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Senior Investigator

Mark Hallett, M.D.

Human Motor Control Section

Medical Neurology Branch
Building 10 Room 7D37
10 Center Drive MSC 1428
Bethesda MD 20892-1428
Office: (301) 496-9526
Lab: (301) 496-9526
Fax: (301) 480-2286

Dr. Hallett obtained his A.B. and M.D. at Harvard University, had his internship in Medicine at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and his Neurology training at Massachusetts General Hospital. He had fellowships in neurophysiology at the NIH and in the Department of Neurology, Institute of Psychiatry in London, where he worked with C. David Marsden. Before coming to NIH in 1984, Dr. Hallett was the Chief of the Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and worked his way up to Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. He is currently Chief of the Medical Neurology Branch and Chief of its Human Motor Control Section. He is now President of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. He has been President of the Movement Disorder Society and Vice-President of the American Academy of Neurology. Among many awards, in 2012 he became an Honorary Member of the American Neurological Association , and in 2014 won the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine. His research activities focus on the physiology of human voluntary movement and its pathophysiology in disordered voluntary movement and involuntary movement.

Dr. Mark Hallet intervew in Oral History Program :

The general mission of the Human Motor Control Section is to understand the physiology of normal human voluntary movement and the pathophysiology of different movement disorders. The members of the Section work together on the different projects, each bringing special expertise to the tasks. The main techniques employed are transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), electroencephalography (EEG), neuroimaging with positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and other techniques of clinical neurophysiology. The principal diseases studied are dystonia, Parkinson's disease, cerebellar ataxia, myoclonus, essential tremor, tic, psychogenic movement disorders and startle disorders.

In relation to the physiology of movement, we have studied the brain processes associated with the preparation and execution of different types of movements. A special interest now is the process of movement initiation and volition. We have been studying motor learning including the process of making movement automatic.

Dystonia has been the main movement disorder investigated recently. We have found that there are a number of pathophysiological problems including loss of surround inhibition, abnormal plasticity and defective sensory function. We are looking further into the mechanisms of these problems. We have been studying the genesis of tics in patients with Tourette Syndrome. Part of our work is to translate physiological insights into therapies, and we have clinical trials ongoing in Parkinson's disease, dystonia and essential tremor.

fMRI group data


fMRI group data of single events showing activation 2 sec before and at tic onset in patients with Tourette¡¦s syndrome (Bohlhalter et al., 2006). [reference in full is below as one of the selected ones]

Clinical Protocol

  • Long-Term Motor Learning in Focal Hand Dystonia 06-N-0161

  • Investigation of Neurofeedback with Real-time fMRI in Healthy Volunteers and Patients with Hyperkinetic Movement Disorders 09-N-0118

  • Double-blind, placebo controlled pilot-study of octanoic acid in essential tremor 09-N-0084

  • Ethanol response in Essential Tremor: clinical and neurophysiological correlates 10-N-0199

  • Physiological Investigations of Movement Disorders 10-N-0009

  • Recording and modulation of neuronal mechanisms during operant conditioning: a MEG study 10-N-0003

  • Evaluation of Tourette's Syndrome with Multimetabolite H-Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy at 3T 02-N-0128

  • A Training Protocol for the use of Botulinum Toxin in the Treatment of Neurological Disorders 85-N-0195

Staff Image
  • Sanaz Attaripour Isfahani, M.D.
    Clinical Fellow

  • Nancy Bowen, Ph.D.
    Clinical Research Project Manager

  • Mae Brooks, RN, BSN, CCRP
    Patient Care Coordinator

  • David Chung, B.S.
    IRTA Fellow

  • Phillip Clinton, B.S.

  • Hannah Conn, B.Sc.
    MRSP Scholar

  • Elaine Considine, R.N.

