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Cognitive Motor Control

Our team integrates neurophysiological, behavioral and computational approaches to understand how cortical and spinal processes represent internal goals, predictions, learning mechanisms and contextual constraints, and how they are translated into motor plans and behaviors.
We do similar experiments in human and monkeys and assess various motor behaviors in terms of the dynamics of multi-joint arm reaches and object-related hand movements. In monkeys we record massively parallel single neuron activities and local field potentials (LFP) as well as intracranial EEG in various cortical areas.

In humans we use neuroimaging (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and neurophysiological techniques to record brain activity (EEG, MEG, intracranial EEG) and muscular activity (EMG, single motor unit activity) to investigate cognitive motor control processes.

Our experiments are interpreted in the framework of computational motor control and neuronal coding theories.

The design of such parallel studies is a novel approach, which should result in a cross-fertilization of ideas. The study of the sensorimotor transformations from intention to action via planning is both an interpretable window into the operation of the cerebral cortex and an essential pre-requisite to progress in brain machine interface (BMI) technology and neuro-rehabilitation, especially in hemiplegic patients.

Team manager


Chef d'équipe-Team leader


chef d'équipe-Team leader

Team member

Selected publications

  • Brochier T., Zehl L., Hao Y., Duret M., Sprenger J., Denker M., Grün S., and Riehle A. (2018). Massively parallel recordings in macaque motor cortex during an instructed delayed reach-to-grasp task. Scientific Data, 5: 180055.

  • de Haan M.J., Brochier T.G., Grün S., Riehle A., and Barthelemy F.V. (2018). Real-time visuomotor behavior and electrophysiology recording setup for use with humans and monkeys. Journal of Neurophysiology.

  • Denker M., Zehl L., Kilavik B.E., Diesmann M., Brochier T., Riehle A., and Grün S. (2018). LFP beta amplitude is linked to mesoscopic spatio-temporal phase patterns. Scientific Reports, 8.

  • Trachel R.E., Brochier T.G., and Clerc M. (2018). Brain–computer interaction for online enhancement of visuospatial attention performance. Journal of Neural Engineering, 15: 046017.

  • Canaveral C.A., Danion F., Berrigan F., and Bernier P.-M. (2017). Variance in exposed perturbations impairs retention of visuomotor adaptation. Journal of Neurophysiology, 118: 2745-2754.

  • Danion F., Mathew J., and Flanagan J.R. (2017). Eye Tracking of Occluded Self-Moved Targets: Role of Haptic Feedback and Hand-Target Dynamics. eneuro, 4: ENEURO.0101-17.2017.

  • Mathew J., Eusebio A., and Danion F. (2017). Limited Contribution of Primary Motor Cortex in Eye-Hand Coordination: A TMS Study. The Journal of Neuroscience, 37: 9730-9740.

  • Landelle C., Montagnini A., Madelain L., and Danion F. (2016). Eye tracking a self-moved target with complex hand-target dynamics. Journal of Neurophysiology, 116: 1859-1870.

  • Torrecillos F., Alayrangues J., Kilavik B.E., and Malfait N. (2015). Distinct Modulations in Sensorimotor Postmovement and Foreperiod -Band Activities Related to Error Salience Processing and Sensorimotor Adaptation. Journal of Neuroscience, 35: 12753-12765.

  • Kilavik B.E., Zaepffel M., Brovelli A., MacKay W.A., and Riehle A. (2013). The ups and downs of β oscillations in sensorimotor cortex. Experimental Neurology, 245: 15-26.
  • Publications

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