Action and Body
GROUP LEADER - Prof. Patrick Haggard
Alexandra House, 17 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AZ
Our research investigates cognitive aspects of two sensorimotor processes that underlie all human behaviour. These are the control of voluntary action and the experience we have of our own body. Research on voluntary action focusses on understanding the relation between the brain activity in the frontal and parietal lobes that precedes movements, and the conscious experience of controlling our own movements. A key question is whether conscious intentions are an immediate consequence of preparation for action in the frontal lobes, or a retrospective mental justification to explain actions that we have just made.
Studies of body perception focus on the body as a multimodal object: we perceive our bodies in two distinct ways. Vision gives us information about our body as a volumetric object in external space, while proprioception and touch give us information "from the inside". Our research focusses on how these sources of information are combined to give a coherent bodily self. We use a range of experimental methods including psychophysics, TMS, ERP and brain imaging to investigate these questions.
- Brianna Beck
My research concerns the contributions of multisensory input to the sense of embodiment and representations of the body in the brain. In particular, I am interested in the interactions between vision, touch, and pain
- Frederike Beyer
I am interested in how social context influences our Sense of Agency, and how this in turn affects our perception of responsibility and self-efficacy. I use EEG and fMRI to investigate how social information processing and action-outcome processing interact on a neural level.
- Davide Bono
I am interested in the process of oral somatosensation. I use various psychophysical and neuroimaging techniques to investigate how a somatosensory input received in the oral cavity is perceived and processed at the cortical level.
- Sofia Bonicalzi
I'm interested in the sense of agency, voluntary action and responsibility. I currently focus on the contribution that neuroscience may offer to the understanding of legal issues.
- Elisa Brann
I am a Research Assistant working within the Action and Body group. My research focuses on the sense of agency, how we experience control over our actions. I am specifically interested in how agency is manipulated in situations where our actions have multiple outcomes.
- Antonio Cataldo
I’m interested in how multiple somatosensory inputs are merged together in the brain in order to give us the perception of an extended and coherent “somatosensory whole”. In particular, I use a variety of behavioural and psychophysical techniques to study the integration of multiple stimuli within and across tactile and thermal systems.
- Lucie Charles
The broad subject of my research is how we monitor our action and how it relates to our subjective experience of control over our behaviour. In the Action and Body research group, I'm conducting a project on the neural correlates of volition and the sense of freedom of choice. In particular, I'm investigating how decision to switch between a voluntary or instructed mode of action influences information sampling and subjective experience of control.
- Stephanie Cook
My primary research interests surround the neuroscience of sensory perception and decision making. I recently completed my PhD at University of Liverpool, studying the effects of odours on perception. I now work as a Research Assistant in the Action and Body group studying the representation of pain and the encoding of pain intensity in the brain.
- Steven Di Costa
Current Research and Interests
I’m interested in the sense of agency and decision-making. I study how feelings of action control persist and evolve in complex learning environments and the brain processes that are thought to underlie these functions.
- Nima Khalighinejad
Research interests: Sense of agency including the role of frontal and parietal circuits in linking intentional actions with subsequent outcomes, the relation between action selection and sense of agency, the acquisition of sense of agency, and the relation between instrumental agency at the individual level and the social aspects of agency. I am also interested in voluntary action, including the neural antecedents of self-initiated actions and the mechanisms that produce the unique experience of human voluntary action. I use behavioural tasks, EEG, fMRI, TMS, tDCS and tACS.
- Eugenia Kulakova
I am interested in how counterfactual thinking (e.g. "I could have done otherwise") influences the sense of agency and responsibility.
- Anne Löffler
I am interested in 'Changes of Mind' in voluntary action. Using behavioural tasks and EEG, I aim to shed more light on questions such as: When and why do people change their mind? What are the neurocognitive underpinnings of dynamic updates in action selection? And how is the subjective experience of control (i.e., Sense of Agency) modulated when people deviate from what they initially intended to do?
- Elisabeth Parés
My research is focused on the conscious experience of intention in voluntary action. I am interested in knowing at what stage motor preparation becomes consciously accessible to the agent and in the role that the corresponding experience of intention plays in action control. I am currently addressing these questions using behavioural tasks and EEG.
- Eoin Travers
I'm interested in decision-making and reasoning, and in particular how they unfold over time. At the Haggard Lab, I use EEG and computational modelling to explore the neural processes that underlie voluntary or "free" actions. I'm also interested in the conscious and metacognitive awareness, and in conflict in high-level cognition.
- Wen Wen
I am interested in how high-level cognitive factors, such as performance, intention, and goal, influence the sense of agency. I am also interested in how to measure the arising of sense of agency by EEG signals with neuroscience knowledge and signal processing techniques.