Pietro Mazzoni, M.D.

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Clinical Interests

Dr. Mazzoni is a physician-scientist with specialized expertise in movement disorders and human motor control. His research focus is how neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease, affect our ability to control our movements. He uses motion capture and related techniques to study abnormal movements and to develop physical and technological interventions to reduce the impact of motor symptoms on daily activities. This research is carried out in the Movement Science Research Center at Washington University’s Program in Physical Therapy

Dr. Mazzoni evaluates and treats adult patients with movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, other forms of parkinsonism, tremor, tics, Tourette syndrome, gait disorders, dystonia, chorea, myoclonus, normal pressure hydrocephalus, and cerebellar ataxia.

Medical Training

Dr. Mazzoni obtained his medical degree at Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA), and a PhD in Neuroscience at MIT (Cambridge, MA). He completed his residency in Neurology, fellowship in Movement Disorders, and research training in human motor control at Columbia University Medical Center (New York, NY). He was a faculty member at Columbia University from 2001 to 2016, and then moved to Washington University in St. Louis.


1: Shabbott B, Ravindran R, Schumacher JW, Wasserman PB, Marder KS, Mazzoni P. Learning fast accurate movements requires intact frontostriatal circuits. Front Hum Neurosci. 2013 Nov 13;7:752. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00752. eCollection 2013. PubMed PMID: 24312037; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3826079.

2: Qian N, Jiang Y, Jiang ZP, Mazzoni P. Movement duration, Fitts’s law, and an infinite-horizon optimal feedback control model for biological motor systems. Neural Comput. 2013 Mar;25(3):697-724. doi: 10.1162/NECO_a_00410. Epub 2012 Dec 28. PubMed PMID: 23272916; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4082818.

3: Mazzoni P, Shabbott B, Cortés JC. Motor control abnormalities in Parkinson’s disease. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2012 Jun;2(6):a009282. doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a009282. Review. PubMed PMID: 22675667; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3367543.

4: Shmuelof L, Krakauer JW, Mazzoni P. How is a motor skill learned? Change and invariance at the levels of task success and trajectory control. J Neurophysiol. 2012 Jul;108(2):578-94. doi: 10.1152/jn.00856.2011. Epub 2012 Apr 18. PubMed PMID: 22514286; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3404800.

5: Pearson TS, Krakauer JW, Mazzoni P. Learning not to generalize: modular adaptation of visuomotor gain. J Neurophysiol. 2010 Jun;103(6):2938-52. doi:10.1152/jn.01089.2009. Epub 2010 Mar 31. PubMed PMID: 20357068; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2888232.

6: Mazzoni P, Wexler NS. Parallel explicit and implicit control of reaching. PLoS One. 2009 Oct 22;4(10):e7557. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007557. PubMed PMID: 19847295; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2760763.

7: Mazzoni P, Hristova A, Krakauer JW. Why don’t we move faster? Parkinson’s disease, movement vigor, and implicit motivation. J Neurosci. 2007 Jul 4;27(27):7105-16. PubMed PMID: 17611263.

8: Mazzoni P, Krakauer JW. An implicit plan overrides an explicit strategy during visuomotor adaptation. J Neurosci. 2006 Apr 5;26(14):3642-5. PubMed PMID: 16597717.