eps

Research Assistant


Teresa Smith MA PT

PhD in HS

John Palmieri


Joseph Lebers

Masters in Health Informatics

Ryan Aiu

M.B.S Intern

Michael Peng

College Intern (Game Development)

Joe Cirillo

High School Intern


Roberto Llorens PhD: Neurorehab and Brain Research Group; Polytechnic University of Valencia

Sergi Bermudez Ibadia PhD:

Urska Puh PT PhD:  University of Ljubjana

Augustus Wendell: Digital Design Duke University

Amy Hoover PhD Computer Science NJIT

Yvette Wong PhD NJIT

Scott Parrot PhD SHP Rutgers

JF Daneault PhD SHP Rutgers

German Drazer PhD Mechanical Engineering, Rutgers

Nancy Salbach PT PhD University of Toronto

Sue Perry MS PT Chatham University

Wendy Romney PT PhD, Sacred Heart University

Danielle Levac PT PhD, ReGameVR Lab, Northeastern University

Emily Fox PT PhD MAC Lab, Brooks Rehab and U of Florida

Debbie Espy PT PhD, Ohio University

Sujata Pradham PT PhD, University of Washington

Sally Westcott PT PhD, University of Washington


Wendy Romney PT PhD ‘19

Brittany Hoehlein DPT ‘19

Joshua Pacifico DPT ‘19

Marisa Priolo DPT ‘19

Seela Langer High School ‘19

Ryan Aimua M.B.S. ‘19

Joe Lebers M. H. I. ‘19

Ferhat Erdogan PhD ‘18

Aurora James Palmer DPT ‘18

Rosemary Gallagher  PT PhD ‘17

Sean Hickey DPT ‘17

Essie Kim ‘DPT 17

Katie Metrokakas DPT ‘17

Eric Previte DPT ‘17

Robbie Gosine PhD BME ‘16

Kayla Critser DPT ‘16

Inbal Maidan PT PhD ’15
Caryn Bradley PT PhD ’15
Jennifer Rothman DPT ’15

Bryan Barker DPT ’14
Andrew Grando DPT ’14
Chintan Patel MS ’14

Michal Kafri, PT, PhD, Post Doc ’13
Cheryl Vasan, PT, DPT, PhD ’13
Samantha Stringham, DPT ’13

Richard Ranky, ME, PhD (North Eastern University) ’12
Bubblepreet Randhawa, PT, PhD (University of British Columbia) ’12

Karen Huhn, PT, PhD ’11
Lauren McMahon, DPT ’11

Marc Perdomo, Jamie Welsh, Roshan John, Arielle Brettler, and Caroline Smith (DPT ’10)

Danielle Robbins, DPT ’09
Jaroslaw Moczerniuk, DPT ’09
Julia Morrison, DPT ’09

Charlotte Chatto, PT, PhD  ’08
Geno Mayes, DPT ’08
Jenny Filler, DPT ’08
Meg Borbely, DPT ’08

Anat Mirelman, PT, PhD ’07
Andrea Minsky , DPT ’07
Ayelet Dunsky, PhD ’07

Glenna Batson, PT PhD,’06
Matthew Lannin, DPT ’06
Dayna McCall, DPT ’06

Carrie Campana DPT ’05
Stephen Fischer DPT ’05
Chris Paserchia DPT ’05
Rares Boian, PhD (Rutgers) ’05

Elizabeth Whitworth, BS (NJIT) ’04

Magda Karascewicz DPT ‘03
Chris Vecchione DPT ‘03

Menachem Kozol PhD, PT (NYU) ’02
Jason Latonio BS (Rutgers) ‘02
John Moore, MS PT ’02
Mark Riccardi MS PT ‘02

Lori Derr, MS PT ’01
Mike Fisher MS PT ‘01
Mike Girone BS (Rutgers) ‘01

Jeff Fitzgerald DPT ‘99

Kara Talty MS PT ‘98



Romney W, Salbach N Parrott JS, Deutsch JE. (2018) A Knowledge Translation Intervention Designed and Implemented by a Knowledge Broker Improved Documented Use of Gait Speed: A Mixed Method Study.  Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy 2019 Jul 31. [Epub ahead of print]

Deutsch JE, Hoehlein B, Priolo M, Pacifico J, Damodaran H, Puh U.  (2019) Custom Game Paced Video Games Played by Persons Post-Stroke Have Comparable Exercise Intensity but Higher Accuracy, Greater Enjoyment and Less Effort than Off-The-Shelf Game. IEEE Proc International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation Tel Aviv, Israel July, 2019.

James Palmer A, Puh U,  Damodaran H.  Kim E. Bowlby P. Deutsch JE. (2019) Playing Self-Paced Video Games Requires the Same Energy Expenditure but is more Enjoyable and Less Effortful than Standard of Care Activities.  IEEE Proc International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation Tel Aviv, Israel July, 2019.

