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Research theme


We use neuroimaging to ask:

How we:

  • Plan our movements
  • Turn these plans into actions

How these processes change when:

  • Brain regions controlling our movements are damaged (e.g. after stroke)
  • Disorders of movement (e.g. Parkinson’s disease) impair how we plan our actions
  • Body parts are missing (e.g. in amputees) or new body parts are gained (e.g. an artificial limb)

Our goal is to:

  • Understand how our brain controls our actions
  • Improve and predict recovery of movement when it is lost or impaired
  • Design better artificial limbs for amputees


Our research focusses on the neural systems that support action. This research aims to benefit patients with movement disorders following:

  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Dystonia
  • Tremor
  • Catatonia
  • Abulia
  • Congenital amelia and amputees
  • Chronic or phantom pain
  • Spinal cord injury

Recent work

  • We have developed the first wearable neuroimaging system, and shown how this can be used for studying naturalistic movements such as drinking tea or even playing ping-pong (Boto et al Nature 2018)
  • We pioneered simultaneous recordings from deep brain structures and whole brain MEG signals in patients who had electrodes implanted in their brain for treating movement disorders in Parkinson’s disease (Litvak et al., 2011; Litvak et al. 2012; Oswal et al. 2013; Neumann et al., 2015) and demonstrated how deep brain electrical stimulation influences brain function (Oswal et al., 2016)
  • Different anatomical structures support post-stroke upper limb motor recovery (Park et al., 2016; Rodina et al., 2017)
  • The brain maintains a complete representation of the hand even after it has been amputated (Wesselink et al., 2019)


Teams in this research area