Jump to contentJump to search
Symbolbild Neurone im Raum
Foto von

Group leader

Prof. Dr. Bettina Pollok
Institute of Clinical Neuroscience and Medical Psychology
Heinrich-Heine University
Moorenstraße 5
40225 Düsseldorf

Research Interest

My research focuses on the investigation of functional networks subserving motor control in healthy subjects as well as in patients with movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease. To this end, I adopt magentoencephalography (MEG) which allows the characterization of brain networks with a precision in the range of milliseconds. Moreover, I apply transcranial direct and alternating current stimulation (tDCS, tACS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in order to affect motor networks. These methods reveal the possibility to transiently and non-invasively modulate neural activity in focal brain regions. Hereby, the causal role of a given cortical region can be established by directly investigating the relation between behavioural changes following stimulation with a respective brain site.

Specific Projects

Currently, I investigate changes of motor control networks during healthy aging. Since it is well established that motor functions decline with age, it is reasonable that such changes are related to alterations of the underlying network. In a recent study, we found the communication between the primary motor cortex and forehand muscles to be increased suggesting stronger motor cortical involvement in elderly subjects during the execution of simple motor tasks. Interestingly, changes were particularly found in subjects aged between 40 and 50 years possibly indicating an early marker of seniority. In the future, we will extend this research by investigating the effect of physical training on functional networks which possibly allows a shift of early age-related changes to later decades and hereby preventing subjects from early onset of motor disturbances.

Selected Publications
  1. Kamp, D., Krause, V., Butz, M., Schnitzler, A. & Pollok, B. (2013). Changes of cortico-muscular coherence: An early marker of healthy aging? AGE, 35:49-58. PubMed
  2. Krause, V., Schnitzler, A. & Pollok, B. (2010). Functional network interactions subserving sensotimotor timing in musicians and non-musicians. Neuroimage, 52: 245-51. PubMed
  3. Pollok, B., Krause, V., Butz, M. & Schnitzler, A. (2009). Modality specific functional interaction in sensorimotor synchronization. Hum Brain Map, 30: 1783-90. PubMed
  4. Pollok, B., Gross, J., Kamp, D. & Schnitzler, A. (2008) Evidence for anticipatory motor control within a cerebello-diencephalic-parietal network. J Cogn Neurosci, 20: 828-840. PubMed
  5. Pollok, B., Rothkegel, H., Schnitzler, A., Paulus, W. & Lang, N. (2008) The effect of rTMS over left and right dorsolateral premotor cortex on movement timing of either hand. Eur J Neurosci, 27: 757-64. PubMed
  6. Pollok, B., Butz, M.,Gross, J. & Schnitzler, A. (2007) Intercerebellar coupling contributes to bimanual coordination. J Cogn Neurosci, 19: 704-19. PubMed
  7. Pollok, B., Gross, J., Müller, K., Aschersleben, G. & Schnitzler, A. (2005). The Cerebral Oscillatory Network Associated with Auditorily Paced Finger Movements. Neuroimage 24: 646-55. PubMed
  8. Gross, J., Pollok, B., Dirks, M., Timmermann, L., Butz, M. & Schnitzler, A. (2005). Task-dependent oscillations during unimanual and bimanual movements in the human primary motor cortex and SMA studied with magnetoencephalography. Neuroimage, 26: 91-8. PubMed
  9. Pollok, B., Dirks, M., Gross, J., Timmermann, L. & Schnitzler, A. (2004). The Cerebral Oscillatory Network of Voluntary Tremor. J Physiol (Lond) 554: 871-8. PubMed
Responsible for the content: