Neuroscience of Action & Volition

Welcome to the Schurger Lab. 

Research in this lab focuses on the study of temporal uncertainty and causal inference in perception and action. In particular we are interested in the unconstrained detection of and reaction to uncertain events in continuous time. In the limit, where sensory evidence is nil, this leads to the mystery of spontaneous self initiated movement: 

"When do I make my next movement and how does this decision emerge in the brain in the absence of an external imperative?" 

We pursue this research using neuroimaging, computational and neural-network modeling, and machine learning, and we derive inspiration from dynamical systems theory and the dynamics of recurrent networks. 

We use principles from asynchronous brain-computer-interface research in order to identify spatiotemporal patterns of brain activity that precede movement onset, and signal a neuronal "commitment" to perform an action now. 

We also use brain-computer interfaces to study how actions are initiated without any movement of the body.