Li Min Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Faculty Appointments
Professor of Radiology & Radiological Sciences Professor of PsychologyProfessor of Biomedical Engineering
Ph.D., Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, ChinaM.S., Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, ChinaM.D., Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China
Office Address
1161 21st Avenue South
MCN AA-1105
Nashville, TN 37232-2310
Research Description
Limin Chen, MD, PhD, earned her medical degree and Ph.D. from The Fourth Military Medical University in Xi’an, China. She completed a Brown-Coxe Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine. She joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2003 and is currently tenured Associate Professor. Her current research centers on understanding the neural mechanisms underlying pain and touch, and the role of plasticity in mediating functional and behavioral recovery after spinal cord injury. Dr. Chen takes a multidisciplinary approach in her research. Her lab routinely uses functional MRI, advanced multiparametric MRI, electrical and focused ultrasound neuromodulation, in vivo electrophysiology, tract tracing histology, and behavioral assessments in animals. She is a member of the American Society for Neuroscience, International Association for the Study of Pain and Organization of Human Brian Mapping.

Section: Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science

VUMC email:
Research Keywords
pain, spinal cord injury, touch,
Chaplin V, Phipps MA, Jonathan SV, Grissom WA, Yang PF, Chen LM, Caskey CF. On the accuracy of optically tracked transducers for image-guided transcranial ultrasound. Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg [print-electronic]. 2019 Aug; 14(8): 1317-27. PMID: 31069643, PII: 10.1007/s11548-019-01988-0, DOI: 10.1007/s11548-019-01988-0, ISSN: 1861-6429.

Gore JC, Li M, Gao Y, Wu TL, Schilling KG, Huang Y, Mishra A, Newton AT, Rogers BP, Chen LM, Anderson AW, Ding Z. Functional MRI and resting state connectivity in white matter - a mini-review. Magn Reson Imaging [print-electronic]. 2019 Jul 7/31/2019; 63: 1-11. PMID: 31376477, PII: S0730-725X(19)30477-1, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2019.07.017, ISSN: 1873-5894.

Shi Z, Wilkes DM, Yang PF, Wang F, Wu R, Wu TL, Chen LM, Gore JC. On the Relationship between MRI and Local Field Potential Measurements of Spatial and Temporal Variations in Functional Connectivity. Sci Rep. 2019 Jun 6/20/2019; 9(1): 8871. PMID: 31222020, PMCID: PMC6586888, PII: 10.1038/s41598-019-45404-8, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-45404-8, ISSN: 2045-2322.

Wu TL, Yang PF, Wang F, Shi Z, Mishra A, Wu R, Chen LM, Gore JC. Intrinsic functional architecture of the non-human primate spinal cord derived from fMRI and electrophysiology. Nat Commun. 2019 Mar 3/29/2019; 10(1): 1416. PMID: 30926817, PMCID: PMC6440970, PII: 10.1038/s41467-019-09485-3, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-09485-3, ISSN: 2041-1723.

Mishra A, Majumdar S, Wang F, Wilson GH, Gore JC, Chen LM. Functional connectivity with cortical depth assessed by resting state fMRI of subregions of S1 in squirrel monkeys. Hum Brain Mapp [print-electronic]. 2019 Jan; 40(1): 329-39. PMID: 30251760, PMCID: PMC6289644, DOI: 10.1002/hbm.24375, ISSN: 1097-0193.

Wu TL, Wang F, Li M, Schilling KG, Gao Y, Anderson AW, Chen LM, Ding Z, Gore JC. Resting-state white matter-cortical connectivity in non-human primate brain. Neuroimage [print-electronic]. 2019 Jan 1/1/2019; 184: 45-55. PMID: 30205207, PMCID: PMC6250128, PII: S1053-8119(18)30806-1, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.09.021, ISSN: 1095-9572.

Yang PF, Phipps MA, Newton AT, Chaplin V, Gore JC, Caskey CF, Chen LM. Neuromodulation of sensory networks in monkey brain by focused ultrasound with MRI guidance and detection. Sci Rep. 2018 May 5/22/2018; 8(1): 7993. PMID: 29789605, PMCID: PMC5964220, PII: 10.1038/s41598-018-26287-7, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-26287-7, ISSN: 2045-2322.

