Brain & Behaviour
Funded by awards from BBSRC , MRC and Wellcome Trust
Prof. Mark J. Buckley
We use complementary neuropsychological and neurophysiological approaches to understand how brain regions causally interact and how these interactions mediate behaviour, particularly with regard to choice behaviour, learning and memory, and perception. This is important both for understanding how normal interactions between brain regions mediate normal behaviour, as well as for understanding how disturbed interactions in the dysfunctional brain might relate to behavioural changes accompanying neural disorders and disease.
The overall objective of the programme of research in the Brain and Behaviour Research Group (funded by the BBSRC, MRC and Wellcome Trust) is to progress beyond the traditional focus of research on individual neurons and/or individual brain regions and move to an understanding of how populations of neurons organised in networks of interconnected brain regions causally interact together to mediate behaviour. To do this we primarily investigate both normal and abnormal brain function using complementary neuropsychological (e.g. lesions, inactivations, stimulation etc) and neurophysiological methodologies (e.g. large scale neuronal recordings). We aim to determine what different kinds of dynamic neuronal mechanisms operate within networks of interconnected brain areas and how these mechanisms support normal behaviour and cognition. We also aim to understand what changes to these dynamics within such networks occur when normal network activity is compromised, and how this might underlie the kinds of cognitive dysfunction and behavioural disturbances observed to occur in a wide range of neuropsychological and neurological disorders.
Current projects that Brain and Behaviour Research Group members are involved in include:
- multi-neuronal recordings made simultaneously from multiple cortical regions (either via implanted microelectrode arrays and/or semi-chronic microelectrode microdrives) combined with local electrical microstimulation interventions to determine how brain regions in the frontal and temporal lobes causally interact with each other and with other cortical regions to which they are directly anatomically connected during learning, memory, and choice behaviour
- use of the above methodologies to study interactions between lateral prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, and frontal pole cortex in stimulus-value, action-value, and rule-value based decision-making
- use of the above methodologies to study hippocampus and rhinal cortical interactions in learning, memory and perception
- neuropsychological and neurophysiological investigations of frontopolar cortex (area 10) function, and its interactions with posterior prefrontal networks
- design and implementing novel neuropsychological tests to further the detailed assessment of both normal cognitive abilities and changed cognitive abilities after brain insults and interventions in all of the above contexts
- a new major project on face and object memory and perception involving multi-area recordings and interventions; also involving new collaborations with leading experts in network science and modelling
Prospective graduate students wishing to discuss joining the research group may email Prof. Buckley: email@example.com
Postdoctoral Researchers or Prospective Research Fellows wishing to join the research group may also discuss opportunities with Prof. Buckley.