Entrance to building with a bicycle and blooming tulips

Robert W. Sikes


Associate Professor

Physical Therapy, Human Movement, and Rehabilitation Sciences


Neurophysiology of the cingulate cortex; in particular, the role of cingulate cortex in pain sensation. Cingulate cortex is an important region of the pain system which provides the emotional, affective unpleasant component of pain sensation. My research has used a combination of neurophysiological and neuroanatomical techniques to identify the distribution of nociceptive neurons within the subareas of cingulate cortex and to define their physiological properties. We have investigated pathways through which pain information is transmitted and are currently contrasting the effects of somatic and visceral noxious stimulation on cingulate neuron activity. Additionally I have collaborated with other labs in studies of hypothalamic neural activity.
Additional research interests: Creation and use of virtual 3D brain and brain slice models to improve learning of human neuroanatomy.


Vogt BA, Vogt LF, Sikes RW 2017 A nociceptive stress model of adolescent physical abuse induces contextual fear and cingulate nociceptive neuroplasticities Brain Struct Function  Aug 21 doi:10.1007/s00429-017-1502-3. [Epub ahead of print]

Pancaro C, Segal BS, Sikes RW, Almeer Z, Schumann R, Azocar RJ, Marchand JE 2016  Dexmedetomidine and ketamine show distinct patterns of cell degeneration and apoptosis in the developing rat neonatal brain. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. PMID: 26821538.

Morrison TR, Sikes RW, Melloni RH Jr. 2015 Anabolic steroids alter the physiological activity of aggression circuits in the lateral anterior hypothalamus. Neuroscience. PMID: 26691962; PMCID: PMC4720269.Shyu BC, Sikes RW, Vogt LJ, Vogt BA 2010 Nociceptive processing by anterior cingulate pyramidal neurons. J Neurophysiol. 103:3287-301.

Vogt BA, Sikes RW 2009, Cingulate Nociceptive circuitry and roles in pain processing: The cingulate premotor pain model. In Vogt BA Cingulate Neurobiology and disease  Oxford University Press, Oxford

Sikes RW, Vogt LJ, Vogt BA 2008 Distribution and properties of visceral nociceptive neurons in rabbit cingulate cortex. Pain 135:160-74.

Vogt BA, Hof PR, Sikes RW, Friedman D, Vogt LJ 2007 Dopamine-β hydroxylase distribution in the monkey midline and intralaminar thalamic nuclei. Brain Structure Function, 2008 212:465-479.

Newton JR, Sikes RW, Skavenski AA. Cross-modal plasticity after monocular enucleation of the adult rabbit. Exp Brain Res. 2002 Jun;144(4):423-9.

Waszczak BL, Martin L, Boucher N, Zahr N, Sikes RW, Stellar JR. Electrophysiological and behavioral output of the rat basal ganglia after intrastriatal infusion of d-amphetamine: lack of support for the basal ganglia model. Brain Res. 2001 Nov 30;920(1-2):170-82

Vogt BA, Sikes RW. The medial pain system, cingulate cortex, and parallel processing of nociceptive information. Prog Brain Res. 2000;122:223-35

Sikes RW, Vogt BA. Nociceptive neurons in area 24 of rabbit cingulate cortex. J Neurophysiol. 1992 Nov;68(5):1720-32.