Applying causal interventions to brain networks underlying adaptive perceptual decision making. (360G-Wellcome-206495_Z_17_Z)


The contribution of individual brain regions to perception is not static, and is determined both by task experience and particular stimulus demands. To investigate these dynamic contributions, I propose to use non-invasive brain stimulation combined with electrophysiological measurements. This combination will provide a window into the dynamics of causal relationships between behaviour and specific patterns of brain activity across regions. The first experimental series will establish the causal contribution of parietal and lateral prefrontal regions to perceptual choice, and relate these behavioural changes to the underlying neural activity. Critically, I will track how the brain-behaviour relationship changes as participants are given extensive task training. A key prediction for this phase is that parietal cortex will be critical for task performance when the task is new, and requires the parsing of signal from task-irrelevant noise. A second phase of work will investigate the mechanisms supporting these cortical interactions and brain-behavioural relationships. I will use TMS adaptation to measure changes in visual representation, and TMS entrainment protocols to test the relevance of alpha oscillations to decision-making and perceptual learning. Together, this ambitious program of research will address basic questions on perceptual representation and the impact of neural plasticity at the network level.

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Grant Details

Amount Awarded 250000
Applicant Surname Michael
Approval Committee Basic Science Interview Committee
Award Date 2017-04-19T00:00:00+00:00
Financial Year 2016/17
Grant Programme: Title Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship
Internal ID 206495/Z/17/Z
Lead Applicant Dr Elizabeth Michael
Partnership Value 250000
Planned Dates: End Date 2022-05-01T00:00:00+00:00
Planned Dates: Start Date 2017-11-01T00:00:00+00:00
Recipient Org: Country United Kingdom
Region East of England
Sponsor(s) Prof Zoe Kourtzi