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.
CRC 1528 Cognition of Interaction
The complexity of human behaviour and cognition has evolved from our need to interact, cooperate, and communicate in complex social groups. The evolutionary processes that drive this development affect humans as well as non-human primates.
The main scientific goal of the CRC1528 Cognition of Interaction is to understand how fundamental cognitive functions, like perception, selective attention, action planning, and decision-making, contribute to social interactions at the behavioural and neuronal level.
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. To achieve these far-reaching goals we collaborate with multiple labs locally (DPZ-WeCo; see DPZ Aktuell 4/2014, p.9), nationally (DFG-FOR 1847, DFG-FOR 2591), and internationally (EUPRIM-Net).
Leibniz-ScienceCampus Primate Cognition
How do primates influence each other when they work together? To study how primates influence each other when they work together cooperatively or competitively, scientists at the DPZ and the ScienceCampus developed a novel experimental platform.
Leibniz-ScienceCampus Primate Cognition Films