UCL Institute of Neurology


Modulation of Movement Speed by Attention and Motivation

Cognitive-Motor Neuroscience Group

Lab Head: Professor Marjan Jahanshahi

We can speed up or slow down our movements through motivation (eg walking faster when in a hurry) or attention (eg walking slower on ice and paying attention to every step). Slowness and mobility problems are features of Parkinson’s Disease. However, under demanding circumstances, such as during a fire alarm, patients with Parkinson’s disease can move faster, the so-called paradoxical kinesis. Also movement speed in PD is increased by external cues such as lines on the floor. We are interested in investigating the modulatory influence of motivation, attention and external cueing on movement speed in healthy controls and in Parkinson’s disease, how these factors interact, and the neural mechanisms by which they alter movement speed.

Examples of relevant publications

Jahanshahi M Jenkins HI Brown RG Marsden CD Passingham RE Brooks CD (1995) Self-initiated versus externally-triggered movements: I. An investigation using regional cerebral blood flow and movement-related potentials in normals and in patients with Parkinson's disease. Brain, 118, 913-933.

Jenkins HI Jahanshahi M Jueptner M Passingham RE Brooks CD (2000) Self-initiated versus externally-triggered movements: II. The effects of stimulus predictability studied with PET. Brain, 123, 1216-1228.

Mir P, Trender-Gerhard T, Edwards MJ, Schneider SA, Bhatia KO, Jahanshahi M Motivation and movement: The effect of monetary incentive on reaction times, submitted

Griffin HJ, Greenlaw R, Limousin P, Bhatia K, Quinn NP, Jahanshahi M The effect of real and virtual visual cues on walking in Parkinson’s disease, submitted

Jahanshahi et al (1995) Brain, 118, 913-933