Puh U, Hoehlein B, Deutsch JE (2019) Validity and Reliability of the Kinect for Assessment of Standardized Transitional Movements and Balance: Systematic Review and Translation into Practice. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2019 May;30(2):399-422.


Levac D, Pradhan S, Espy D, Fox E, Deutsch JE (2018) Usability of the ‘Kinect-ing with Clinicians’ website: A knowledge translation resource supporting decisions about active video game use in rehabilitation Games for Health Journal Sept 4, 2018

Romney W, Salbach N Parrott JS, Deutsch JE. (2018) A knowledge translation intervention designed using audit and feedback and the Theoretical Domains Framework for physical therapists working in inpatient rehabilitation: A case report. Physiother Theory Pract. 2018 Apr 16:1-17. doi: 10.1080/09593985.2018.1457113. [Epub ahead of print]


Llorens R, Noé E, Alcañiz M, Deutsch JE (2017) Time since injury limits but does not prevent improvement and maintenance of gains in balance in chronic stroke. Brain Inj. 2018;32(3):303-309. doi: 10.1080/02699052.2017.1418905. Epub 2017 Dec 26.

Laver KE, Lange B, George S, Deutsch JE, Saposnik G, Crotty M. (2017) Virtual Reality for Stroke Rehabilitation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Nov 20;11:CD008349. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008349.pub4.


Deutsch JE, Westcott-McCoy S, (2017) Virtual Reality and Serious Games in Neurorehabilitation of Children and Adults: Prevention, Plasticity, and Participation. Pediatr Phys Ther. Suppl 3 Supplement, IV Step 2016 Conference Proceedings Supplement:S23-S36.

Romney W, Ward I, Zeitlin D, Snowdon L, Parrott SA, Salbach N, Deutsch JE. (2017) An integrated knowledge translation intervention tailored by an external knowledge broker increased the use of outcome measures by physical therapists in inpatient rehabilitation: A pilot cluster randomized controlled trial. 10th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation, Arlington, VA.


Deutsch JE, Bowlby P, Kafri M. (2017) Participation outcomes differed between video game-based balance training and standard of care training: Pilot clinical trial. IEEE Proc International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation. Montreal, Canada June, 2017.


Gallagher R, Damodaran H, Werner WG, Powell W, Deutsch JE (2016) Auditory and visual cueing modulate cycling speed of older adults and persons with Parkinson’s disease in a virtual cycling (V-Cycle) system. JNER 13(1):77.

Maidan I, Nieuwhof F, Bernard_Elazari H, Reelick MF, Bloem BR, Giladi N, Deutsch JE, Hausdorff JM, Classen JAH, Mirelman A. (2016). The role of the frontal lobe in complex walking among patients with Parkinson’s Disease and healthy older adults: A fNIRS study. NNR 2016 May 23. pii: 1545968316650426. [Epub ahead of print]

Maidan I, Rosenberg-Katz K, Jacob Y, Giladi N, Deutsch JE, Haudorff, JM, Mirelman (2016) A. Altered brain activation in complex walking conditions in patients with Parkinson Disease. Parkinsonism and Related Disorders 2016 Apr;25:91-6. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2016.01.025. Epub 2016 Feb

Wolf SL, Kwakkel G, Bayley M, McDonnell MN for the Upper Extremity Stroke Algorithmn Group. (2016) Best practice for arm recovery post-stroke: an international application. Physiotherapy 2016 Mar;102(1):1-4. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2015 Sep 26.

Bermudez iBadia, Deutsch JE and Llorens R. Open Rehabilitation Initiative: Design and Formative Evaluation Proc. 11th International Conference on Disability Virtual Reality and Associated Technologies. PM Sharkey and AA Rizzo (Eds) pp 93-100, Los Angeles, CA Sept 2016




Deutsch JE, Romney W, Manal TJ (2015) Validity and Usability of a professional association’s web-based knowledge translation portal: APTA BMC Medical Informatics15:79-

Laver K, George S, Thomas S, Deutsch JE, Crotty M. (2015) Virtual reality for stroke rehabilitation Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Feb 12;2:CD008349. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008349.pub3..

Wiemeyer J, Deutsch J, Malone LA, Rowland JL, Swartz MC, Xiong J, Zhang FF. (2015) Recommendations for the Optimal Design of Exergame Interventions for Persons with Disabilities: Challenges, Best Practices, and Future Research. Games Health J. 2015 Feb;4(1):58-62. doi: 10.1089/g4h.2014.0078. Epub 2014 Dec 3.

