Welcome to the Sensorimotor Group
In the Sensorimotor Group we are interested in the neural processes underlying goal-directed behavior. We investigate the basis of movement planning and decision making in different areas in the cerebral cortex of primates. We have a particular focus on the interplay between frontal and parietal lobe areas in the context of rule-guided behavior. Our research in fundamental neuroscience goes hand in hand with research towards modern neuroprostheses and development of neurotechnology tools. Additionally we advance methods with the goal of improving animal welfare.
The Sensorimotor Group is part the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience (BCCN) in Göttingen.
Neuroscience of goal-directed behavior
Movements are more than reflexive responses to environmental changes. Goal-directed behavior is the consequence of planning and deciding and is continuously shaped by adaptation and associative learning. In the Sensorimotor Group we investigate the cortical neural mechanisms underlying the planning and selection of goal-directed action. What do we encode about future movements, where in the fronto-parietal sensorimotor system, and when do movement planning and selection take place?
Neurotechnology and Neuroprosthetics
Neural signals from the central and from the peripheral nervous system can be used to control advanced motor prostheses. Based on our improved understanding of the neural basics of motor planning, we can identify suitable neuroprosthetic control signals. Additionally, we work towards improved adaptive neural recording and wireless electro- muscular recordings for prosthetic control.
Working with non-human primates, especially with awake and behaving animals, puts high demands on the care and wellbeing of the animals. More reliable evidence is needed on the determinants of the welfare of non-human primates used in research. This includes development of novel experimental approaches and comparison with existing ones, together with more systematic assessment of potential welfare-related biomarkers. Activities along those lines should not be focused on individual labs. Instead, our goal is to make these far-reaching projects include multiple labs locally (DPZ-WeCo; see DPZ Aktuell 4/2014, p.9), nationally (DFG-FOR 1847), and internationally (EUPRIM-Net).