Wu TL, Wang F, Mishra A, Wilson GH, Byun N, Chen LM, Gore JC. Resting-state functional connectivity in the rat cervical spinal cord at 9.4 T. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2018 May; 79(5): 2773-83. PMID: 28905408, PMCID: PMC5821555, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.26905, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Yang PF, Wu R, Wu TL, Shi Z, Chen LM. Discrete Modules and Mesoscale Functional Circuits for Thermal Nociception within Primate S1 Cortex. J. Neurosci [print-electronic]. 2018 Feb 2/14/2018; 38(7): 1774-87. PMID: 29335352, PMCID: PMC5815457, PII: JNEUROSCI.2795-17.2017, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2795-17.2017, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Wu R, Yang PF, Chen LM. Correlated Disruption of Resting-State fMRI, LFP, and Spike Connectivity between Area 3b and S2 following Spinal Cord Injury in Monkeys. J. Neurosci [print-electronic]. 2017 Nov 11/15/2017; 37(46): 11192-203. PMID: 29038239, PMCID: PMC5688527, PII: JNEUROSCI.2318-17.2017, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2318-17.2017, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Schilling KG, Gao Y, Stepniewska I, Wu TL, Wang F, Landman BA, Gore JC, Chen LM, Anderson AW. The VALiDATe29 MRI Based Multi-Channel Atlas of the Squirrel Monkey Brain. Neuroinformatics [print-electronic]. 2017 Jul 7/26/2017; PMID: 28748393, PII: 10.1007/s12021-017-9334-0, DOI: 10.1007/s12021-017-9334-0, ISSN: 1559-0089.

Wu R, Wang F, Yang PF, Chen LM. High-resolution functional MRI identified distinct global intrinsic functional networks of nociceptive posterior insula and S2 regions in squirrel monkey brain. Neuroimage [print-electronic]. 2017 Jul 7/15/2017; 155: 147-58. PMID: 28461059, PII: S1053-8119(17)30386-5, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.04.067, ISSN: 1095-9572.

Chen LM, Yang PF, Wang F, Mishra A, Shi Z, Wu R, Wu TL, Wilson GH, Ding Z, Gore JC. Biophysical and neural basis of resting state functional connectivity: Evidence from non-human primates. Magn Reson Imaging [print-electronic]. 2017 Jun; 39: 71-81. PMID: 28161319, PMCID: PMC5410395, PII: S0730-725X(17)30027-9, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2017.01.020, ISSN: 1873-5894.

Wang F, Zu Z, Wu R, Wu TL, Gore JC, Chen LM. MRI evaluation of regional and longitudinal changes in Z-spectra of injured spinal cord of monkeys. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2017 May 5/25/2017; PMID: 28547862, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.26756, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Shi Z, Wu R, Yang PF, Wang F, Wu TL, Mishra A, Chen LM, Gore JC. High spatial correspondence at a columnar level between activation and resting state fMRI signals and local field potentials. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A [print-electronic]. 2017 May 5/16/2017; 114(20): 5253-8. PMID: 28461461, PMCID: PMC5441782, PII: 1620520114, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1620520114, ISSN: 1091-6490.

Chen LM. Cortical Representation of Pain and Touch: Evidence from Combined Functional Neuroimaging and Electrophysiology in Non-human Primates. Neurosci Bull [print-electronic]. 2017 May 5/2/2017; PMID: 28466257, PII: 10.1007/s12264-017-0133-2, DOI: 10.1007/s12264-017-0133-2, ISSN: 1995-8218.

Yang Q, Wang Z, Yang L, Xu Y, Chen LM. Cortical thickness and functional connectivity abnormality in chronic headache and low back pain patients. Hum Brain Mapp [print-electronic]. 2017 Apr; 38(4): 1815-32. PMID: 28052444, DOI: 10.1002/hbm.23484, ISSN: 1097-0193.

Wang Z, Yang Q, Chen LM. Abnormal dynamics of cortical resting state functional connectivity in chronic headache patients. Magn Reson Imaging [print-electronic]. 2017 Feb; 36: 56-67. PMID: 27751859, PII: S0730-725X(16)30162-X, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2016.10.015, ISSN: 1873-5894.

Wu TL, Mishra A, Wang F, Yang PF, Gore JC, Chen LM. Effects of isoflurane anesthesia on resting-state fMRI signals and functional connectivity within primary somatosensory cortex of monkeys. Brain Behav. 2016 Dec; 6(12): e00591. PMID: 28032008, PMCID: PMC5167001, PII: BRB3591, DOI: 10.1002/brb3.591, ISSN: 2162-3279.

Wu TL, Wang F, Anderson AW, Chen LM, Ding Z, Gore JC. Effects of anesthesia on resting state BOLD signals in white matter of non-human primates. Magn Reson Imaging [print-electronic]. 2016 Nov; 34(9): 1235-41. PMID: 27451405, PII: S0730-725X(16)30078-9, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2016.07.001, ISSN: 1873-5894.

