Neural and cognitive control of action

PI: Michel Desmurget





We like to believe that our actions are initiated freely and that we exert a direct control on our behavior. Whether this is true or not and to what extent remains strongly debated. Do we really have free will or are we just unaware of the hidden determinants of our actions? How do our intentions become conscious? How do we become aware of what we are doing? How do sensorimotor functions emerge during ontogenesis and how do they reorganize following localized brain lesions? This are the type of questions we investigate in our team.In general terms, our goal is to understand how voluntary actions are organized from the low-level neural representations that generate movements to the high-level cognitive maps that shape social interactions. Indeed, we believe that it is important to study structures to understand functions. To achieve our goal, we combine complementary methods including mainly electrophysiological recording (intracranial EEG, per-operative mapping), neuroimaging (fMRI), neural stimulation (TMS, tDCS) and psychophysics.