MN

Neural Circuits for Motor Control

The nervous system has an incredible capacity to take in and process complex information, yet the only way it can exert an influence on the outside world is through movement. Mammals have evolved an astonishingly diverse repertoire of motor behaviors to help translate intents into actions. Even seemingly simple movements require the precise coordination of dozens of muscles to ensure that motor output is successful. We explore how this fidelity between intent and outcome is accomplished. Understanding how movements are learned, planned, executed and corrected can teach us more about how neural circuits govern behavior and how evolution has shaped the mammalian motor system.

We use a multidisciplinary approach to identify how neural circuits solve the challenges of motor control, taking advantage of genetic and viral tools, anatomical analysis, electrophysiological recording, imaging and detailed motor behavioral tests. By dissecting the molecular, anatomical and functional diversity of motor pathways one element at a time, we aim to define the organization and function of motor circuits and piece together the neural basis of movement.

People

Eiman Azim
Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator
858-453-4100 x1074
eazim@salk.edu
View Salk faculty page

Phong Nguyen
Lab Coordinator
858-453-4100 x1148
phnguyen@salk.edu

Hermina Nedelescu
Research Associate (Postdoc)
858-453-4100 x1148
hnedelescu@salk.edu

Daniel Stern
Graduate Student
858-453-4100 x1148
dstern@salk.edu

James Conner, Ph.D.
Staff Researcher

jconner@salk.edu

Alexander Keim
Graduate Student
858-453-4100 x1073
akeim@salk.edu

Katherina Cortes
Undergraduate Intern

kcortes@salk.edu

Nicholas Baltar
Undergraduate Intern

nbar@salk.edu

Vidul Jain
Undergraduate Intern

vjain@salk.edu

James Jones
Undergraduate Intern

jajones@salk.edu

Open Positions

We are looking for students and postdocs with a passion for science and a keen interest in understanding movement. Please email your CV, three references and a brief description of your research experience and interests to Eiman Azim (eazim@salk.edu)

Publications

Recent publications

Original Manuscripts

Azim, E., Jiang, J., Alstermark, B., Jessell, T.M. (2014). Skilled reaching relies on a V2a propriospinal internal copy circuit. Nature. 508(7496): 357-363. PMCID: PMC4230338
(link)

Current Biology Dispatch: Zhou, K, Wolpert, D.M., De Zeeuw, C.I. (2014). Motor Systems: Reaching Out and Grasping the Molecular Tools. Current Biology. 24(7): R269-R271. PMID: 24698373 (link)

Fink, A.J.P., Croce, K.R., Huang, Z.J., Abbott, L.F., Jessell, T.M., Azim, E. (2014). Presynaptic inhibition of spinal sensory feedback ensures smooth movement. Nature. 509(7498): 43-48. Cover article. PMCID: PMC4292914
(link)

Nature News & Views: Scott, S.H., Crevecoeur, F. (2014). Neuroscience: Feedback throttled down for smooth moves. Nature. 509: 38-39. PMID: 24784211 (link)

Reviews and Perspectives

Azim, E., Alstermark, B. (2015). Skilled forelimb movements and internal copy motor circuits. Review. Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 33: 16-24. PMCID: PMC4497943
(link)

Jiang, J., Azim, E., Ekerot, C.F., Alstermark, B. (2015). Direct and indirect spino-cerebellar pathways: shared ideas but different functions in motor control. Perspective article. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. 9: 75. PMCID: PMC4491712
(link)

Azim, E. (2014). Shortcuts and checkpoints on the road to skilled movement. Eppendorf and Science Prize for Neurobiology- Grand Prize essay. Science. 346(6209): 554-5. PMID: 25359954.
(link)

Azim, E., Fink, A.J.P., Jessell, T.M. (2014). Internal and external feedback circuits for forelimb movement. Review. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, Volume LXXIX. 79: 81-92. PMCID: PMC4475648
(link)

Miri, A., Azim, E., Jessell, T.M. (2013). Edging toward entelechy in motor control. Perspective article. Neuron. 80(3): 827-834. PMID: 24183031
(link)

All Publications (E. Azim)

2016

Kishi, N.*, MacDonald, J.L.*, Ye, J., Molyneaux, B.J., Azim, E., Macklis, J.D. (2016). Reduction of aberrant NF-κB signalling ameliorates Rett syndrome phenotypes in Mecp2-null mice. Nature Communications. 7: 10520. (*equally-contributing first authors). PMCID: PMC4740176 (link)

2015

Azim, E., Alstermark, B. (2015). Skilled forelimb movements and internal copy motor circuits. Review. Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 33: 16-24. PMCID: PMC4497943 (link)

