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BEAM Lab

Parkinson's disease

Parkinson’s affects the ability to initiate and control movements, but seeing or hearing things (stimuli) in the environment can have a strong effect on movement. Seeing certain stimuli that are related to movement can activate areas of the brain that we use to produce our own movements. This might include seeing another person’s action or seeing an object associated with an action, such as a graspable door handle. We are interested in how people with Parkinson’s disease respond to the sight of different objects and actions in their environment, how their movement is affected by these stimuli, and how they communicate about actions. Our research aims to identify which stimuli might aid movement in Parkinson’s. In addition to our studies in the lab, we are interested in developing strategies and interventions that may improve everyday movement and communication.

Research that aims to identify which stimuli might aid movement in Parkinson’s

Specific projects

Example publications

Bek J, Webb J, Gowen E, Vogt S, Crawford TJ, Sullivan, Poliakoff E (2016). Patients’ views on a combined action observation and motor imagery intervention for Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s Disease, Article ID 7047910.

Humphries S, Holler J, Crawford TJ, Herrera E, Poliakoff E. (2016) A third-person perspective on co-speech action gestures in Parkinson's disease. Cortex. 78:44-54.


Poliakoff E (2013) Representation of action in Parkinson's disease: Imagining, observing and naming actions. Journal of Neuropsychology 7, 241–254.


Poliakoff E, Galpin AJ, McDonald K, Kellett M, Dick JPR, Hayes S, Wearden AJ (2013) The effect of gym training on multiple outcomes in Parkinson’s disease: A pilot randomised waiting-list controlled trial. NeuroRehabilitation, 32, 125-134.

Galpin A, Tipper SP, Dick J, Poliakoff E. (2011). Object affordance and spatial compatibility effects in Parkinson's disease. Cortex, 47, 332-341.