Dr. Arco Paul

Brief Bio

Overall, I am interested in the studying the effects of exercise and task training on brain’s neuroplastic processes for motor recovery following neurological injuries. I am also interested in studying the roles of technology in neurorehabilitation. Following are some of the currently ongoing projects.

Efficacy of TMS as a diagnostic tool in neurologic rehabilitation Technology that can assess integrity of neuro-motor connections from the brain to target muscles could be useful in tracking and predicting functional recovery of lost connections following injury to the CNS. The goal of this project is to study the efficacy of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in assessing changes in neuro-motor connections from the affected motor areas of the brain to paretic upper extremity. TMS can be used to painlessly stimulate specific brain regions that connect to specific target muscles. The integrity and characteristics of these neuronal connections can be assessed by recording responses in target muscles using electromyography (EMG). The characteristics of these responses are thought to change with exercise and skill training. The purpose is to investigate the changes in the characteristics of these TMS-generated muscle responses while participants undergo physical rehabilitation. Here both healthy individuals and stroke patients are used to study if TMS can track progress with exercise and activity-training. 

Arco Paul_2022

Exercise and Dual-tasking performance Concurrent performance of two tasks that could be performed independently and have distinct goals is referred to as dual-tasking. Most real-life activities of daily living are complex and require simultaneous performance of two or more individual tasks. Dual-tasking often involves simultaneous performance of physical and cognitive tasks. Examples of such dual-tasking activities include navigating street signs while driving a car, conversing while ambulating, and reading a recipe while preparing a meal. Efficient dual-tasking performance (DTP) is necessary for adults of all age-groups for accomplishing almost all types of daily activities in a timely and accurate manner in normal life and it can be affected by age or disease conditions. DTP requires engagement of various types of cognitive and executive functions. Aerobic exercising has been shown to have beneficial effects on various domains of cognitive functions. However, the effects of aerobic exercise directly on DTP has not been investigated much. We are currently investigating the effects of acute bouts of aerobic exercise on dual-task performance of activities that combine physical and cognitive tasks. Another area of interest on dual-tasking is to investigate the changes in the efficiencies of the component tasks when they are performed simultaneously versus separately. 


Utility of High-Intensity gait training (HIGT) in Traumatic Brain injury (TBI) patients HIGT has been shown to improve functional mobility following stroke. One of the key ingredients in this protocol is to provide gait training with ‘high enough’ intensity. The high intensity is thought to drive good neuroplastic changes in the brain’s neuromotor connections, that improves functional recovery. HIGT is now being recommended as a clinical practical guideline to be used with acute and chronic stroke patients in various types of clinical settings, but its utility with TBI patients has not been investigated yet. So, the purpose of this research is to investigate the effects of HIGT on TBI.


Presentations (Last 5 years)

Paul, A., Miner, D., Parcetich, K. Utility of the Activity-Specific Balance Confidence Scale for Fall Risk Screening in Ambulatory Older Adults Living Independently. American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) 2022. APTA Geriatrics. San Antonio, TX.

Paul A, Miner D, Parcetich K. Predictive Abilities of Performance-Based Outcome Measures Used in Two Fall-Risk Assessment Tools for Older Adults. Poster presentation at American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting 2021. Virtual Conference (due to Covid-19).

Parcetich K, Miner D, Paul A. Comparison of Performance-Based Outcome Measures Uses in Two Fall-Risk Assessment Tools for Older Adults. Poster presentation at American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting 2021. Virtual Conference (due to Covid-19).

Parcetich, K, Miner, D, Paul, A.  An Integrated Experiential Service Learning Activity for DPT Students for Assessing Fall-Risk in Older Adults. Virtual Platform presentation at American Council of Academic Physical Therapy Education Leadership Conference 2020.  Virtual Conference (due to Covid-19).

Paul A, McNulty B, Rorrer B, Perkins C, Dumas E, Aron A. Influence Of Single Bouts Of Different Exercise Intensities On Dual-tasking Efficiency In Healthy Individuals. Poster presentation at American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting and World Congress 2020. Virtual Conference (due to Covid-19).


Peer reviewed publications:

Kevin M. Parcetich, Daniel G. Miner, Arco Paul, Lane Wildman. Utility of performance-based outcome measures (PBOMs) used in fall risk assessment tools for older adults, Dialogues in Health, Volume 1, 2022, 100043, ISSN 2772-6533, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dialog.2022.100043.

Paul AP, McNulty B, Parcetich KM. Influence of Single Bouts of Aerobic Exercise on Dual-Tasking Performance in Healthy Adults. Journal of Motor Behavior. 2021 Sep 21; doi:10.1080/00222895.2021.1980366

Paul AP, Miner DG, Parcetich KM. Influence of a clinical experiential activity on student confidence in conducting effective fall-risk assessment on older adults. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education. 2021 Jun 7:1-14.

Aron A, Powell J, Kim E, Gidu D, Jagger K, Paul A. The Effect of Localized Upper Extremity Fatigue on Balance in Young and Older Adults. 2020 Jun 16; 39(1):11-21


Current Projects


Paul A., Caldwell M., Babin C., Morris H., Spears G., Effects of social media-related dual-tasking activities on the performance of the individual component tasks.

Paul A., Blankenship L., Giorno H., Graham L., Efficacy of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in assessing changes in neuro-motor connections following upper extremity exercise in healthy adults