Ignasi Cos, Ph.D.

Center for Brain and Cognition, UPF



1. Dr. Paul Cisek, Department of Neuroscience, University of Montreal. Although decision-making may rank as one of the most broadly studied research topics, there is significant controversy about whether decisions are made on a progressive accumulation of evidence or whether there are additional physiological principles implemented by an urgency signal, which biases the commitment during decision-making. My contribution to the project is a computational model, in collaboration with Dr. David Thura, aimed at explaining behavioural pattern of choices of two non-human primates recorded by the Cisek Lab while performing a sensory decision-making task consisting of making choices between a right and a left target as a function of sensory evidence. Our hypothesis is that their behaviour responds to a principle of reward/effort maximisation.

2. Dr. Julie Messier, Departement de Kinesiologie, University of Montreal.. If we decide the velocity, movement time and force prior to any movement we make, it may be considered that moving is a decision-making process, and therefore that some of the trade-offs that have been observed in more abstract decision-making contexts may also apply to motor control. Specifically, I am designing a computational model to test whether the behavioural structure exhibited by some rodents to solve locomotion task is consistent with a speed-accuracy trade-off between effort and the likelihood of being rewarded, and to investigate the principles of optimality selected.

3. Dr. Julie Duque, Institute of Neuroscience, UCL,Belgium. When we have to make decisions between two movements involving different distances and biomechanical costs. How do we integrate these two sensory modalities to select and implement the resulting motor movement? I am trying to respond to this question in collaboration with Julie Duque by performing a decision-making task between two reaching movements of different biomechanical cost while applying single pulse TMS onto the primary motor cortex. My prediction is that both sources of sensory information must be rapidly merged into the motor system to implement the selected movement.