Mark Churchland (Columbia)
Neuroscience Seminar Series
A central goal of our laboratory is to understand the neural dynamics that allow the brain to generate its own activity. We approach this problem in the context of voluntary movement. Voluntary movement requires a series of internally generated events that must unfold over time before the overt movement is produced. This gives us a unique opportunity to study activity that is internally generated but still relates to measureable events (e.g., the speed or accuracy of a movement).
We take a dynamical systems approach to understanding the neural events that drive movement. We are particularly interested in uncovering the 'rules of neural motion.' In this view, the right way to understand internally generated activity is to decipher how and why the neural 'state' at one moment in time leads to the neural state at the next moment in time.
Our belief is that an understanding of neural dynamics will shed a great deal of light on how the brain generates and controls movement normally, and on how this process can go awry in disease.
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