Research Interests

My main interests in neuroscience revolve around how the brain controls arm movements, and in particular movements where both hands are used together. Although at this point in time we know much more about the motor system than what we did 40 years ago, fundamental questions still remain.

Movement related neural activity can be found in many different areas including the cortex, the brainstem and ultimately the spinal cord. How does this get integrated to bring about movement? This question is particularly apt for bimanual movements, where most motor areas show some bilateral anatomy.

Plasticity is a ubiquitous property of neural matter and underlies our ability to learn and behaviourally adapt to new environments. Compared to other systems, plasticity is relatively easy to measure in the motor system for example as improvements in performance of a task, with fewer errors. However, the distributed nature of the motor system has made pinpointing the exact locus/loci more challenging.

Neural activity is highly variable at rest or in response to a stimulusy even when the stimulus or behaviour is not. Is this variability simply noise or does it carry information? What impact does this variability have on the coding capacity of the neurones?