What are the neural mechanisms producing higher
cognitive functions, and in particular those allowing flexible and voluntary
behaviours? This is the main theme of my research. It addresses action and
outcome valuation, cognitive control / working memory and sequential planning,
and how these processes lead to rapid adaptations of behaviour. Understanding these mechanisms requires investigating brain functions from
behavioural to basic neurophysiological and neurochemical levels. System
neuroscience is our approach, and it guides most projects in the NEF lab.
Our research is devoted to uncovering the
functional specificities and relationships between prefrontal areas.
Integrating a realistic quantitative description of prefrontal cortico-cortical
connectivity of prefrontal areas with other brain structures is now an
important axis of our research in interaction with Henry Kennedy’s lab. The aim
is to bind network neurophysiological and pharmacological data with
neuroanatomy. Finally we develop, in collaboration with PF Dominey’s lab, a computational
approach to understand functions of networks devoted to higher cognition.
Finally, most approaches in our research leads
toward understanding the specificity of primate brain networks, function,
organization, and computational abilities compared to other species.