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Professor Liz Franz

Liz Franz

Email lfranz@psy.otago.ac.nz
Tel 64 3 479 5269

Professor Liz Franz’s current research explores psychological and neural processes associated with the action system, using the techniques of MRI, DTI, fMRI, and EEG, combined with laboratory protocols. She is specifically interested in the way the brain organises complex behaviours so that goal-directed actions can occur. In her range of research experience, she has worked with over 20 different neurological disorders of the motor and/or cognitive systems.

Her laboratory has also formed five different support groups for neurological patients in New Zealand (supported by funds from Todd Foundation, Parkinson’s New Zealand, Neurological Foundation, and Health Research Council), and she has formed a world-wide support group for people with mirror movements, in association with her Marsden Grant. She has taught at both undergraduate and graduate levels for about 15 years and has supervised over 30 postgraduate degrees at MSc/PhD levels. She is Director of the Cognitive Science Program at Otago (since 2004), and also directs fMRIotago (the first MRI-fMRI research programme in New Zealand (developed in 2000). 

Liz joined the Department in 1997 following a PhD in Psychology at Purdue University, and NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowships in Cognitive Neuroscience at UC Berkeley. The latter included two years on a Neurosurgical pallidotomy team in which she worked closely with neurologists and neurosurgeons investigating the neural basis of Parkinson’s disease.

Teaching

Research Interests

  • Psychological and neural processes associated with action planning and how higher level networks interact with lower networks, using the techniques of MRI, DTI, fMRI, and EEG, combined with laboratory protocols

Find out about Professor Franz' research interests
Link to Action, Brain and Cognition Lab

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Publications

Franz, E. A., & Fu, Y. (2017). Pre-movement planning processes in people with congenital mirror movements. Clinical Neurophysiology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2017.07.412

Moore, M. R., & Franz, E. A. (2017). Resting-state mu activity modulations are associated with aloofness. Personality & Individual Differences, 116, 366-371. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2017.05.026

Glendining, K. A., Markie, D., Gardner, R. J. M., Franz, E. A., Robertson, S. P., & Jasoni, C. L. (2017). A novel role for the DNA repair gene Rad51 in Netrin-1 signalling. Scientific Reports, 7, 39823. doi: 10.1038/srep39823

Méneret, A., Franz, E. A., Trouillard, O., Oliver, T. C., Zagar, Y., Robertson, S. P., … Gardner, R. J. M., … Jasoni, C. L., … Markie, D. (2017). Mutations in the netrin-1 gene cause congenital mirror movements. Journal of Clinical Investigation. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1172/jci95442

Moore, M. R., & Franz, E. A. (2017). Mu rhythm suppression is associated with the classification of emotion in faces. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 17(1), 224-234. doi: 10.3758/s13415-016-0476-6

Chapter in Book - Research

Markošova, M., Franz, L., & Beňuškova, L. (2009). Topology of brain functional networks: Towards the role of genes. In M. Köppen, N. Kasabov & G. Coghill (Eds.), Advances in neuro-information processing: Lecture notes in computer science (Vol. 5506). (pp. 111-118). Berlin, Germany: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-02490-0_14

Franz, E. A. (2006). Converging evidence of the Basal Ganglia's role in focused action selection and inhibition of competing information. In E. Bezard (Ed.), Recent breakthroughs in Basal Ganglia research. (pp. 227-239). New York: Nova Science.

Franz, E. A. (2003). Bimanual action representation: A window on human evolution. In S. H. Johnson-Frey (Ed.), Taking action: Cognitive neuroscience perspectives on intentional acts. (pp. 259-288). London: MIT.

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Journal - Research Article

Franz, E. A., & Fu, Y. (2017). Pre-movement planning processes in people with congenital mirror movements. Clinical Neurophysiology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2017.07.412

Moore, M. R., & Franz, E. A. (2017). Mu rhythm suppression is associated with the classification of emotion in faces. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 17(1), 224-234. doi: 10.3758/s13415-016-0476-6

Méneret, A., Franz, E. A., Trouillard, O., Oliver, T. C., Zagar, Y., Robertson, S. P., … Gardner, R. J. M., … Jasoni, C. L., … Markie, D. (2017). Mutations in the netrin-1 gene cause congenital mirror movements. Journal of Clinical Investigation. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1172/jci95442

Glendining, K. A., Markie, D., Gardner, R. J. M., Franz, E. A., Robertson, S. P., & Jasoni, C. L. (2017). A novel role for the DNA repair gene Rad51 in Netrin-1 signalling. Scientific Reports, 7, 39823. doi: 10.1038/srep39823

Moore, M. R., & Franz, E. A. (2017). Resting-state mu activity modulations are associated with aloofness. Personality & Individual Differences, 116, 366-371. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2017.05.026

Fielding, A., Fu, Y., & Franz, E. A. (2017). The brain's reward response occurs even without actual reward! Journal of Gambling Studies. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10899-017-9721-3

Gillett, G., & Franz, E. (2016). Evolutionary neurology, responsive equilibrium, and the moral brain. Consciousness & Cognition, 45, 245-250. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2014.09.011