  • Nguyet Dang
    Biomedical Engineer

  • Irene Dustin, Ph.D.
    Research Nurse

  • Debra Ehrlich, M.D.
    Senior Clinician

  • Katy Finnell, B.Sc.
    Program Specialist

  • Libby Hicks, B.A.
    Office Manager

  • Silvina Horovitz, Ph.D.
    Staff Scientist

  • Avanti Iyer, M.Sc
    Clinical Research Project Manager

  • Imran Khan, M.B.B.S.
    Clinical Fellow

  • Barbara Kimber
    Patient Care Coordinator

  • Sang Wook Lee, Ph.D.
    Special Volunteer

  • Giorgio Leodori, M.D.
    Visiting Fellow

  • Karin Mente, M.D.
    Clinical Fellow

  • Shabbir Merchant, M.B.B.S.
    Clinical Fellow

  • Yara Moustafa, M.D.
    Visiting Collaborator

  • Shruti Nanivadekar, B.S.
    Post baccalaureate IRTA Fellow

  • Zhen Ni, Ph.D.
    Senior Research Fellow

  • Shaunette Nugent-Goins
    Patient Care Coordinator

  • Sarai Nwagbaraocha
    IRTA Fellow

  • Thomas Osterholt, B.S.
    IRTA Fellow

  • Jacob Parker, B.S.
    IRTA Fellow

  • Traian Popa, M.D.
    Senior Research Fellow

  • Shashi Ravindran, C-RNP
    Nurse Practitioner

  • Mujaahida Shakur, B.A.
    Post baccalaureate IRTA Fellow

  • Hitoshi Shitara, M.D.
    Visiting Fellow

  • Felipe Agustin Vial Undurraga, M.D.
    Special Volunteer

  • Qinglu Yang, DNP, CRNP, Lt, USPHS
    Visiting Fellow

  • Sana Zahir, M.Sc
    Clinical Research Project Manager

  • Yong Zhang, M.D.
    Special Volunteer

  • 1) Chao CC, Karabanov AN, Paine R, Carolina de Campos A, Kukke SN, Wu T, Wang H, Hallett M. (2015)
  • Induction of Motor Associative Plasticity in the Posterior Parietal Cortex-Primary Motor Network
  • Cereb Cortex, 25, 365-373
  • 2) Mari Z, Halls AJM, Vortmeyer A, Zhukareva V, Uryu K, Lee VMY, Hallett M. (2014)
  • Clinico-Pathological Correlation in Progressive Ataxia and Palatal Tremor: A Novel Tauopathy
  • Movement Disorders Clinical Practice, 1, 50-56
  • 3) Kukke SN, Paine RW, Chao CC, de Campos AC, Hallett M. (2014)
  • Efficient and reliable characterization of the corticospinal system using transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology, 31, 246-252
  • 4) Pirio Richardson S, Beck S, Bliem B, Hallett M. (2014)
  • Abnormal dorsal premotor-motor inhibition in writer's cramp
  • Movement Disorders, 29, 797-803
  • 5) Berman BD, Hallett M, Herscovitch P, Simonyan K. (2013)
  • Striatal dopaminergic dysfunction at rest and during task performance in writer's cramp
  • Brain, 136, 3645-3658
  • 6) Horovitz SG, Gallea C, Majee-Ullah M', Hallett M. (2013)
  • Functional anatomy of writing with the dominant hand
  • PLoS One, 8, e67931
  • 7) Voon V, Ekanayake V, Wiggs E, Kranick S, Ameli R, Harrison NA, Hallett M. (2013)
  • Response inhibition in motor conversion disorder
  • Movement Disorders, 28, 612-618
  • 8) Haubenberger D, McCrossin G, Lungu C, Considine E, Toro C, Nahab FB, Auh S, Buchwald P, Grimes GJ, Starling J, Potti G, Scheider L, Kalowitz D, Bowen D, Carnie A, Hallett M. (2013)
  • Octanoic acid in alcohol-responsive essential tremor: A randomized controlled study
  • Neurology, 80, 933-940
  • 9) Wu T, Hallett M. (2013)
  • The cerebellum in Parkinson's disease
  • Brain, 136, 696-709
  • 10) Kranz G, Shamim EA, Lin PT, Kranz GS, Hallett M. (2013)
  • Long-term depression-like plasticity of the blink reflex for the treatment of blepharospasm
  • Movement Disorders, 28, 498-503
  • 11) Kranick, SM, Hallett, M. (2013)
  • Neurology of Volition.
  • Experimental Brain Research, 229, 313-327
  • 12) Beck S, Hallett M. (2011)
  • Surround inhibition in the motor system
  • Brain Res. 2011 Apr, 210(2), 243-50. Epub 2011 Mar 23.
  • 13) Bai O, Rathi V, Lin P, Huang D, Battapady H, Fei DY, Schneider L, Houdayer E, Chen X, Hallett M (2011)
  • Prediction of human voluntary movement before it occurs
  • Clin Neurophysiol. 2011 Feb, 122(2), 364-72. Epub 2010 Aug 2
  • 14) Benninger DH, Berman BD, Houdayer E, Pal N, Luckenbaugh DA, Schneider L, Miranda S, Hallett M (2011)
  • Intermittent theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation for treatment of Parkinson disease
  • Neurology. 2011 Feb 15, 76(7), 601-9
  • 15) Nahab FB, Kundu P, Gallea C, Kakareka J, Pursley R, Pohida T, Miletta N, Friedman J, Hallett M (2011)
