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Conference by Adrien Meguerditchian

Published on March 28, 2017

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Neurobiology of executive functions


The mechanisms by which neural networks compute and transfer information is a core issue in neurosciences. Rate, synchronization and oscillations are key mechanisms by which the brain can reliably represent distributed information, as in perceptual binding. How these mechanisms apply to higher cognitive functions is debated.
Higher cognitive functions (executive functions) require the appropriate interactions of large scale neural networks modulated by monoaminergic systems. These structures participate in organizing flexible behaviours that can be readily adapted in volatile environments. These functions, and their neural bases, have reached unique characteristics in primate species, and in human in particular.
Much of our previous research focused on the neurophysiological correlates of cognitive processing in prefrontal areas. Using single-unit recordings we have shown that the neural coding of intended actions and outcomes are modulated during exploration and learning, in particular in cingulate (dACC, MCC) and lateral prefrontal cortex. The dynamic and timing of these modulations are comparable in both areas, although the basic information processed in each is very different. Moreover, the modulation of activity patterns is evocative of those observed in mesencephalic structures that play a key role in learning.
However, the real-time interactions between these structures as well as their modulation by aminergic afferents remain essentially unknown. Our current projects aim at exploring how cognitive processes are specified by the neural activity in each area, by the dynamical interactions between prefrontal cortical areas, and how these interactions evolve during adaptive behaviours. We use multiple techniques (anatomy of connectivity, multi-microelectrodes, ECoG, EEG, fMRI) to describe the anatomy and function of networks involved in higher cognitive functions in primates. This consists in developing a multi-level approach to studying cognitive processes. It involves improving methods and techniques established in SBRI, as well as developing new technological approaches in collaboration with colleagues all over the world.

Dr Emmanuel Procyk

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 ...

Céline Amiez

La capacité à s'adapter aux événements inattendus, négatifs, ou même dangereux est fondamentale pour survivre à l'environnement changeant et aux interactions sociales complexes. Cette capacité repose sur l'évaluation continue de nos décisions et de leurs conséquences (feedback). Comment se construisent les liens entre décisions et feedback? Quels sont les mécanismes de sélection qui permettent ...

Mailys Faraut PhD student

My work aims at understanding the neural bases of the use of task-sets for flexible decision making in volatile and non-deterministic environments, as well as how this ability is developed through learning-set acquisition.

Vincent Fontanier

Kep Kee Loh

Laura Viñales

Dr Charlie Wilson

I study how the brain produces the sophisticated forms of cognition that allow humans and macaques to achieve goals flexibly and efficiently. We use these capacities to adapt to and profit from our environment. My specific work focuses on the mechanisms at work in the prefrontal cortex, the anterior part of cortex particularly developed in primate species. I study the ways in which different cortical regions interact with prefrontal cortex to produce flexible and efficient behaviour. ...

Selected Publications of Team members :
Procyk, E., Wilson C.R.E., Stoll, F.M., Faraut M.C.M., Petrides M., Amiez C. (2016) Midcingulate motor map and feedback detection: converging data from humans and monkeys. Cerebral Cortex, 26: 467-476 download
Stoll* F., Wilson* C.R.E., Faraut M.C.M., Vezoli J., Knoblauch K., Procyk E. (2016) The effects of cognitive control and time on beta oscillations. Cerebral Cortex, 26: 1715-1732
Stoll FM, Fontanier V, Procyk E. (2016) Specific frontal neural dynamics contribute to decisions to check. Nat Commun. 2016 Jun 20;7:11990. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11990
Enel P, Procyk E, Quilodran R, Dominey PF. (2016) Reservoir Computing Properties of Neural Dynamics in Prefrontal Cortex. PLoS Comput Biol. 2016 Jun 10;12(6):e1004967. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004967. eCollection 2016.
Wilson CRE; Vezoli J; Stoll FM; Faraut MCM; Leviel V; Knoblauch K; Procyk E. (2016) Prefrontal Markers and Cognitive Performance Are Dissociated during Progressive Dopamine Lesion PLoS Biol 14(11): e1002576. download
Faraut M.C., Procyk E., Wilson C.R.E. (2016) Learning to learn about uncertain feedback. Learning and Memory, 23: 90-98.
Amiez C, Champod AS, Wilson CR, Procyk E, Petrides M (2015) A unilateral medial frontal cortical lesion impairs trial and error learning without visual control Neuropsychologia. 2015 Aug;75:314-21
Logiaco L, Quilodran R, Procyk E, Arleo A (2015) Spatiotemporal Spike Coding of Behavioral Adaptation in the Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex. PLoS Biol. 2015 Aug 12;13(8):e1002222. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002222
Zlatkina V, Amiez C, Petrides M (2015) The postcentral sulcal complex and the transverse postcentral sulcus and their relation to sensorimotor functional organization Eur J Neurosci. 2015 Aug 22
Li Y, Sescousse G, Amiez C, Dreher JC (2015) Local morphology predicts functional organization of experienced value signals in the human orbitofrontal cortex J Neurosci. 2015 Jan 28;35(4):1648-58
Amiez C, Neveu R, Warrot D, Petrides M, Knoblauch K, Procyk E (2013) The location of feedback-related activity in the mid-cingulate cortex is predicted by local morphology. The Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 2217–2228.
Khamassi M, Enel P, Dominey PF, Procyk E (2013) Medial prefrontal cortex and the adaptive regulation of reinforcement learning parameters. Prog Brain Res, 202:441-464
Vezoli J, Fifel K, Leviel V, Dehay C, Kennedy H, Cooper HM, Gronfier C, Procyk E (2011) Early Presymptomatic and Long-Term Changes of Rest Activity Cycles and Cognitive Behavior in a MPTP-Monkey Model of Parkinson’s Disease. PLoS One, 2011, 6(8):e23952 download
Rothé M, Quilodran R, Sallet J, Procyk E (2011) Coordination of high gamma activity in anterior cingulate and lateral prefrontal cortical areas during adaptation. Coordination of high gamma activity in anterior cingulate and lateral prefrontal cortical areas during adaptation download
Vezoli J, Procyk E (2009) Frontal Feedback-Related Potentials in Nonhuman Primates: Modulation during Learning and under Haloperidol J Neurosci 29 (50): 15675-15683 download
Quilodran R, Rothé M, Procyk E (2008) Behavioral shifts and action valuation in the anterior cingulate cortex. Neuron download
Sallet J, Quilodran R, Rothé M, Vezoli J, Joseph JP, Procyk E. (2007) Expectations, gains and losses in the anterior cingulate cortex. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci 7(4), 327-36. download
Procyk E, Goldman-Rakic PS (2006) Modulation of dorsolateral prefrontal delay activity during self-organized behavior. J Neurosci 26(44):11313-23. download
Amiez C, Joseph JP, Procyk E (2006) Reward Encoding in the Monkey Anterior Cingulate Cortex. Cereb Cortex 16(7):1040-55 download
Dolle L, Khamassi M, Guillot A, Chavarriaga R (2006) Coordination of learning modules for competing navigation strategies into different mazes Poster presented at workshop Parallel memory systems for spatial cognition download
Amiez C, Joseph JP, Procyk E (2005) Anterior cingulate error-related activity is modulated by predicted reward. Eur J Neurosci 21(12):3447-52 download
Leviel V (2001) The reverse transport of DA, what physiological significance? Neurochem Int 38(2):83-106 download
Procyk E, Joseph JP (2001) Characterization of serial order encoding in the monkey anterior cingulate sulcus Eur J Neurosci 14:1041-6. download