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Dystonia and Motor Control Laboratory

Research in the Simonyan Lab focuses on the neural mechanisms of fine motor control during speaking and other complex behavior, such as singing, playing a musical instrument, and writing, and the ways these mechanisms fail in dystonia and other neurological disorders. Our research approach is broad and includes high-resolution functional and structural brain imaging, neuropathological examination of postmortem brain tissue, neural modeling, genetic analysis of potential risk factors for dystonia, as well as neural and clinical effects of novel therapeutic options for dystonia patients. We are also interested in the comparisons of neural features of dystonia with other movement disorders, such as essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease, especially in patients with impaired speech production. 

We aim to develop a better understanding of normal and diseased states of the central nervous system during the execution of complex motor commands, which will ultimately help develop new diagnostic and treatment opportunities for patients with movement disorders.


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Spasmodic Dysphonia and Other Focal Dystonias

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Neural Mechanisms of Speech Control

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Analytic Tools

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The Dystonia and Motor Control Laboratory is funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Institutes of Health.

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