Functional Neurology Research Group

Functional Neurology Research Group

The Functional Neurology Research Group at Massachusetts General Hospital, led by David Perez, MD, aims to identify biomarkers of disease, prognosis and treatment response for Functional Neurological Disorders.


The Functional Neurology Research Group uses advanced structural and functional brain magnetic resonance imaging techniques to study the biological basis of Functional Neurological Disorders and related conditions.

Patients with medically unexplained neurological symptoms including Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures, Functional Movement Disorders and Functional Weakness experience symptoms that are common yet poorly understood.

The mission of the Functional Neurology Research Group at Massachusetts General Hospital, working in collaboration with researchers at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and others within the Harvard Medical School hospital community, is to characterize brain circuit abnormalities in Functional Neurological Disorders.

Longitudinal studies also aim to probe brain biomarkers of prognosis and treatment response.

David Perez, MD, MMSc, is a dual trained Neurologist-Psychiatrist and Cognitive-Affective Neuroscientist. Clinically, Dr. Perez works in the Cognitive Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Units at Mass General to diagnose and treat patients with Functional Neurological Disorders.

Group Members


David Perez, MD

David L. Perez, MD, MMSc
Assistant in Neurology and Psychiatry
Instructor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
Affiliated Faculty, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging



Nassim Matin

Nassim Matin, MD, MPH
Laboratory Research Fellow
Graduate of Tehran University of Medical Sciences

Benjamin Williams

Benjamin Williams, BS
Research Assistant
Graduate of Brown University



Julie King

Julie King
Senior, University of Delaware
Summer Research Student

Sigrid Young

Sigrid Young
BS, Brown University

Sara Makaretz

Sara J. Makaretz
BS, Tufts University

Research Projects

Neurobiology of Motor Functional Neurological Disorders and Related Conditions

This study uses structural and functional neuroimaging techniques, in conjunction with self-report and research administered questionnaires, to study brain-symptom relationships in patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures, functional movement disorders, functional weakness and related conditions.

Research Positions

Visiting Scholar Program: We are enthusiastic about offering external scientists the opportunity to join us in our daily research work and exchange new ideas and perspectives. We welcome individuals at different levels of clinical/academic training, with specific focus on providing students and trainees (undergraduate and graduate students, medical students, residents, and fellows) with exposure to clinical research in the fields of neurology and psychiatry, with a particular emphasis on clinical research in behavioral neurology/neuropsychiatry and Functional Neurological Disorders. Each application is handled and considered individually.

If interested, please contact the FNRG at


Please click on the link below to view recent publications by members of our research team.

See recent publications


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