Shi Z, Rogers BP, Chen LM, Morgan VL, Mishra A, Wilkes DM, Gore JC. Realistic models of apparent dynamic changes in resting-state connectivity in somatosensory cortex. Hum Brain Mapp. 2016 Nov; 37(11): 3897-910. PMID: 27296233, DOI: 10.1002/hbm.23284, ISSN: 1097-0193.

Wilson GH, Yang PF, Gore JC, Chen LM. Correlated inter-regional variations in low frequency local field potentials and resting state BOLD signals within S1 cortex of monkeys. Hum Brain Mapp [print-electronic]. 2016 Aug; 37(8): 2755-66. PMID: 27091582, PMCID: PMC4945372, DOI: 10.1002/hbm.23207, ISSN: 1097-0193.

Gao Y, Parvathaneni P, Schilling KG, Wang F, Stepniewska I, Xu Z, Choe AS, Ding Z, Gore JC, Chen LM, Landman BA, Anderson AW. A 3D high resolution ex vivo white matter atlas of the common squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) based on diffusion tensor imaging. Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng [print-electronic]. 2016 Feb 2/27/2016; 9784: PMID: 27064328, PMCID: PMC4825691, DOI: 10.1117/12.2217325, ISSN: 0277-786X.

Wang F, Qi HX, Zu Z, Mishra A, Tang C, Gore JC, Chen LM. Multiparametric MRI reveals dynamic changes in molecular signatures of injured spinal cord in monkeys. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2015 Oct; 74(4): 1125-37. PMID: 25334025, PMCID: PMC4405405, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.25488, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Yang PF, Wang F, Chen LM. Differential fMRI Activation Patterns to Noxious Heat and Tactile Stimuli in the Primate Spinal Cord. J. Neurosci. 2015 Jul 7/22/2015; 35(29): 10493-502. PMID: 26203144, PMCID: PMC4510289, PII: 35/29/10493, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0583-15.2015, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Chen LM, Mishra A, Yang PF, Wang F, Gore JC. Injury alters intrinsic functional connectivity within the primate spinal cord. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A [print-electronic]. 2015 May 5/12/2015; 112(19): 5991-6. PMID: 25902510, PMCID: PMC4434735, PII: 1424106112, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1424106112, ISSN: 1091-6490.

Monroe TB, Gore JC, Bruehl SP, Benningfield MM, Dietrich MS, Chen LM, Newhouse P, Fillingim R, Chodkowski B, Atalla S, Arrieta J, Damon SM, Blackford JU, Cowan RL. Sex differences in psychophysical and neurophysiological responses to pain in older adults: a cross-sectional study. Biol Sex Differ. 2015; 6: 25. PMID: 26579217, PMCID: PMC4647695, PII: 41, DOI: 10.1186/s13293-015-0041-y, ISSN: 2042-6410.

Yang PF, Qi HX, Kaas JH, Chen LM. Parallel functional reorganizations of somatosensory areas 3b and 1, and S2 following spinal cord injury in squirrel monkeys. J. Neurosci. 2014 Jul 7/9/2014; 34(28): 9351-63. PMID: 25009268, PMCID: PMC4087212, PII: 34/28/9351, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0537-14.2014, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Mishra A, Rogers BP, Chen LM, Gore JC. Functional connectivity-based parcellation of amygdala using self-organized mapping: a data driven approach. Hum Brain Mapp [print-electronic]. 2014 Apr; 35(4): 1247-60. PMID: 23418140, PMCID: PMC3919874, DOI: 10.1002/hbm.22249, ISSN: 1097-0193.

Wang Z, Qi HX, Kaas JH, Roe AW, Chen LM. Functional signature of recovering cortex: dissociation of local field potentials and spiking activity in somatosensory cortices of spinal cord injured monkeys. Exp. Neurol [print-electronic]. 2013 Nov; 249: 132-43. PMID: 24017995, PMCID: PMC3870899, PII: S0014-4886(13)00253-7, DOI: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2013.08.013, ISSN: 1090-2430.

Wang Z, Chen LM, Négyessy L, Friedman RM, Mishra A, Gore JC, Roe AW. The relationship of anatomical and functional connectivity to resting-state connectivity in primate somatosensory cortex. Neuron. 2013 Jun 6/19/2013; 78(6): 1116-26. PMID: 23791200, PMCID: PMC3723346, PII: S0896-6273(13)00325-5, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.04.023, ISSN: 1097-4199.