Deutsch JE, Guarrera-Bowlby P, Myslinski MJ, Kafri M. Is There Evidence That Active Videogames Increase Energy Expenditure and Exercise Intensity for People Poststroke and with Cerebral Palsy? (2015) Games Health J. 2015 Feb;4(1):31-7. Epub 2014 Dec 3.

Gosine R, Damodaran H, Deutsch JE, Formative evaluation and preliminary validation of Kinect open source stepping game, IEEE Proc International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation, p 92-99. Valencia 2015


*Deutsch JE, Rothman J, Barker B, Grando A, Damodaran H, The effect of video game interaction on walking intensity: Preliminary study of young, older adults and persons post-stroke, IEEE Proc. Int Conference on VR, p 24-29. Valencia 2015 Honorable Mention

*Gallagher R, Damodaran H, Werner WG, Deutsch JE, Influence of cueing, feedback and directed attention on cycling in a virtual environment: Preliminary findings in healthy adults and persons with PD, IEEE Proc Int Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation, p 11-17. Valencia 2015 Honorable Mention


Maidan I, Rosenberg Katz, Giladi J, Deutsch JE,  Hausdorff J, Mirelman A. (2015)  Differential neural activation in healthy older adults compared to subjects with Parkinson Disease during motor imagery of walking in virtual environments. IEEE Proc International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation, p 5-10. Valencia 2015



Levac D, Espy D, Fox E, Pradhan S, Deutsch JE (2014) ‘Kinect-ing’ with clinicians: A knowledge translation resource to support decision-making about video game use in rehabilitation PTJ Special Issue on Technology epub Sept 13.

Kafri M. Myslinski M, Gade VK. Deutsch JE. (2014) High Metabolic Cost and Low Energy Expenditure for Typical Motor Activities among Individuals in the Chronic Phase Post-Stroke. JNPT 38;226-232

Ranky GR, Sivak ML, Lewis JA, Gade VK, Deutsch JE, Mavroidis D. (2014) Modular Mechatronic System for Stationary Bicycles Interfaced with Virtual Environment for Rehabilitation JNER June 2014

Romney W, Manal T, Deutsch J. (2014) “Clinician variability in accessing and using an online evidence based resource”, Combined Sections Meeting, Las Vegas, NV.


Pompeu, JE, Aruini La, Botelho AR, Fonseca MB, Pompeu SM, Torriani-Pasin C, Deutsch, JE.  Feasibility, Safety And Effectiveness Of The Use Of Kinect Adventures! Gamestm On Rehabilitation Of Patients With Parkinson Disease: A Pilot Study (2013 JE (Physiother epub December 23, 2013)

Huhn K, Black, Jensen G, Deutsch JE (2013) Tracking Change in Critical Thinking Skills JOPTE 27 (3) 41-48

Huhn, K., McGinnis, P.Q., Wainwright, S., Deutsch, J.E., (2013) Comparison of Two Case Delivery Methods: Virtual and Live JOPTE 27 (3) 26-31

Mirelman A, Maidan I, Deutsch JE. (2013)Virtual Reality and Motor Imagery: promising tools for assessment and therapy in Parkinson’s disease” Movement Disorders 5;28(11):1597-608

Kafri M, Myslinski MJ, Gade VK, Deutsch JE. (2013) Energy Expenditure and Exercise Intensity of Interactive Video Gaming in Individuals Poststroke. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2013 Jul 29. [Epub ahead of print]

Dickstein R, Deutsch JE, Yoeli Y, Kafri M, Falash F, Dunsky A, Eshet A, Alexander N. (2013)

Effects of Integrated Motor Imagery Practice on Gait of Individuals With Chronic Stroke: A Half-Crossover Randomized Study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 epub Jul 18


Deutsch JE, Myslinski MJ, Kafri M, Ranky R, Sivak M, Mavroidis C, Lewis JA (2013)

Feasibility of virtual reality augmented cycling for health promotion of people poststroke.

J Neurol Phys Ther;37(3):118-24.

Fluet GG. Deutsch JE. (2013)Virtual Reality for Sensorimotor Rehabilitation Post-Stroke: The Promise and Current State of the Field. Curr Phys Med Rehabil Rep[ epub ahead of print]

Gade V, Gallagher R, Maidan I. Patel C. Deutsch JE. (2013) Path width, path difficulty and optic flow differentially affect young, older adults and individuals post-stroke in a virtual cycling environment.  ICVR, Philadelphia, PA

Farjadian AB, Kong Q, Gade VK, Deutsch JE, Mavroidis C. (2013) VRACK: Measuring pedal kinematics during stationary bike cycling. IEEE Int Conf Rehabil Robot. 2013 Jun; 2013:1-6


