What we do

Probe how brain networks enable cognitive control and consciousness

How we do it

Measure neural activity using imaging and electrophysiology during goal-directed behavior and different conscious states

Why we do it

To better understand cognitive control disorders, like schizophrenia and ADHD, and consciousness disorders, like coma

Cognitive control is the ability to flexibly adapt behavior according to current objectives and context.

The neural correlates of consciousness are the minimal neural mechanisms jointly sufficient for consciousness.

Our major research goals are:

  • To show how neural dynamics enable cognitive control, including selective attention, rule-guided behavior, mental set shifting and memory processes
  • To characterize the neural correlates of consciousness, including how information processing in brain networks differ between conscious and unconscious states

We combine neuroimaging and electrophysiology to investigate these questions. We map brain networks using functional MRI and diffusion MRI. Next, we simultaneously record neural activity from interconnected network sites in behaving animals (single-units, local field potentials, microstimulation) and human subjects (intracranial electrocorticography). Our focus is on interactions between neurons in the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia and thalamus.