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Rebekah Blakemore

Rebekah Blakemore ImageLecturer – Movement Neuroscience
BSc(Auck) PGDipP MPhEd PhD(Otago)
Tel +64 3 479 8387
Email rebekah.blakemore@otago.ac.nz

Background

Rebekah Blakemore joined the School in 2019. Rebekah obtained her BSc (Sport and Exercise Science, 2003) at the University of Auckland before moving to Dunedin to complete her MPhEd (2006, Distinction) and PhD (2011) in Movement Neuroscience using EEG and EMG at the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Science. Rebekah then completed a 3 year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, where she combined Movement and Affective Neuroscience to investigate emotion-motor interactions using fMRI. This worked was funded by a Marie Curie COFUND Fellowship, and European Union FP7. Rebekah returned to New Zealand via the Neurological Foundation Repatriation Fellowship, where she worked as a Research Fellow in the Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch and the New Zealand Brain Research Institute (2015-2019), funded by the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand.

Teaching

Research

Rebekah has three interrelated research themes that examine motor function in healthy and movement disorder populations:

  • Neural mechanisms underlying the preparation, initiation, and control of voluntary movement, primarily upper limb motor control
  • Interactions between the emotion and motor systems, especially stress-induced modulation of motor behaviour
  • Conceptions of action as being voluntary/intentional or involuntary/unintentional, and modulation of the motor system outside of conscious awareness

  
Rebekah’s research is interdisciplinary drawing on frameworks from movement and affective neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, and neurology. Rebekah uses a multi-methodological approach, and has expertise in event-related potentials (EEG), electromyography (EMG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), movement kinematics, and psychophysiology. She has a specialist clinical interest in functional neurological symptom disorder (conversion disorder) and Parkinson’s disease.

Postgraduate Students

Potential postgraduate students must have an interest in how the brain controls movement. Please consult the University of Otago scholarships webpage to check eligibility for international and domestic student scholarships.
Visit the University of Otago scholarships webpage

Rebekah is currently welcoming Honours and Masters students beginning 2021.

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Publications

Blakemore, R. L., MacAskill, M. R., Myall, D. J., & Anderson, T. J. (2019). Volitional suppression of parkinsonian resting tremor. Movement Disorders Clinical Practice, 6(6), 470-478. doi: 10.1002/mdc3.12801

Blakemore, R. L., MacAskill, M. R., Shoorangiz, R., & Anderson, T. J. (2018). Stress-evoking emotional stimuli exaggerate deficits in motor function in Parkinson's disease. Neuropsychologia, 112, 66-76. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.03.006

Blakemore, R. L., & Vuilleumier, P. (2017). An emotional call to action: Integrating affective neuroscience in models of motor control. Emotion Review, 9(4), 299-309. doi: 10.1177/1754073916670020

Blakemore, R. L., Neveu, R., & Vuilleumier, P. (2017). How emotion context modulates unconscious goal activation during motor force exertion. NeuroImage, 146, 904-917. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.11.002

Blakemore, R. L., Sinanaj, I., Galli, S., Aybek, S., & Vuilleumier, P. (2016). Aversive stimuli exacerbate defensive motor behaviour in motor conversion disorder. Neuropsychologia, 93(Part A), 229-241. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.11.005

Blakemore, R. L., MacAskill, M. R., Myall, D. J., & Anderson, T. J. (2019). Volitional suppression of parkinsonian resting tremor. Movement Disorders Clinical Practice, 6(6), 470-478. doi: 10.1002/mdc3.12801

Journal - Research Article

Blakemore, R. L., MacAskill, M. R., Shoorangiz, R., & Anderson, T. J. (2018). Stress-evoking emotional stimuli exaggerate deficits in motor function in Parkinson's disease. Neuropsychologia, 112, 66-76. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.03.006

Journal - Research Article

Blakemore, R. L., & Vuilleumier, P. (2017). An emotional call to action: Integrating affective neuroscience in models of motor control. Emotion Review, 9(4), 299-309. doi: 10.1177/1754073916670020

Journal - Research Article

Blakemore, R. L., Neveu, R., & Vuilleumier, P. (2017). How emotion context modulates unconscious goal activation during motor force exertion. NeuroImage, 146, 904-917. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.11.002

Journal - Research Article

Blakemore, R. L., Sinanaj, I., Galli, S., Aybek, S., & Vuilleumier, P. (2016). Aversive stimuli exacerbate defensive motor behaviour in motor conversion disorder. Neuropsychologia, 93(Part A), 229-241. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.11.005

Journal - Research Article

Brownjohn, P. W., Blakemore, R. L., Fox, J. A., & Shemmell, J. (2019). The effect of paired muscle stimulation on preparation for movement. Journal of Motor Behavior, 51(3), 293-301. doi: 10.1080/00222895.2018.1473329

Journal - Research Article

Blakemore, R. L., & Vuilleumier, P. (2017). Author reply: Emotion in action: From theories and boxologies to brain circuits. Emotion Review, 9(4), 356-357. doi: 10.1177/1754073917694243

Journal - Research Other

Blakemore, R. L., Rieger, S. W., & Vuilleumier, P. (2016). Negative emotions facilitate isometric force through activation of prefrontal cortex and periaqueductal gray. NeuroImage, 124(Part A), 627-640. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.09.029

Journal - Research Article

Blakemore, R. L., Hyland, B. I., Hammond-Tooke, G. D., & Anson, J. G. (2015). Deficit in late-stage contingent negative variation provides evidence for disrupted movement preparation in patients conversion paresis. Biological Psychology, 109, 73-85. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2015.04.009

Journal - Research Article

Blakemore, R. L., Hyland, B. I., Hammond-Tooke, G. D., & Anson, J. G. (2013). Distinct modulation of event-related potentials during motor preparation in patients with motor conversion disorder. PLoS ONE, 8(4), e62539. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062539

Journal - Research Article

Scott, R. L., & Anson, J. G. (2009). Neural correlates of motor conversion disorder. Motor Control, 13(2), 161-184.

Journal - Research Article

More publications...