Laver K, George S, Thomas S, Deutsch JE, Crotty M. (2012) Cochrane review: virtual reality for stroke rehabilitation. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2012 Jun 20. [Epub ahead of print]


Deutsch JE, Maidan I, Dickstein R. (2012) Patient-Centered Integrated Motor Imagery Delivered in the Home and with Tele-rehabilitation to Improve Walking for an Individual Post-Stroke. PTJ, (e-pub ahead of print April; 12, 2012)


Deutsch JE, Myslinski J. (2012) Metabolic Response to Virtual Reality Augmented Cycling ICDVRAT, Laval, France



Deutsch JE, Brettler A., Smith C, Welsh J, John R, Bowlby-Guarrera P, Kafri M. (2011) Nintendo Wii Game Analysis, Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation 18(6)701-719

Huhn K, Black L, Jensen GM, Deutsch JE (2011) Construct validity of the Health Science Reasoning Test.

J of Allied Health 40(4):181-6.


Deutsch JE (2011) Using virtual reality to improve walking post-stroke: translation to individuals with diabetes. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 1;5(2):309-14.

Virtual reality for gait training: can it induce motor learning to enhance complex walking and reduce fall risk in patients with Parkinson’s disease? (2011) Mirelman A, Maidan I, Herman T, Deutsch JE, Giladi N, Hausdorff JM. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 66(2):234-40.

Huhn, K, Deutsch JE. Design and Assessment of a Web-based Patient Simulation Program. Journal of Physical Therapy Education 2011; 25: 5-10


Fulk G. Deutsch JE (2010) Predicting Home and Community Walking Activity for People Post Stroke; Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in press

Laver KE, George S, Thomas S, Deutsch JE, Crotty M. (2010) Virtual Reality for Stroke Rehabilitation: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010 issue2 Art NO. CD008349. DOI: 101002/14651858.CD008349

Mirelman A, Bonato P. Deutsch JE (2010) Effects of virtual reality training on gait biomechanics of individuals post-stroke. Gait and Posture 31:433-437.

Ranky R. Sivak M. Lewis J, Gade V, Deutsch JE, Mavroidis C., “VRACK – Virtual Reality Augmented Cycling Kit: Design and Validation,” Proc. of the 2010 IEEE VR Conf., March 20-26, 2010 in Waltham, MA.



Deutsch JE (2009) Virtual Reality and Gaming systems to improve walking and mobility for people with musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. 145:84-93.

Deutsch JE, Robbins D, Morrison J, Guarrera Bowlby P. (2009) Wii-Based Compared to Standard of Care Balance and Mobility Training for Two Individuals Post-Stroke. Virtual Rehabilitation International Conference Proceedings IEEE, pp 117-120


Mirelman A, Bonato P. Deutsch JE. (2008) Effects of Training with a Robot-Virtual Reality System Compared with a Robot Alone on the Gait of Individuals Post Stroke Stroke epub ahead of print November 11, 2008


Deutsch JE, Boberly M, Filler J, Huhn  K, Guarrera-Bowlby P. Use of commercial gaming console (Wii) for rehabilitation of an adolescent with cerebral palsy. (2008) Physical Therapy October 2008 vol. 88 no. 10 1196-1207


Mirelman A, Bonato P. Deutsch JE. (2008) Effects of Training with a Robot-Virtual Reality System Compared with a Robot Alone on the Gait of Individuals Post Stroke Stroke epub ahead of print November 11, 2008

Dunsky A, Dickstein R. Deutsch JE. Home-based motor imagery training for gait rehabilitation of individuals with chronic post-stroke hemiparesis. Archives of Phys Med Rehabil Oct 2008

Huhn, K, Anderson, E, Deutsch, JE. Using a Web-Based Patient Simulation Program to Teach Clinical Reasoning to Physical Therapy Students: Feasibility and Pilot Studies. Published in 2008 Conference Proceedings of the E-Learn Conference

Deutsch  JE R. Boian, R., Lewis  JA, Burdea G.  Minsky  A. Haptic Effects Modulate Kinetics of Gait but not Experience of Realism in a Virtual Reality Walking Simulator, IVR Proceedings August 2008




Deutsch JE, Mirelman A . (2007) Virtual Reality based approaches to enable walking for people post-stroke Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation 14(6) 45-53

Huhn K.  Guarrera Bowlby P. Deutsch JE. (2007) A Multiply Handicapped Child’s Performance on a Rear-wheel Drive vs. Mid-wheel Drive Power Wheelchairs JPPT 19:254-260.

Dickstein R, Deutsch JE. (2007) Update on Update: Motor Imagery in Physical Therapy Practice. Phys Ther 87:942-953

Deutsch JE Lewis JA, Burdea G. (2007) Technical and Patient Performance Using a Virtual Reality-Integrated Tele