Neuroimaging of Pain and Motor Circuits in the Human Brain

Date(s) - 02/08/2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Virtual via Zoom

Stephen Coombes, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, University of Florida



Stephen Coombes investigates how the brain controls movement and how the brain processes pain. He studies how these systems function in healthy individuals are how they are altered in different chronic pain conditions. The long-term goal of his laboratory is to leverage this knowledge to understand why interventions for chronic pain work, and how they can be improved. His current research is focused on combining virtual reality with brain imaging to understand how pain changes the way that we move and to better implement pain treatments to target neural activity to relive pain and restore function.


Dr. Coombes co-founded and co-directs the Laboratory for Rehabilitation Neuroscience at the University of Florida. He received his PhD from the University of Florida in motor control in 2006 and then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Neuroimaging at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011. He is currently an Associate professor in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology. Through a series of HD-EEG and fMRI publications over the last 10 years his group have identified the prefrontal cortex and sensorimotor cortex as key regions in the pain-motor axis. His recent work links chronic pain with robust changes in neural oscillations and the BOLD signal within these regions, thereby providing novel markers of chronic pain. He has published 68 articles in research journals that include Cerebral Cortex, Human Brain Mapping, Neuroimage, and Pain. He has reviewed manuscripts for over 50 different scientific journals and is currently Chair of the MED8 study section in Belgium. His Laboratory is supported by NIH.