  • The Neural Processes Underlying Self-Agency
  • Cereb Cortex. 2011 Jan, 21(1), 48-55. Epub 2010 Apr 8
  • 16) Voon V, Gao J, Brezing C, Symmonds M, Ekanayake V, Fernandez H, Dolan RJ, Hallett M. (2011)
  • Dopamine agonists and risk: impulse control disorders in Parkinson's; disease
  • Brain. 2011 May, 134(Pt 5), 1438-46
  • 17) Nahab FB, Wittevrongel L, Ippolito D, Toro C, Grimes GJ, Starling J, Potti G, Haubenberger D, Bowen D, Buchwald P, Dong C, Kalowitz D, Hallett M. (2011)
  • An Open-Label, Single-Dose, Crossover Study of the Pharmacokinetics and Metabolism of Two Oral Formulations of 1-Octanol in Patients with Essential Tremor
  • Neurotherapeutics. 2011 May 19, [Epub ahead of print]
  • 18) Jin SH, Lin P, Auh S, Hallett M (2011)
  • Abnormal functional connectivity in focal hand dystonia: Mutual information analysis in EEG
  • Mov Disord. 2011 Jun, 26(7), 1274-81.[Epub 2011 Apr 19; doi: 10.1002/mds.23675]
  • 19) Voon V, Brezing C, Gallea C, Ameli R, Roelofs K, Lafrance WC Jr, Hallett M (2010)
  • Emotional stimuli and motor conversion disorder
  • Brain. 2010 May, 133(Pt 5), 1526-36
  • 20) Herath P, Gallea C, van der Veen JW, Horovitz SG, Hallett M (2010)
  • In vivo neurochemistry of primary focal hand dystonia: A magnetic resonance spectroscopic neurometabolite profiling study at 3T
  • Mov Disord. 2010 Dec 15, 25(16), 2800-8
  • 21) Voon V, Pessiglione M, Brezing C, Gallea C, Fernandez HH, Dolan RJ, Hallett M (2010)
  • Mechanisms underlying dopamine-mediated reward bias in compulsive behaviors
  • Neuron. 2010 Jan 14, 65(1), 135-42
  • 22) Tamura Y, Matsuhashi M, Lin P, Ou B, Vorbach S, Kakigi R, Hallett M. (2008)
  • Impaired intracortical inhibition in the primary somatosensory cortex in focal hand dystonia.
  • Mov Disord., 15;23(4), 558-65
  • 23) Defazio G, Berardelli A, Hallett M. (2007)
  • Do primary adult-onset focal dystonias share aetiological factors?
  • Brain, May;130(Pt 5), 1183-93
  • 24) Hallett M. (2007)
  • Volitional control of movement: the physiology of free will.
  • Clin Neurophysiol, Jun;118(6), 1179-92
  • 25) Hallett M. (2007)
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A Primer
  • Neuron, Jul 19;55(2), 187-199
  • 26) Lomarev MP, Kanchana S, Bara-Jimenez W, Iyer M, Wassermann EM, Hallett M. (2006)
  • Placebo-controlled study of rTMS for the treatment of Parkinson's disease
  • Movement Disorders, 21, 325-331
  • 27) Bohlhalter S, Goldfine A, Matteson S, Garraux G, Hanakawa T, Kansaku K, Wurzman R, Hallett M (2006)
  • Neural correlates of tic generation in Tourette syndrome: an event-related functional MRI study
  • Brain, Aug;129(Pt 8), 2029-37
  • 28) Fridman EA, Immisch I, Hanakawa T, Bohlhalter S, Waldvogel D, Kansaku K,Wheaton L, Wu T, Hallett M (2006)
  • The role of the dorsal stream for gesture
  • Neuroimage, 29, 417-428
  • 29) Wu, T, Hallett, M (2005)
  • A functional MRI study of automatic movements in patients with Parkinson's disease
  • Brain
  • 30) Voller B, St Clair Gibson A, Lomarev M, Kanchana S, Dambrosia J, Dang N, Hallett M (2005)
  • Long-latency afferent inhibition during selective finger movement
  • Journal of Neurophysiology
  • 31) Garraux G, McKinney C, Wu T, Kansaku K, Nolte G, Hallett M (2005)
  • Shared brain areas but not functional connections controlling movement timing and order
  • Journal of Neuroscience , 25, 5290-7
  • 32) Garraux G, Bauer A, Hanakawa T, Wu T, Kansaku K, Hallett M (2004)
  • Changes in brain anatomy in focal hand dystonia
  • Annals of Neurology, 55, 736-739
  • 33) Sohn YH, Hallett M (2004)
  • Disturbed surround inhibition in focal hand dystonia
  • Annals of Neurology, 56, 595-599
  • 34) Hanakawa, T., Parikh, S., Bruno, M.K., Hallett, M (2004)
  • Finger and face representations in the ipsilateral precentral motor areas in humans
  • Journal of Neurophysiology
  • 35) Muellbacher, W., Ziemann, U., Wissel, J., Dang, N., Kofler, M., Facchini, S., Boroojerdi, B., Poewe, W., Hallett, M. (2002)
  • Early consolidation in human primary motor cortex
  • Nature , 415, 640-644
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