Striatal dopamine and volitional motor control

Vigor, planning, and incentive salience


As part of the recently awarded collaborative research center on motor control (DFG-CRC 1451), Prof. Dr. Thilo van Eimeren and Dr. Merle Hoenig will investigate the effects of progressive dopamine deficiency on networks involved in vigorous volitional movements in compensated (prodromal) and decompensated (clinical) stages of Parkinson’s disease. Structural and functional networks implicated in distinct domains of vigorous movement, namely planning, cost-benefit considerations and the vigor of the movement will be examined using a combination of computational phenotyping and molecular, functional, and structural neuroimaging technologies. The project will also probe dynamic network states, network topologies, and their efficacy associated with the mitigation of motor deficits (i.e. motor reserve). This project is a collaborative effort between the University Hospital Cologne and the Research Centre Juelich.