Debnath, R., & Franz, E. A. (2016). Perception of hand movement by mirror reflection evokes brain activation in the motor cortex contralateral to a non-moving hand. Cortex, 18, 118-125. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2016.04.015

Bednark, J. G., Reynolds, J. N. J., Stafford, T., Redgrave, P., & Franz, E. A. (2016). Action experience and action discovery in medicated individuals with Parkinson's disease. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10, 427. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00427

Manan, H. A., Franz, E. A., Yusoff, A. N., & Mukari, S. Z.-M. S. (2015). Aging effects on working memory: Fronto-parietal network involvement on tasks involving speech stimuli. Neurology, Psychiatry & Brain Research, 21(1), 64-72. doi: 10.1016/j.npbr.2014.09.001

Manan, H. A., Franz, E. A., Yusoff, A. N., & Mukari, S. Z.-M. S. (2015). The effects of aging on the brain activation pattern during a speech perception task: An fMRI study. Aging Clinical & Experimental Research, 27(1), 27-36. doi: 10.1007/s40520-014-0240-0

Franz, E. A., Chiaroni-Clarke, R., Woodrow, S., Glendining, K. A., Jasoni, C. L., Robertson, S. P., Gardner, R. J. M., & Markie, D. (2015). Congenital mirror movements: Phenotypes associated with DCC and RAD51 mutations. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 351(1-2), 140-145. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2015.03.006

Bednark, J. G., & Franz, E. A. (2014). Agency attribution: Event-related potentials and outcome monitoring. Experimental Brain Research, 232(4), 1117-1126. doi: 10.1007/s00221-014-3821-4

McCarthy, P., Benuskova, L., & Franz, E. A. (2014). The age-related posterior-anterior shift as revealed by voxelwise analysis of functional brain networks. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 6, 301. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2014.00301

Gong, X., Fu, Y., Wang, D., Franz, E., & Long, Z. (2014). Remoteness modulates the effects of emotional valence on the neural network of autobiographical memory in older females. International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 79(1), 23-54. doi: 10.2190/AG.79.1.b

Woods, A. M., Nowostawski, M., Franz, E. A., & Purvis, M. (2014). Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor classification on mobile device. Pervasive & Mobile Computing, 13, 1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.pmcj.2013.10.002

Regenbrecht, H., Hoermann, S., Ott, C., Muller, L., & Franz, E. (2014). Manipulating the experience of reality for rehabilitation applications. Proceedings of the IEEE, 102(2), 170-184. doi: 10.1109/jproc.2013.2294178

Yusoff, A. N., Manan, H. A., Mukari, S. Z.-M. S., Hamid, K. A., & Franz, E. A. (2014). Brain activation and psychophysiologic interaction in association with a phonological working memory task. Modern Applied Science, 8(5), 97-114. doi: 10.5539/mas.v8n5p97

Manan, H. A., Franz, E. A., Yusoff, A. N., & Mukari, S. Z.-M. S. (2014). Age-related brain activation during forward and backward verbal memory tasks. Neurology, Psychiatry & Brain Research, 20(4), 76-86. doi: 10.1016/j.npbr.2014.08.001

Fisher, S. D., Gray, J. P., Black, M. J., Davies, J. R., Bednark, J. G., Redgrave, P., Franz, E. A., Abraham, W. C., & Reynolds, J. N. J. (2014). A behavioral task for investigating action discovery, selection and switching: Comparison between types of reinforcer. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8, 398. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00398

Fu, Y., & Franz, E. A. (2014). Viewer perspective in the mirroring of actions. Experimental Brain Research, 232(11), 3665-3674. doi: 10.1007/s00221-014-4042-6

Manan, H. A., Franz, E. A., Yusoff, A. N., & Mukari, S. Z.-M. S. (2013). Age-related laterality shifts in auditory and attention networks with normal ageing: Effects on a working memory task. Neurology, Psychiatry & Brain Research, 19(4), 180-191. doi: 10.1016/j.npbr.2013.09.001

Manan, H. A., Yusoff, A. N., Franz, E. A., & Mukari, S. Z.-M. S. (2013). The effects of background noise on brain activity using speech stimuli on healthy young adults. Neurology, Psychiatry & Brain Research, 19(4), 207-215. doi: 10.1016/j.npbr.2013.09.002

Disbrow, E. A., Sigvardt, K. A., Franz, E. A., Turner, R. S., Russo, K. A., Hinkley, L. B., … Malhado-Chang, N. (2013). Movement activation and inhibition in Parkinson's disease: A functional imaging study. Journal of Parkinson's Disease, 3(2), 181-192. doi: 10.3233/jpd-130181

Bednark, J. G., Reynolds, J. N. J., Stafford, T., Redgrave, P., & Franz, E. A. (2013). Creating a movement heuristic for voluntary action: Electrophysiological correlates of movement-outcome learning. Cortex, 49(3), 771-780. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2011.12.005

Regenbrecht, H. T., Franz, E. A., McGregor, G., Dixon, B. G., & Hoermann, S. (2012). Beyond the looking glass: Fooling the brain with the augmented mirror box. Presence [2011], 20(6), 559-576. doi: 10.1162/PRES_a_00082