Jiang, J., Azim, E., Ekerot, C.F., Alstermark, B. (2015). Direct and indirect spino-cerebellar pathways: shared ideas but different functions in motor control. Perspective article. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. 9: 75. PMCID: PMC4491712 (link)

2014

Azim, E., Jiang, J., Alstermark, B., Jessell, T.M. (2014). Skilled reaching relies on a V2a propriospinal internal copy circuit. Nature. 508(7496): 357-363. PMCID: PMC4230338 (link)

Current Biology Dispatch: Zhou, K, Wolpert, D.M., De Zeeuw, C.I. (2014). Motor Systems: Reaching Out and Grasping the Molecular Tools. Current Biology. 24(7): R269-R271. PMID: 24698373 (link)

Fink, A.J.P., Croce, K.R., Huang, Z.J., Abbott, L.F., Jessell, T.M., Azim, E. (2014). Presynaptic inhibition of spinal sensory feedback ensures smooth movement. Nature. 509(7498): 43-48. Cover article. PMCID: PMC4292914 (link)

Nature News & Views: Scott, S.H., Crevecoeur, F. (2014). Neuroscience: Feedback throttled down for smooth moves. Nature. 509: 38-39. PMID: 24784211 (link)

Azim, E. (2014). Shortcuts and checkpoints on the road to skilled movement. Eppendorf and Science Prize for Neurobiology- Grand Prize essay. Science. 346(6209): 554-5. PMID: 25359954. (link)

Azim, E., Fink, A.J.P., Jessell, T.M. (2014). Internal and external feedback circuits for forelimb movement. Review. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, Volume LXXIX. 79: 81-92. PMCID: PMC4475648 (link)

2013

Miri, A., Azim, E., Jessell, T.M. (2013). Edging toward entelechy in motor control. Perspective article. Neuron. 80(3): 827-834. PMID: 24183031 (link)

Cederquist, G.Y., Azim, E.**, Shnider, S.J.**, Padmanabhan, H.K., Macklis, J.D. (2013). Lmo4 establishes rostral motor cortex projection neuron subtype diversity. Journal of Neuroscience. 33(15): 6321-6332.(**equally-contributing second authors). Cover article. PMCID: PMC3698850 (link)

MacDonald, J.L.*, Fame, R.M.*, Azim, E., Shnider, S.J., Molyneaux, B.J., Arlotta, P., Macklis, J.D. (2013). Chapter 25 – Specification of cortical projection neurons: Transcriptional mechanisms. Comprehensive Developmental Neuroscience: Patterning and Cell Type Specification in the Developing CNS and PNS, Volume 1. Rubenstein J.L.R. and Rakic, P. editors. Amsterdam: Academic Press. 475-502. (*equally-contributing first authors).

2009

Azim, E., Jabaudon, D., Fame, R., Macklis, J.D. (2009). SOX6 controls dorsal progenitor identity and interneuron diversity during neocortical development. Nature Neuroscience.12(10): 1238-1247. PMCID: PMC2903203 (link)

Azim, E.*, Shnider, S.*, Cederquist, G., Sohur, U.S., Macklis, J.D. (2009). Lmo4 and Clim1 progressively delineate cortical projection neuron subtypes during development. Cerebral Cortex.19: 62-69. (*equally-contributing first authors). PMCID: PMC2693532 (link)

2008

Lai, T.*, Jabaudon, D.*, Molyneaux, B.J.**, Azim, E.**, Arlotta, P., Menezes, J., Macklis, J.D. (2008). SOX5 controls the sequential generation of distinct corticofugal neuron subtypes. Neuron. 57(2): 232–247. (*equally-contributing first authors, **equally-contributing second authors). PMID: 18215621 (link)

2005

Azim, E., Mobbs, D., Jo, B., Menon, V., Reiss, A.L. (2005). Sex differences in brain activation elicited by humor. PNAS.102(45): 16496-16501. PMCID: PMC1277963 (link)

Mobbs, D., Hagan, C., Azim, E., Menon, V., Reiss, A.L. (2005). Personality predicts activity in reward and emotional regions associated with humor. PNAS.102(45): 16502-16506. PMCID: PMC1277964 (link)

2003

Mobbs, D., Greicius, M.D., Abdel-Azim, E., Menon, V., Reiss, A.L. (2003). Humor modulates the mesolimbic reward centers. Neuron. 40: 1041-1048. PMID: 14659102 (link)

Contact Us

Mail
Salk Institute for Biological Studies – MNL-E
10010 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92037
(open in Google Maps)

Phone
858-453-4100, x1074

We are located on the bottom floor of the South Building.

Eiman Azim laboratory location Salk Institute for Biological Studies