Monroe TB, Gore JC, Chen LM, Mion LC, Cowan RL. Pain in people with Alzheimer disease: potential applications for psychophysical and neurophysiological research. J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol [print-electronic]. 2012 Dec; 25(4): 240-55. PMID: 23277361, PMCID: PMC4455539, PII: 0891988712466457, DOI: 10.1177/0891988712466457, ISSN: 0891-9887.

Chen LM, Qi HX, Kaas JH. Dynamic reorganization of digit representations in somatosensory cortex of nonhuman primates after spinal cord injury. J. Neurosci. 2012 Oct 10/17/2012; 32(42): 14649-63. PMID: 23077051, PMCID: PMC3498942, PII: 32/42/14649, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1841-12.2012, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Chen LM, Dillenburger BC, Wang F, Tang CH. Differential fMRI activation to noxious heat and tactile stimuli in parasylvian areas of new world monkeys. Pain [print-electronic]. 2012 Jan; 153(1): 158-69. PMID: 22115923, PMCID: PMC3245780, PII: S0304-3959(11)00592-6, DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2011.10.006, ISSN: 1872-6623.

Chen G, Wang F, Dillenburger BC, Friedman RM, Chen LM, Gore JC, Avison MJ, Roe AW. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of awake monkeys: some approaches for improving imaging quality. Magn Reson Imaging [print-electronic]. 2012 Jan; 30(1): 36-47. PMID: 22055855, PMCID: PMC3236665, PII: S0730-725X(11)00341-9, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2011.09.010, ISSN: 1873-5894.

Chen L, Mishra A, Newton AT, Morgan VL, Stringer EA, Rogers BP, Gore JC. Fine-scale functional connectivity in somatosensory cortex revealed by high-resolution fMRI. Magn Reson Imaging [print-electronic]. 2011 Dec; 29(10): 1330-7. PMID: 21982165, PMCID: PMC3285506, PII: S0730-725X(11)00280-3, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2011.08.001, ISSN: 1873-5894.

Lecoeur J, Wang F, Chen LM, Li R, Avison MJ, Dawant BM. Automated longitudinal registration of high resolution structural MRI brain sub-volumes in non-human primates. J. Neurosci. Methods [print-electronic]. 2011 Oct 10/30/2011; 202(1): 99-108. PMID: 21920386, PMCID: PMC3374491, PII: S0165-0270(11)00521-8, DOI: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2011.08.046, ISSN: 1872-678X.

Qi HX, Chen LM, Kaas JH. Reorganization of somatosensory cortical areas 3b and 1 after unilateral section of dorsal columns of the spinal cord in squirrel monkeys. J. Neurosci. 2011 Sep 9/21/2011; 31(38): 13662-75. PMID: 21940457, PMCID: PMC3183096, PII: 31/38/13662, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2366-11.2011, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Chen LM, Dillenburger BC, Wang F, Friedman RM, Avison MJ. High-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging mapping of noxious heat and tactile activations along the central sulcus in New World monkeys. Pain [print-electronic]. 2011 Mar; 152(3): 522-32. PMID: 21177033, PMCID: PMC3039029, PII: S0304-3959(10)00682-2, DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2010.10.048, ISSN: 1872-6623.

Lecoeur J, Wang F, Chen LM, Li R, Avison MJ, Dawant BM. Co-registration of high resolution MRI scans with partial brain coverage in non-human primates. Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng. 2011 Feb 2/11/2011; 7962: PMID: 24236222, PMCID: PMC3824268, DOI: 10.1117/12.877024, ISSN: 0277-786X.

Stringer EA, Chen LM, Friedman RM, Gatenby C, Gore JC. Differentiation of somatosensory cortices by high-resolution fMRI at 7 T. Neuroimage [print-electronic]. 2011 Jan 1/15/2011; 54(2): 1012-20. PMID: 20887793, PMCID: PMC4270280, PII: S1053-8119(10)01258-9, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.09.058, ISSN: 1095-9572.

Zhang N, Wang F, Turner GH, Gore JC, Avison MJ, Chen LM. Intra- and inter-subject variability of high field fMRI digit maps in somatosensory area 3b of new world monkeys. Neuroscience [print-electronic]. 2010 Jan 1/13/2010; 165(1): 252-64. PMID: 19799969, PMCID: PMC2787639, PII: S0306-4522(09)01624-8, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.09.066, ISSN: 1873-7544.

Chen LM, Friedman RM, Roe AW. Optical imaging of digit topography in individual awake and anesthetized squirrel monkeys. Exp Brain Res [print-electronic]. 2009 Jul; 196(3): 393-401. PMID: 19484466, PMCID: PMC3786732, DOI: 10.1007/s00221-009-1861-y, ISSN: 1432-1106.

