He tries to understand how our brain controls movements. In addition, he is still puzzled how different kinds of neurostimulation might work.
He is a Professor in Motor Neuroscience at the Sobell Department for Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, UCL. He is also a member of VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Simon is a neurologist with a particular interest in the role of brain oscillations in movement disorders and motor attentional networks. He previously completed a PhD with Professor Peter Brown at Oxford University investigating closed loop deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease - targeting beta oscillations recorded from the basal ganglia. He recently moved to the Sobell to join the Bestmann lab for a Wellcome trust postdoctoral fellowship to investigate the computational and causal role of motor network oscillations with an aim to translate these findings to clinical benefit through advancing deep brain stimulation therapies.
Much is known about the neural systems and computations underlying value-based planning and decision making, but little about how value signals and rewardability influence the actual execution of a meaningful and skilled action. Combining a behavioural approach with measurements of movement kinematic parameters, I am currently investigating how motor execution and learning can be influenced by the specific motivational context in which the movements occur.
This issue is of particular importance in subjects with a stroke-related unilateral brain damage, because increasing motor (re-)learning in these patients would permit to improve their functional outcome.
Ang is a neurology registrar with a particular interest in stroke, the multidisciplinary approach to stroke rehabilitation and the application of principles of motor learning to the field of neurorehabilitation. He is on a research break from his clinical neurology training programme to undertake a PhD. He is interested in how reward and punishment including the facilitation/inhibition of dopaminergic neurotransmission can be used to potentially influence and reinforce motor skill learning, and how these strategies can be applied to the clinical setting in order to improve rehabilitative therapies for patients left with upper limb impairment following a stroke.
I am interested in post-stroke motor rehabilitation, and how modern neurostimulation approaches could be used to support therapy. My PhD research, in collaboration with Prof Nick Ward is focused on using non-invasive brain stimulation, specifically, Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) to influence motor function. I use this with models of current flow inside the brain,to ask how dose-controlled delivery of tDCS can help to deliver more reliable and reproducible stimulation to participants and patients.
I am interested in motor physiology and motor rehabilitation. My current research is based between Charlotte Stagg's (Oxford) and Sven Bestmann's labs. We hope to use various brain stimulation techniques to understand how neural oscillations modulate motor learning.
We are interested in the role of pre-movement GABAergic inhibition (closely related to movement and movement learning) and gamma oscillations (known to play a vital role in motor control). Little is known about how these change throughout learning, or how they affect one's ability to learn a new motor skill.
A greater understanding of these changes could help develop more effective rehabilitation treatments for movement conditions such as stroke
Isobel is taking time out from being a medical student to do a PhD, under UCL’s MBPhD scheme. For her BSc, she studied decision making models under Roger Carpenter using saccadic latency tasks. She is now interested in looking at how decisions become actions and the flexibility we have to make high-quality movements when needed.
My research topics are focused on the behavioural, neural and endocrine mechanisms involved during emotional behaviour in different psychopathological disorders and in the student population. To investigate this I use several techniques, such as fMRI, brain stimulation, kinematic responses and physiological measures, such as salivary hormones and heart rate. I look at the control of emotional approach-avoidance behaviour while measuring underlying brain activity in patients with a social anxiety disorder, conversion disorder and psychopathy, and study the influence of the serotonin transporter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) on this process.
The successful candidate will join a research group investigating decision signals in the human motor system, with a specific focus on neuroimaging, and in particular magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG). Additional techniques may include behavioural, neuropharmacological, and neurostimulation techniques such as TMS or tDCS. The Sobell Department laboratories are equipped with the latest technology for behavioural testing, neurostimulation, neuromodulation, and recordings of skilled actions. Our imaging activities are located at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging. The appointee will contribute to the on-going cutting-edge programme of research in human decision making and action selection, including research projects concerning the link between decision making, action selection and action execution, with a specific focus on the use of M/EEG to approach these themes.
The post is available from October 2014 and is funded to June 2016 in the first instance. You should apply for this position through UCL's online recruitment – www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/jobs - where you can download a job description and person specification using ref: 1431768. If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact Samantha Robinson, Personnel Officer, Institute of Neurology, 23 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3BG (email:ion.hradmin.ucl.ac.uk).
Further details: http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AJL234/research-associate/
Informal enquiries about the position can be made to Dr Sven Bestmann (http://www.bestmannlab.com).
For further information please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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