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Welcome to Decision and Awareness Group (DAG)

Our research group is affiliated with the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory (CNL) of Prof. Stefan Treue at the German Primate Center (DPZ). The group was established in April 2011 in collaboration with the Institute for Cognitive Neurology of Prof. Melanie WilkeUniversity Medicine Goettingen (UMG), and is currently funded by the CNL and the UMG. The UMG funding comes from the Schilling foundation endowment to Prof. Wilke. Additional funding sources are the German Research Foundation (DFG) grants "Neural basis of spatial neglect symptoms in thalamo-cortical circuits" to Melanie Wilke and Igor Kagan (2012), and DFG Research Unit "Primate Systems Neuroscience" (FOR 1847), project "Bilateral decision networks for eye and arm movements" grant to Igor Kagan and Melanie Wilke, and Cluster of Excellence "Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain" (CNMPB) Primate Platform.

We are also part of Leibnitz Science Campus "Primate Cognition".

Group members


Our research aims to understand the neural basis of cognitive functions such as spatial awareness and decision making: the ability to perceive and to act adequately in response to multiple external sensory events, exhibiting a flexible behavior in face of several alternatives. We are utilizing neurophysiological recordings (neuronal firing and local field potential) in behaving macaque monkeys, functional imaging (fMRI) in monkeys and humans, and reversible perturbations (inactivation and stimulation) of specific brain regions to study these functions on the local (neuronal) and global (network) levels. Our current work is focusing on intra-areal, interhemispheric, and pulvinar-cortical interactions and communication during visuomotor decision making and response selection, a monkey model of spatial neglect and decision making deficits, and monkey-human comparison of these functions.

More information in Research and Publication sections.

Recent News and Events

05.03.18 - Tarana Nigam (M.Sc. Neuroscience IMPRS, Universität Göttingen) started an internship in the Social Neuroscience group, working with Sebastian Moeller.

05.02.18 - Rena Birner (B. Sc. Cognitive Science, Universität Osnabrueck) started an internship in our group, working with Kristin Kaduk and Mathieu Pachoud.

21.12.17 - Lydia Gibson successfully defended her thesis with the title "Pulvinar-cortical interactions for spatial perception and goal-directed actions in non-human primates".

12.12.17 - Isabel Wunder defended her Master Thesis "The effective connectivity in a cortical-striatal-thalamic network during decision making" in the Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen. In our group, she was supervised by Kristin Kaduk and Igor Kagan.

16.10.17 - Mathieu Pachoud, M. Sc. in Medical Neuroscience, University of Lausanne, joined DAG to work on his PhD, investigating thalamo-cortical circuitry supporting decisions and actions.

04.10.17 - Elisheba Crecca (M. Sc. Cognitive Science of Communication and Action, Roma Tre University) started an internship in our group, working with Sebastian Möller.

04.10.17 - Esther Olubukola Akinola (M. Sc. Neuroscience, Bremen University) started an internship in our group, working with Kristin Kaduk and Danial Arabali.

07.08.17 - Anisiga Thirunavukkarasu (B. Sc. Psychology, Göttingen University) started an internship in our group, working with Kristin Kaduk.

31.07.17 - Hannah Loenneker (B. Sc. Psychology, Tübingen University) started an internship in our group, working with Lukas Schneider.

01.05.17 - Isabel Kreis (M. Sc. Psychology, Bielefeld University) started an internship in our group, working with Kristin Kaduk

13.03.17 - Adan Ulises Dominguez Vargas successfully defended his PhD thesis "The role of thalamic pulvinar in eye-hand coordination for goal-directed actions" within System Neuroscience GGNB program.

06.03.17 - Iryna Schommartz (TU Dresden) started lab rotation in the Social Neuroscience project, working together with Sebastian Moeller.

01.03.17 - Uwe Zimmermann completed his Master in Developmental, Neural and Behavioral Biology in our group, working with Lydia Gibson on "Effects of Pulvinar Microstimulation on Target Selection" in perceptual decision tasks.

01.02.17 - Jiaqi Shang (Northwestern University) started internship in our group.

More News

Dr. Igor Kagan

Dr. Igor Kagan Head of Decision and Awareness Group +49 551 3851-332 Contact Profile