Chen LM, Friedman RM, Roe AW. Area-specific representation of mechanical nociceptive stimuli within SI cortex of squirrel monkeys. Pain [print-electronic]. 2009 Feb; 141(3): 258-68. PMID: 19136211, PMCID: PMC2680084, PII: S0304-3959(08)00711-2, DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2008.11.018, ISSN: 1872-6623.

Friedman RM, Chen LM, Roe AW. Responses of areas 3b and 1 in anesthetized squirrel monkeys to single- and dual-site stimulation of the digits. J. Neurophysiol [print-electronic]. 2008 Dec; 100(6): 3185-96. PMID: 18922955, PMCID: PMC2604853, PII: 90278.2008, DOI: 10.1152/jn.90278.2008, ISSN: 0022-3077.

Chen LM, Friedman RM, Roe AW. Optical imaging of nociception in primary somatosensory cortex of non-human primates. Sheng Li Xue Bao. 2008 Oct 10/25/2008; 60(5): 664-8. PMID: 18958375, ISSN: 0371-0874.

Roe AW, Chen LM. High-resolution fMRI maps of cortical activation in nonhuman primates: correlation with intrinsic signal optical images. ILAR J. 2008; 49(1): 116-23. PMID: 18172338, PMCID: PMC2653868, ISSN: 1084-2020.

Chen LM, Turner GH, Friedman RM, Zhang N, Gore JC, Roe AW, Avison MJ. High-resolution maps of real and illusory tactile activation in primary somatosensory cortex in individual monkeys with functional magnetic resonance imaging and optical imaging. J. Neurosci. 2007 Aug 8/22/2007; 27(34): 9181-91. PMID: 17715354, PII: 27/34/9181, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1588-07.2007, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Zhang N, Gore JC, Chen LM, Avison MJ. Dependence of BOLD signal change on tactile stimulus intensity in SI of primates. Magn Reson Imaging [print-electronic]. 2007 Jul; 25(6): 784-94. PMID: 17614230, PII: S0730-725X(07)00277-9, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2007.05.002, ISSN: 0730-725X.

Chen LM. Imaging of pain. Int Anesthesiol Clin. 2007; 45(2): 39-57. PMID: 17426507, PII: 00004311-200704520-00005, DOI: 10.1097/AIA.0b013e31803419d3, ISSN: 0020-5907.

Chen LM, Friedman RM, Roe AW. Optical imaging of SI topography in anesthetized and awake squirrel monkeys. J. Neurosci. 2005 Aug 8/17/2005; 25(33): 7648-59. PMID: 16107651, PII: 25/33/7648, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1990-05.2005, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Friedman RM, Chen LM, Roe AW. Modality maps within primate somatosensory cortex. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A [print-electronic]. 2004 Aug 8/24/2004; 101(34): 12724-9. PMID: 15308779, PMCID: PMC514661, PII: 0404884101, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0404884101, ISSN: 0027-8424.

Schwartz TH, Chen LM, Friedman RM, Spencer DD, Roe AW. Intraoperative optical imaging of human face cortical topography: a case study. Neuroreport. 2004 Jun 6/28/2004; 15(9): 1527-31. PMID: 15194889, PII: 00001756-200406280-00034, ISSN: 0959-4965.

Chen LM, Friedman RM, Roe AW. Optical imaging of a tactile illusion in area 3b of the primary somatosensory cortex. Science [print-electronic]. 2003 Oct 10/31/2003; 302(5646): 881-5. PMID: 14500850, PII: 1087846, DOI: 10.1126/science.1087846, ISSN: 1095-9203.

Chen LM, Heider B, Williams GV, Healy FL, Ramsden BM, Roe AW. A chamber and artificial dura method for long-term optical imaging in the monkey. J. Neurosci. Methods. 2002 Jan 1/15/2002; 113(1): 41-9. PMID: 11741720, PII: S0165027001004757, ISSN: 0165-0270.

Chen LM, Friedman RM, Ramsden BM, LaMotte RH, Roe AW. Fine-scale organization of SI (area 3b) in the squirrel monkey revealed with intrinsic optical imaging. J. Neurophysiol. 2001 Dec; 86(6): 3011-29. PMID: 11731557, ISSN: 0022-3077.

Hung CP, Ramsden BM, Chen LM, Roe AW. Building surfaces from borders in Areas 17 and 18 of the cat. Vision Res. 2001; 41(10-11): 1389-407. PMID: 11322982, PII: S0042-6989(01)00075-X, ISSN: 0042-6989.