Neurobiology of executive functions

We seek to understand how neural networks in the brain produce complex cognition. Specifically we take established knowledge about simple systems in the brain and understand how it can be applied to higher cognitive functions, often referred to as executive functions. These are functions that allow flexible behaviours that can be readily adapted in volatile environments. So for example neural firing rate, neural synchronization and oscillations are mechanisms by which the brain stores, transmits, and manipulates distributed information in simple perceptual functions. But how these mechanisms apply to higher cognitive functions it little understood.

We know that executive functions require appropriate interactions between large-scale neural networks, as well as modulation by monoaminergic systems. Our research targets the mechanisms of these processes, in particular in primate species. Executive functions, and their neural bases, have unique characteristics in primate species, and in humans in particular.

Our current projects aim at exploring how cognitive processes are specified by neural activity and dynamical interactions between frontal cortical areas, how neuromodulation contributes, and how network interactions change during adaptive behaviours. The frontal cortex has particularly evolved across mammals and in primates in particular. Our research also seeks to identify anatomical and functional principles of the frontal cortex that are conserved or that differ between primate species. Finally, we study the neural basis of the acquisition of these executive processes. We want to understand how the way in which executive functions are learned and acquired in the brain influences later cognition, with implications in a number of fields.

 To address these questions we use multiple techniques (anatomy of connectivity, multiple-microelectrodes, ECoG, EEG, fMRI) to describe the anatomy and function of networks involved in higher cognitive functions in primates. We therefore employ a multi-level and comparative approach to studying cognitive processes. We build upon methods and techniques established at SBRI, as well as developing new theoretical, anatomical and technological approaches in collaboration with colleagues all over the world.

2020Hopkins WD, Procyk E, Petrides M, Schapiro SJ, Mareno MC, Amiez CSulcal Morphology in Cingulate Cortex is Associated with Voluntary Oro-Facial Motor Control and Gestural Communication in Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)Cerebral Cortex
2020Amiez C, Sallet J, Novek J, Hadj-Bouziane F, Giacometti C, Andersson J, Hopkins WD, Petrides MChimpanzee histology and functional brain imaging show that the paracingulate sulcus is not human specificCommunication Biology
2020Kep Kee Loh , Emmanuel Procyk , Rémi Neveu , Franck Lamberton , William D Hopkins , Michael Petrides , Céline Amiez Cognitive control of orofacial motor and vocal responses in the ventrolateral and dorsomedial human frontal cortexProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
2020Alizée Lopez-Persem, Léa Roumazeilles , Davide Folloni , Kévin Marche, Elsa F Fouragnan , Nima Khalighinejad , Matthew F S Rushworth , Jérôme SalletDifferential functional connectivity underlying asymmetric reward-related activity in human and nonhuman primatesProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
2020Jérôme Sallet, MaryAnn P Noonan, Adam Thomas, Jill X O'Reilly, Jesper Anderson, Georgios K Papageorgiou, Franz X Neubert, Bashir Ahmed, Jackson Smith, Andrew H Bell, Mark J Buckley , Léa Roumazeilles , Steven Cuell , Mark E Walton , Kristine Krug , Rogier B Mars, Matthew F S Rushworth Behavioral flexibility is associated with changes in structure and function distributed across a frontal cortical network in macaquesPLoS Biol
2019Céline Amiez, Emmanuel Procyk Midcingulate somatomotor and autonomic functionsHandb Clin Neurol
2019Amiez C, Sallet J, Hopkins WD, Meguerditchian A, Hadj-Bouziane F, Ben Hamed S, Wilson CRE, Procyk E, Petrides MSulcal organization in the medial frontal cortex provides insights into primate brain evolutionNat Commun
2018Milham MP, Ai L, Koo B, Xu T, Amiez C, Balezeau F, Baxter MG, Blezer ELA, Brochier T, Chen A, Croxson PL, Damatac CG, Dehaene S, Everling S, Fair DA, Fleysher L, Freiwald W, Froudist-Walsh S, Griffiths TD, Guedj C, Hadj-Bouziane F, Ben Hamed S, Harel N, Hiba B, Jarraya B, Jung B, Kastner S, Klink PC, Kwok SC, Laland KN, Leopold DA, Lindenfors P, Mars RB, Menon RS, Messinger A, Meunier M, Mok K, Morrison JH, Nacef J, Nagy J, Rios MO, Petkov CI, Pinsk M, Poirier C, Procyk E, Rajimehr R, Reader SM, Roelfsema PR, Rudko DA, Rushworth MFS, Russ BE, Sallet J, Schmid MC, Schwiedrzik CM, Seidlitz J, Sein J, Shmuel A, Sullivan EL, Ungerleider L, Thiele A, Todorov OS, Tsao D, Wang Z, Wilson CRE, Yacoub E, Ye FQ, Zarco W, Zhou YD, Margulies DS, Schroeder CEAn Open Resource for Non-human Primate ImagingNeuron.
2018Cléry J, Amiez C, Guipponi O, Wardak C, Procyk E, Ben Hamed SReward activations and face fields in monkey cingulate motor areasJ Neurophysiol
2018Mijatović G, Lončar-Turukalo T, Procyk E, Bajić DA novel approach to probabilistic characterisation of neural firing patternsJ Neurosci Methods