The long term objective of the applicant is to develop a deep understanding of how emotion and motor systems interact at the behavioral, neurobiological, and neurochemical level in the human brain. Recent evidence from studies in non-human primates identifies two integrative mechanisms that allow emotion and motor information to be transferred across parallel cortico-striatal-cortico loops. Specific nuclei within the affective loop (thalamus) and motor loop (substantia nigra) are key components of these integrative mechanisms. Building on the prior work of the applicant the current proposal will, for the first time, test hypotheses derived from these integrative models in the human brain using precise experimental design and state of the art functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at 3 Tesla. The proposal will determine how force production alters neuronal activity in regions that process emotional information (i.e., affective loop) and how emotional processing alters neuronal activity in regions that process motor information (i.e., motor loop). The proposed studies will measure blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal change and isometric force output from human subjects while they passively view emotional and neutral images and while they view emotional and neutral images while generating force. The experiments will examine four hypotheses in two specific aims.
Aim la tests the hypothesis that viewing emotional images increases activity within all affective loop nuclei.
Aim I b tests the hypothesis that the dorsomedial thalamus will show increased BOLD signal when emotion and motor processes are paired together.
Aim 2 a tests the hypothesis that force production increases activity within all motor loop nuclei.
Aim 2 b tests the hypothesis that the substantia nigra will show increased BOLD signal when emotion and motor processes are paired together. Findings generated from this proposal will motivate the next phase of the applicant's long term objective which will be to understand how surgical (deep brain stimulation) and pharmacological (dopamine) interventions alter the functioning of these integrative mechanisms in clinical populations with co-morbid emotional and motor abnormalities (bipolar disorder, Parkinson's disease). Emotional disorders can present with motor deficits, and motor disorders of the basal ganglia can present with emotional deficits. The mechanism in the human brain that integrates emotion and movement remains largely unknown. Understanding the neural circuits that integrate emotion and motor processes will inform interventions that seek to regulate and facilitate emotional and/or motor function. ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-F02B-Y (20))
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Curvey, Mary F
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University of Illinois at Chicago
Schools of Allied Health Profes
United States
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Neely, Kristina A; Coombes, Stephen A; Planetta, Peggy J et al. (2013) Segregated and overlapping neural circuits exist for the production of static and dynamic precision grip force. Hum Brain Mapp 34:698-712
Naugle, Kelly M; Coombes, Stephen A; Cauraugh, James H et al. (2012) Influence of emotion on the control of low-level force production. Res Q Exerc Sport 83:353-8
Coombes, Stephen A; Corcos, Daniel M; Pavuluri, Mani N et al. (2012) Maintaining force control despite changes in emotional context engages dorsomedial prefrontal and premotor cortex. Cereb Cortex 22:616-27
Cauraugh, James H; Naik, Sagar K; Lodha, Neha et al. (2011) Long-term rehabilitation for chronic stroke arm movements: a randomized controlled trial. Clin Rehabil 25:1086-96
Coombes, Stephen A; Corcos, Daniel M; Vaillancourt, David E (2011) Spatiotemporal tuning of brain activity and force performance. Neuroimage 54:2226-36
Coombes, Stephen A; Naugle, Kelly M; Barnes, Robert T et al. (2011) Emotional reactivity and force control: the influence of behavioral inhibition. Hum Mov Sci 30:1052-61
Coombes, Stephen A; Corcos, Daniel M; Sprute, Lisa et al. (2010) Selective regions of the visuomotor system are related to gain-induced changes in force error. J Neurophysiol 103:2114-23
Lodha, Neha; Naik, Sagar K; Coombes, Stephen A et al. (2010) Force control and degree of motor impairments in chronic stroke. Clin Neurophysiol 121:1952-61
Wasson, Pooja; Prodoehl, Janey; Coombes, Stephen A et al. (2010) Predicting grip force amplitude involves circuits in the anterior basal ganglia. Neuroimage 49:3230-8
Coombes, Stephen A; Tandonnet, Christophe; Fujiyama, Hakuei et al. (2009) Emotion and motor preparation: A transcranial magnetic stimulation study of corticospinal motor tract excitability. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci 9:380-8

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