Maria Knikou, PhD, PT - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Maria Knikou

Maria Knikou, PhD, PT

  • Research Scientist, SMPP, RIC
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, PM&R, Feinberg School of Medicine, NU




  • English

Education, Residency and Internship


Technological and Educational Institute of Athens, B.S.c, Faculty of Professional Health and Welfare, Dept of PT
National and Kapodistriakon University of Athens, B.S.c, Dept of Science in PE and Athleticism
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, PhD, Bioengineering Unit


Northwestern University Feinberg Scool of Medicine, NUPTHMS & SMPP, Post Doctoral

Additional Information


Dr. Knikou's lab page


Knikou M.Plantar cutaneous afferents normalize the reflex modulation patterns during stepping in chronic human spinal cord injury. J Neurophysiol. 2010 Mar;103(3):1304-14.

Knikou M.  Neural control of locomotion and training-induced plasticity after spinal and cerebral lesions. Clin Neurophysiol. 2010 Apr 26.

Knikou M, Angeli CA, Ferreira CK, Harkema SJ.  Soleus H-reflex modulation during body weight support treadmill walking in spinal cord intact and injured subjects,  Exp Brain Res, 2009 Mar;193(3):397-407.

Knikou M.  The H-reflex as a probe: pathways and pitfalls . J Neuro Methods June; 171 (1): 1-12, 2008. Invited review.

Conway BA, Knikou M.  The action of plantar pressure on flexion reflex pathways in the isolated human spinal cord.  Clin Neurophysiol April; 119 (4): 892-896, 2008.

Knikou, M, Angeli, CA, Ferreira, C & Harkema, SJ  Neural circuits of the injured human spinal cord during assisted stepping. From the Bench to the Bedside, The Latest Discoveries in SCI Research.  New York Academy of Sciences, January 14-16, 2008.

Conway BA & Knikou M.  The action of plantar pressure on flexion reflex pathways in the isolated human spinal cord.  Clin Neurophys April; 119 (4): 892-896, 2008.

Knikou M, Schmit BD, Chaudhuri D, Kay E & Rymer WZ. Soleus H-reflex excitability changes in response to sinusoidal hip stretches in the injured human spinal cord. Neuroscience Letters Aug; 423 (1): 18-23, 2007. PMCID: PMC2018729.

Knikou M. Plantar cutaneous input modulates differently spinal reflexes in subjects with intact and injured spinal cord. Spinal Cord Jan; 45 (1): 69-77, 2007. PMCID: PMC1764031.

Knikou M. Hip-phase-dependent flexion reflex modulation and expression of spasms in patients with spinal cord injury. Experimental Neurology March; 204 (1): 171-181, 2007.

Knikou M. Neural coupling between the upper and lower limbs in humans. Neuroscience Letters April; 416 (2): 138-143, 2007.

Knikou, M, Kay, E & Schmit, BD Parallel facilitatory reflex pathways from the foot and hip to flexors and extensors in the injured human spinal cord, Exp Neurology, July; 206 (1): 146-158, 2007.

Knikou, M Effects of Changes in Hip position on Actions of Spinal Inhibitory Interneurons in Humans, J of Neuroscience, 118:945-961, 2006.

Knikou M & Conway BA. Effects of electrically induced muscle contraction on flexion reflex in human spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord, DOI: 10.1038/, published online on June 21, 2005.

Knikou M. Effects of hip joint angle changes on intersegmental spinal coupling in human spinal cord injury. Experimental Brain Research, DOI: 10.1007/s00221-005-0046-6.

Knikou M, Kay E & Rymer WZ. Modulation of flexion reflex induced by hip angle changes in human spinal cord injury. Experimental Brain Research, 2005.

Knikou M & Rymer WZ. Static and dynamic changes in body orientation modulate spinal reflex excitability in humans. Experimental Brain Research October 152 (4): 466-475, 2003.

Knikou M & Rymer WZ. Effects of changes in hip joint angle on H-reflex excitability in humans. [Erratum in Experimental Brain Research (Erratum) 144 (4): 558-558, 2002]. Experimental Brain Research March 143 (2): 149-159, 2002.

Knikou M & Conway BA. Reflex effects of induced muscle contraction in normal and spinal cord injured subjects. Muscle & Nerve September 26 (3): 374-382, 2002.

Knikou M & Rymer WZ. Hip angle induced modulation of H reflex amplitude, latency and duration in spinal cord injured humans. Clinical Neurophysiology November 113 (11): 1698-1708, 2002.

Knikou M & Conway BA. Modulation of soleus H-reflex following ipsilateral mechanical loading of the sole of the foot in normal and complete spinal cord injured human subjects. Neuroscience Letters May 303 (2): 107-110, 2001.

Research Interests

lie within the extensive field of clinical applied neurophysiology involving concepts as motor control and spasticity. Currently, using non-invasive methods the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying spasms are examined in patients with incomplete spinal injury while future directions involve neuronal pathways that promote locomotion in patients with partial lesion of the spinal cord or hemiplegia due to stroke

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