SBRI Stem-cell and Brain Research Institute - France (Lyon)

Charlie Wilson / CRCN - INSERM

Research interests 

I study the neural dynamics of frontal cortical networks during adaptive behaviour and learning to learn in humans and macaques. The aim is to understand the brain dynamics linked to behaviour that allows us to achieve goals flexibly and efficiently.

To do this we make recordings of neural activity whilst human and monkey subjects perform cognitive tasks, and in particular learn to perform those tasks more efficiently. The aim is to track the emergence of so-called executive processes, and in particular to track the neural dynamics that are necessary to put in place such processes. My recent and future work in this field has focused on cortical oscillations. Cortical oscillations subserve interaction between assemblies in the brain, and we wish to reveal how cortical oscillations build up the dynamical networks necessary to acquire and perform complex cognitive tasks.

In the first of my recent projects, we seek to understand how oscillations and other neurophysiological markers change during the early stages of Parkinson's disease prior to the development of the classical symptoms of the disease. This project has clear clinical benefits in terms of understanding early neurodegenration, but also brings fundamental knowledge about the assemblies of the frontal cortex and their relation to dopamine.

In the second of my recent projects project, we are studying the way in which cortical assemblies interact in order to subserve 'learning to learn', the principle of improving one's learning, becoming flexible in one's learning, and applying task sets appropriate to a given situation. We will study the very specific interactions of the anterior cingulate cortex with prefrontal cortex, and how these interactions are mediated by different neurotransmitter systems.

Member of SBRI Teams

Neurobiology of executive functions

Member contact

Selected Publications of Charlie Wilson

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