SENSe Therapy

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SENSe Therapy is designed to help stroke survivors regain a sense of touch and use this information in everyday activities. The term SENSe is based on the acronym used in the randomised controlled trial titled ‘Study of the Effectiveness of Neurorehabilitation on Sensation (Carey et al., 2011).

Link to Paper:

SENSe is a program of sensory rehabilitation founded on neuroscience and perceptual learning (Carey et al., 1993; Carey & Matyas, 2005; Carey et al., 2011; Carey, 2012). SENSe Therapy exploits the brain’s capacity to adapt and learn new skills. It has been designed to assist stroke survivors to improve functional sensory skills and be able to apply these in everyday tasks. SENSe Therapy has demonstrated effectiveness in a randomised controlled trial conducted by Carey et al 2011. The focus of the SENSe training approach is on rediscovering the sense of touch in the upper limbs.

An overview of the SENSe approach, and the underlying science, is provided in the video animation below.



The aim of SENSe Therapy is:

  • To help individuals with stroke-related somatosensory loss regain a sense of touch in the upper limbs and to use this in daily activities important to the individual.


During SENSe therapy, individuals can learn how to regain skills of sensation related to:

How textures feel

Knowing the position of the arm in space

Recognising the sensory features of objects and

How sensory skills can be used in everyday activities

SENSe Therapy requires the stroke survivor to change. The aim is for the person to regain the sense of touch that has been affected by the stroke. It is important that the person with stroke and the clinician understands the science and believes in the possibility of change.

Changes in the brain associated with SENSe therapy are being investigated. These include in relation to task activation (i.e. associated with feeling a texture) and brain functional and structural connectivity, as shown in the image below.


  • Carey, L. M., Matyas, T. A., & Oke, L. E. (1993). Sensory loss in stroke patients: effective training of tactile and proprioceptive discrimination. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation74(6), 602-611. doi: 10.1016/0003-9993(93)90158-7
  • Carey, L. M., & Matyas, T. A. (2005). Training of somatosensory discrimination after stroke: facilitation of stimulus generalization. American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation84(6), 428-442. doi: 10.1097/01.PHM.0000159971.12096.7F
  • Carey, L., Macdonell, R., & Matyas, T. A. (2011). SENSe: Study of the Effectiveness of Neurorehabilitation on Sensation: a randomized controlled trial. Neurorehabilitation and neural repair25(4), 304-313. doi: 1177/1545968310397705
  • Carey, L. M. (Ed.). (2012). Stroke rehabilitation: insights from neuroscience and imaging. New York: Oxford University Press.