Volitional control of actions
The brain constitutes a sophisticated “machinery” for selecting and performing those movements that are most appropriate given the behavioral context. Some actions are highly overlearned and routinely applied. Other actions are non-routine, require detailed monitoring and engage cognitive control. Unravelling the complex mechanisms through which the brain selects and controls volitional actions is a main research focus of our group. Research includes studies on the neural underpinnings of response selection and inhibition, motor learning, and automatization of overlearned movements.
SENSE and MOVE: sensorimotor integration
Delineating the brain’s role as interface between our senses and our actions is a second main line of our research into human motor control: In the brain, sensory and motor systems are tightly interwoven, resulting in numerous interactions. A key function of the brain is to integrate immediate sensory information into well-planned motor actions while also taking the situational context, previous experiences and the predictions about the future into account: Our senses inform our actions. At the same time, movements produce sensory input themselves: We sense our actions and the outcomes they produce.
In our research, we wish to shed light on the nature of the reciprocal interactions among sensory and motor processes in the brain. We wish to clarify how these interactions enable us to make predictions about the outcome of our actions and support the acquisition of sensorimotor skills.
The Motor Control group is headed by Professor Hartwig Roman Siebner. The group adopts a triple-M approach to decipher the causal neuro-dynamics in sensorimotor brain networks by combining multimodal brain MAPPING with computational MODELLING and non-invasive MODULATION of sensorimotor networks.
In our research projects, we address key questions regarding human sensorimotor control:
- Cognitive control of actions (Volition and motivation, Action selection and inhibition)
- Perception, multisensory and sensorimotor integration
- Skill learning and sensorimotor plasticity
- Dexterity (manual motor proficiency) and handedness (preferred use of a hand)
- Bimanual motor control
- Advanced transcranial stimulation of premotor and primary motor cortex
The Motor Control group closely interacts with the NeuroPhysics, NeuroPhyisology, Computational Modelling and Analysis, and Movement Disorders groups. The group has received major funding from 2011 to 2016 from the Lundbeck Foundation who awarded a “Grant of Excellence” to Hartwig Siebner (LINK). Additional funding was granted by the Danish Research Council for Independent Research.