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Stephen Coombes - University of Florida. Gainesville, FL, US

Stephen Coombes

Associate Professor | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

Stephen Coombes researches how humans move and how humans experience pain.


Stephen Coombes’ research focuses on how motor, pain, and emotional processes influence each other. He also examines how spatial and temporal forms of visual information differentially engage visual, motor, and memory brain circuits in health and after stroke.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Virtual Reality Rehabilitation


Neuroscience and the Brain

Brain Imaging

Brain Rehabilitation

Media Appearances (1)

Identifying damage to the brain’s superhighway

UF News  online


University of Florida researchers have developed a template showing the brain’s superhighways and how they are impacted by a stroke. The brain images required to create the template were processed on HiPerGator, UF's supercomputer.

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Articles (5)

Cell-specific effects of Dyt1 knock-out on sensory processing, network-level connectivity, and motor deficits

Experimental Neurology

BJ Wilkes, et al.


DYT1 dystonia is a debilitating movement disorder characterized by repetitive, unintentional movements and postures. The disorder has been linked to mutation of the TOR1A/DYT1 gene encoding torsinA. Convergent evidence from studies in humans and animal models suggest that striatal medium spiny neurons and cholinergic neurons are important in DYT1 dystonia.

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Empirically derived back pain subgroups differentiated walking performance, pain, and disability


Katie Butera, et al.


Low back pain (LBP) is a leading cause of disability. However, the processes contributing to disability are not well understood.

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66361 TL1 Team Approach to Predicting Response to Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Low Back Pain

Journal of Clinical and Translational Science

Kyle See, et al.


Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is an intervention for chronic low back pain where standard interventions fail to provide relief. However, estimates suggest only 58% of patients achieve at least 50% reduction in their pain. There is no non-invasive method for predicting relief provided by SCS. We hypothesize neural activity in the brain can fill this gap.

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Recalling fearful memories modifies approach and avoidance behavior based on spatial context.


B. Fawver, et al.


Motor responses are more efficient when there is a match (or congruency) between the motivational properties of an emotional state and the distance altering characteristics of the movement being executed to the emotion-eliciting stimulus. However, the role of spatial context in shaping motivational orientations to approach and avoid, particularly during whole-body movement tasks, remains less understood.

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Functional imaging of the brainstem during visually-guided motor control reveals visuomotor regions in the pons and midbrain


Winston T. Chu, et al.


Integrating visual information for motor output is an essential process of visually-guided motor control. The brainstem is known to be a major center involved in the integration of sensory information for motor output, however, limitations of functional imaging in humans have impaired our knowledge about the individual roles of sub-nuclei within the brainstem.

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