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Professor Duncan Turner

Professor of Neurorehabilitation Sciences

 NeuroRehabilitation Unit

We train PhD students in the NRU to become experts in interdisciplinary skills that can be applied to neurological and mental health issues. We gain external research income from several sources including UKRI, charities, industrial sponsors and government agencies. Research is supported by UK, EU and international income. We publish our work in top impact journals and undertake a range of public engagement activities including training school interns in neuroscience from the East London area and interacting with theatre groups in London.

    We offer a unique approach to translating knowledge of neuroplasticity during disease and recovery from acquired brain injury into all levels of clinical trials. These trials have led to significant progress in tangible treatment options that improve the quality of life of patient groups.

    Research Professor in Neurosurgery at BARTS Health NHS Trust
    Expert Panel Member for Medical Devices in Neurology at the European Commission 


    Our expertise is in Clinical Neuroplasticity and Neurorehabilitation Sciences. 

    Our vision is to employ state-of-the-art assistive technology to enhance functional movement, sensorimotor skills and brain network integrity following acquired brain injury such as a stroke and during neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.

    The main thrust of our work involves using robotics, non-invasive and implantable medical devices, sophisticated brain imaging technologies and theoretical mathematical and neurocomputational modelling. We use this mixture of engineering and physical science disciplines in translational and clinical research programmes in healthy subjects and neurological patients within the NRU.

    This interdisciplinary approach offers an exciting insight into how clinical interventions may impact on brain anatomy and function. Pivotal to our approaches, is the fact that the brain is capable of a high degree of neuroplasticity throughout healthy ageing and in response to brain dysfunction.

    Duncan leads research development in Neurorehabilitation and Clinical Neuroscience and collaborates with several NHS Trusts. Members of his team have a variety of backgrounds ranging from motor neuroscience, exercise sciences, engineering, allied health professions and computer sciences.


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    Graded fMRI neurofeedback training of motor imagery in middle cerebral artery stroke patients: A pre-registered proof-of-concept study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 14: 226.

    Mehler D, Williams A, Whittaker J, Krause F, Luhrs M, Kunas S, Wise RJ, Shetty H, Turner DL and Linden DEJ. 2020.

    Blind men and the elephant - comment on "The dentato-rubro-thalamic tract as the potential common deep brain stimulation target for tremor of various origin: an observational case series". Acta Neurochirurgica 162: 1867-1868.

    Low HL and Turner DL . 2020.

    Dynamics of functional connectivity in the brain following stroke. Review in the Neurosciences 30: 605-623.

    Desowska A and Turner DL. . 2019.

    The BOLD response in primary motor cortex and supplementary motor area during kinesthetic motor imagery based graded fMRI neurofeedback. NeuroImage 184: 36-44.

    Mehler DMA, Williams AN, Krause F, Luehrs M, Wise RG, Turner DL, Linden DEJ and Whittaker JR. . 2019.

    Robot assisted training for the upper limb after stroke (RATULS): a multicentre randomised controlled trial. Lancet 394: 51-62.

    Rodgers H, Bosomworth H, Krebs HI, van Wijck F, Howel D, Wilson N, Aird L, Alvarado N, Andole S, Cohen DL, Dawson J, Fernandez-Garcia C, Finch T, Ford GA, Francis R, Hogg S, Hughes N, Price CI, Ternent L, Turner DL, Vale L, Wilkes S and Shaw, L . 2019.

    Resting state functional connectivity predicts the ability to adapt arm reaching in a robot-mediated force field

    Faiman I, Pizzamiglio S and Turner DL . 2018. NeuroImage. vol 174; 494-503.

    A multi-modal approach to measure the levels of distraction in pedestrians using mobile sensing. Procedia Computer Science 113: 89-96

    Pizzamiglio S, Naeem U, ur Réhman SM, Sharif MS, Abdalla H and Turner DL.. 2017.

    Neural correlates of human single- and dual-task natural walking in an urban environment. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 11: 460.

    Pizzamiglio S, Abdalla H, Naeem U and Turner DL. . 2017.

    Muscle co-contraction patterns in robot-mediated force field learning to guide specific muscle group training. Neurorehabilitation 41: 17-29.

    Pizzamiglio S, Desowska A, Shojaii P, Taga M and Turner DL. . 2017.

    Robot-assisted therapy for the upper limb after stroke: A protocol for a pragmatic randomised controlled trial. BMC Trials 18: 340

    Rodgers H, Aird L, Andole S, Cohen D, Dawson J, Eyre J, Finch T, Ford G, Hogg S, Howel D, Hughes N, Krebs HI, Price C, Rochester L, Shaw L, Ternent L, Turner DL, Vale L and Wilkes S. . 2017.

    High-frequency intermuscular coherence between arm muscles during robot-mediated motor adaptation. Frontiers in Physiology 7: 668.

    Pizzamiglio S, deLillo M, Naeem U, Abdalla H and Turner DL.. 2017.

     fMRI neurofeedback and motor training for Parkinson’s disease: A randomised trial. Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience 10: 111.

    Subramanian L, Busse M, Brosnan M, Turner DL, Morris HR and Linden DE. . 2016.

    Real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging neurofeedback for motor neurorehabilitation. Current Opinion in Neurology 29: 412-418

    Linden DEJ and Turner DL. . 2016.

    Spinal plasticity in robot-mediated therapy for the lower limbs. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 12: 81

    Stevenson AJT, Mrachacz-Kersting N, van Asseldonk E, Turner DL and Spaich EG.. 2015.

    Neurophysiology of robot-mediated learning and rehabilitation during recovery from brain and spinal cord injury: A perspective. Frontiers in Neurology 4:184.

    Turner DL, Ramos A, Birbaumer N, Hoffmann U and Luft A. . 2013.

    Robot-assisted motor rehabilitation for complex upper limb impairments following childhood stroke. Journal of Neurological Research 2, 65-68.

    Turner DL, Kmetova M and Winterbotham W.. 2012.

    Recovery of submaximal upper limb force production is correlated with better arm position control and motor impairment early after a stroke. Clinical Neurophysiology 123: 183-92.

    Turner DL, Tang X, Kmetova M and Winterbotham W.. 2012.

    Changes in excitability of the motor cortex associated with internal model formation during intrinsic visuomotor learning in the upper arm. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science 1: 140-152.

    Hunter T, Sacco P and Turner DL. . 2011.

    Modulation of internal model formation during force field-induced motor learning by anodal transcranial direct current stimulation of primary motor cortex. Journal of Physiology 587: 2949-2961.

    Hunter T, Sacco P, Nitsche MA and Turner DL.. 2009.

    Corticomotor responses to triple-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation. Brain Stimulation 2: 36-40.

    Sacco P, Turner DL, Rothwell JC and Thickbroom GA. . 2009.

    The future of restorative neuroscience in stroke: Driving the translational research pipeline from basic science to rehabilitation of people after stroke. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair 23: 97-107

    Cumberland Consensus Group. . 2009.


    Currently funded by NIHR, MRC, Industry


    Non-invasive brain stimulation and implantable medical devices for neuromodulating brain function in health and disease.



    PhD training programme in Neurorehabilitation and Neuroplasticity.

    PhD Supervision


    Restorative Neuroscience
    Motor Control and Adaptation
    Plasticity and Learning
    Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
    Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)
    Neuroimaging with combined TMS-EEG
    Robotics and Virtual Reality for Stroke Rehabilitation