UCL Division of Biosciences


Neuroscience - Patrick Haggard

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Patrick Haggard

Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL

Control of human action

My research group works on the relation between brain activity and conscious experience in sensorimotor systems. Work on voluntary actions investigates the neural basis of conscious intention, and the brain processes that allow the motor system to link actions to external effects ('sense of agency'). The effects of voluntary saccades and manual actions on the subjective experience of time has been a particularly productive area. Other projects focus on the neural substrate of our experience of our own bodies (touch, and proprioception). The overall aim is to link high-level cognitive processes to conscious experience on the one hand, and to specific circuits and processes in the cortex on the other. Good psychophysical measurement is a central pillar of most experiments, and is combined with a range of methods for studying brain function, including TMS, EEG, ERP and fMRI.


1. Neurophysiology of 'free will': cortical activity associated with initation of voluntary movement.

2. How do saccadic eye movements influence conscious visual perception?

3. The role of cognitive body image in tactile sensation.


Taylor-Clarke M & Haggard P. (2004)
Keeping the world a constant size: Cortical Magnification and object constancy in human touch.
Nature Neuroscience, 7, 219-220.

Lau HC, Rogers RD, Haggard P & Passingham RE. (2004)
Attention to Intention.
Science, 303, 1208-10.

Sirigu A, Daprati E, Ciancia S, Giraux P, Nighoghossian N, Posada A & Haggard P. (2004)
Altered awareness of voluntary action after damage to the parietal cortex.
Nature Neuroscience, 7, 80-84.

Haggard P, Clark S & Kalogeras J. (2002)
Voluntary action and Conscious Awareness.
Nature Neuroscience, 5, 382-385.

Yarrow K, Haggard P, Heal R, Brown P & Rothwell JC (2001)
Illusory perceptions of space and time preserve cross-saccadic perceptual continuity.
Nature, 414, 302-305.

More: http://www.icn.ucl.ac.uk/Staff-Lists/MemberDetails.php?FirstName=Patrick&LastName=Haggard&Title=Prof

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