Brain & Behaviour
Funded by awards from 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 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:
- simultaneous multi-area multi-neuronal recordings from implanted microelectrode arrays combined with local inactivation/lesions and fMRI to determine how brain regions in the frontal lobes causally interact with each other and with posterior cortical regions to which they are directly anatomically connected during learning, memory, and choice behaviour
- neuropsychological and neurophysiological investigations of frontopolar cortex (area 10) function and dysfunction
- deep-brain stimulation and local field potential recording from anterior cingulate cortex in neurosurgery patients engaged in cognitive tasks
- design and implementing novel neuropsychological tests to further the detailed assessment of the cognitive abilities of patients with frontal lobe lesions in order to advance understanding of the functional organisation of the region
Prospective graduate students wishing to discuss joining the research group may email Prof. Buckley: firstname.lastname@example.org
Postdoctoral Researchers or Prospective Research Fellows wishing to join the research group may also discuss opportunities with Prof. Buckley.