The Brain and Behavior Lab studies how adults plan and execute goal-directed movements. Director Kristina Neely, Ph.D., and her team use an interdisciplinary approach to determine the relationship between movement, cognition, and mental health. Our goal is to develop new movement-based tools to aid clinicians in evaluating cognition and mental health.


Research Goals and Methods

The Brain and Behavior Lab studies how the brain controls voluntary movements in healthy people, as well as in people with psychiatric or neurological disorders. Our work is interdisciplinary and crosses boundaries of clinical and cognitive psychology, kinesiology, and neuroscience. We use systems neuroscience techniques such as kinetic and kinematic analysis of movement, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), structural MRI, and clinical and cognitive measures of behavior.

The overarching goal of our research is to understand how cognitive functions, such as inhibitory control and attention, influence motor output. Further, we seek to better understand how specific regions of the brain contribute to goal-directed movement in adults.

Research Highlights

  • We are a dynamic and interdisciplinary research program focused on the neural control of goal-directed movement in adults.
  • Our goal is to develop new movement-based tools to aid clinicians in evaluating cognition and mental health.
  • We continually publish in front-line neuroscience and psychology journals.
  • We have previously been funded by the Brain and Behavior Foundation, and are always seeking support from foundations and private donors.
Kristina Neely, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor
(334) 844-1421
Email Kristina Neely, Ph.D.

Meet Our Team

Kristina Neely, Ph.D. – Director

Kristina A. Neely, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Director of the Brain and Behavior Lab. Her expertise is in human neuroscience, with a focus on how the brain controls movement in adults. She is especially interested in motor tasks that involve a cognitive component, and tasks that are associated with specific brain regions. 
Research Focus: Dr. Neely is interested in using motor output to index and evaluate cognitive and mental health in adults. She uses an interdisciplinary and translational approach to discover how movement, cognition, and mental health intersect. 

Meet the students who work in the Brain and Behavior Lab.


Last updated: 03/11/2024