Franz, E. A. (2012). The allocation of attention to learning of goal-directed actions: A cognitive neuroscience framework focusing on the basal ganglia. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 535. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00535

Regenbrecht, H., Hoermann, S., McGregor, G., Dixon, B., Franz, E., Ott, C., Hale, L., … Hoermann, J. (2012). Visual manipulations for motor rehabilitation. Computers & Graphics, 36(7), 819-834. doi: 10.1016/j.cag.2012.04.012

Amer, M., Hubert, G., Sullivan, S. J., Herbison, P., Franz, E. A., & Hammond-Tooke, G. D. (2012). Reliability and diagnostic characteristics of clinical tests of upper limb motor function. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 19(9), 1246-1251. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2011.12.007

Lucas, S. J. E., Ainslie, P. N., Murrell, C. J., Thomas, K. N., Franz, E. A., & Cotter, J. D. (2012). Effect of age on exercise-induced alterations in cognitive executive function: Relationship to cerebral perfusion. Experimental Gerontology, 47(8), 541-551. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2011.12.002

Hoermann, S., Franz, E. A., & Regenbrecht, H. (2012). Referred sensations elicited by video-mediated mirroring of hands. PLoS ONE, 7(12), e50942. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050942

Manan, H. A., Franz, E. A., Yusoff, A. N., & Mukari, S. Z.-M. S. (2012). Hippocampal-cerebellar involvement in enhancement of performance in word-based BRT with the presence of background noise: An initial fMRI study. Psychology & Neuroscience, 5(2), 247-256. doi: 10.3922/ j.psns.2012.2.16

Ramakonar, H., Franz, E. A., & Lind, C. R. P. (2011). The rubber hand illusion and its application to clinical neuroscience. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 18(12), 1596-1601. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2011.05.008

Franz, E. A., & Miller, J. O. (2011). Are the basal ganglia critical in producing redundancy gain effects on simple sensorimotor responses? An investigation on the effects of Parkinson's disease. Neuropsychologia, 49(5), 1267-1274. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.02.011

Hughes, C. M. L., Haddad, J. M., Franz, E. A., Zelaznik, H. N., & Ryu, J. H. (2011). Physically coupling two objects in a bimanual task alters kinematics but not end-state comfort. Experimental Brain Research, 211(2), 219-229. doi: 10.1007/s00221-011-2673-4

Franz, E. A., & Gillett, G. (2011). John Hughlings Jackson's evolutionary neurology: A unifying framework for cognitive neuroscience. Brain, 134, 3114-3120. doi: 10.1093/brain/awr218

Wartenburger, I., Kühn, E., Sassenberg, U., Foth, M., Franz, E. A., & van der Meer, E. (2010). On the relationship between fluid intelligence, gesture production, and brain structure. Intelligence, 38(1), 193-201. doi: 10.1016/j.intell.2009.11.001

Hammond-Tooke, G. D., Goei, J., du Plessis, L. J., & Franz, E. A. (2010). Concussion causes transient dysfunction in cortical inhibitory networks but not the corpus callosum. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 17(3), 315-319. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2009.06.026

Franz, E. A., & McCormick, R. (2010). Conceptual unifying constraints override sensorimotor interference during anticipatory control of bimanual actions. Experimental Brain Research, 205(2), 273-282. doi: 10.1007/s00221-010-2365-5

Hughes, C. M. L., Haddad, J. M., Franz, E. A., & Zelaznik, H. N. (2009). Effects of object coupling on bimanual end-state comfort: Interlimb dependency does not affect end-state comfort. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 31(Suppl.), S71-S72.

Franz, E. A., Sebastian, A., Hust, C., & Norris, T. (2008). Viewer perspective affects central bottleneck requirements in spatial translation tasks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 34(2), 398-412.

Hughes, C. M. L., & Franz, E. A. (2008). Goal-related planning constraints in bimanual grasping and placing of objects. Experimental Brain Research, 188(4), 541-550.

Franz, E. A., & Fahey, S. (2007). Developmental change in interhemispheric communication: Evidence from bimanual cost. Psychological Science, 18(12), 1030-1031.

Hughes, C. M. L., & Franz, E. A. (2007). Experience-dependent effects in unimanual and bimanual reaction time tasks in musicians. Journal of Motor Behavior, 39(1), 3-8.

Franz, E. A., Ford, S., & Werner, S. (2007). Brain and cognitive processes of imitation in bimanual situations: Making inferences about mirror neuron systems. Brain Research, 1145, 138-149.

Miller, K., & Franz, E. A. (2005). Bimanual gestures: Expressions of spatial representations that accompany speech processes. Laterality, 10(3), 243-265. doi: 10.1080/13576500442000067

Shook, S. K., Franz, E. A., Higginson, C. I., Wheelock, V. L., & Sigvardt, K. A. (2005). Dopamine dependency of cognitive switching and response repetition effects in Parkinson's patients. Neuropsychologia, 43, 1990-1999.

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