Robert W. Sikes, PhD

Associate Professor
  • Department of Physical Therapy

Office: 301 H Robinson Hall
Phone: 617-373-5195

Postdoctoral Fellow, Boston University
PhD, University of Texas
BS, University of South Alabama

Neurophysiology; extracellular recording of cortical and subcortical neuron activity
Neuroanatomy; cytoarchitecture of cerebral cortex and thalamus, fiber tract tracing
Teaching; neuroscience, human neuroanatomy, human gross anatomy, research and statist

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 component of pain sensation � the unpleasantness of pain. 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.
Additional areas of interest: Plasticity of cortex, alterations of receptive fields following loss of sensory input; dopamine systems, neurophysiology and anatomy of striatal nuclei.

Selected Publications:
Shyu BC, Sikes RW, Vogt LJ, Vogt BA 2010 Nociceptive processing by anterior cingulate pyramidal neurons. J Neurophysiol. 103(6):3287-301.

Vogt BA, Sikes RW 2009, Cingulate Nocieceptive circuitry and roles in pain processing: The cingulate premot 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

Sikes RW  The physiology and psychology of pain. In Chad Starkey (Ed.) Therapeutic Modalities 3rd Edition 2004 Philadelphia, PA, F.A. Davis

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.

Vogt LJ, Vogt BA, Sikes RW. Limbic thalamus in rabbit: architecture, projections to cingulate cortex and distribution of muscarinic acetylcholine, GABAA, and opioid receptors. J Comp Neurol. 1992 May 8;319(2):205-17.

Vogt BA, Sikes RW. Lateral magnocellular thalamic nucleus in rabbits: architecture and projections to cingulate cortex. J Comp Neurol. 1990 Sep 1;299(1):64-74.

Sikes RW, Vogt BA, Swadlow HA. Neuronal responses in rabbit cingulate cortex linked to quick-phase eye movements during nystagmus. J Neurophysiol. 1988 Mar;59(3):922-36.

Sikes RW, Vogt BA. Afferent connections of anterior thalamus in rats: sources and association with muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. J Comp Neurol. 1987 Feb 22;256(4):538-51.