The basal ganglia are a collection of deep brain nuclei that form crucial circuits with premotor and primary motor areas of the cortex for voluntary movement initiation and control. Dysfunction of the basal ganglia, in neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease, leads to severe impairments in voluntary movement control and motor learning. Understanding the function of networks of the basal ganglia and cortex for co-ordinating voluntary actions is therefore critically important.

We will determine the network circuitry between the basal ganglia and the motor cortex that is vital for the co-ordination of voluntary action. Crucially, this project will develop and apply highly innovative and advanced new approaches to human brain imaging, using the new 7 Tesla human MRI scanner at University of Queensland, to examine basal ganglia-cortical networks with unprecedented detail in the living human brain.

This project is in collaboration with Prof Ross Cunnington (QBI) and A/Prof Christian Windischberger (Medical University of Vienna).

Project members

Professor Markus Barth

ARC Future Fellow, Head of Ultra-high Field MR Research
Centre for Advanced Imaging