On June, 12th, 2023, Prof. Katja Kornysheva, Assistant Professor for Human Neuroscience, Co-Director of the Centre for Human Brain Health, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, UK, will be our guest in our “External Speaker Series”.
She will give a talk titled “Movement planning as a window into hierarchical motor control” at 1:30pm at LIN (Ebbinghaus) and via Zoom.
The Zoom link is available upon request at the CRC 1436 coordination.
Abstract: The ability to organise one’s body for action without having to think about it is taken for granted, whether it is handwriting, typing on a smartphone or computer keyboard, tying a shoelace or playing the piano. When compromised, e.g. in stroke, neurodegenerative and developmental disorders, the individuals’ study, work and day-to-day living are impacted with high societal costs. Until recently, indirect methods such as invasive recordings in animal models, computer simulations, and behavioural markers during sequence execution have been used to study covert motor sequence planning in humans. In this talk, I will demonstrate how multivariate pattern analyses of non-invasive neurophysiological recordings (MEG/EEG), fMRI, and muscular recordings, combined with a new behavioural paradigm, can help us investigate the structure and dynamics of motor sequence control before and after movement execution. Across paradigms, participants learned to retrieve and produce sequences of finger presses from long-term memory. Our findings suggest that sequence planning involves parallel pre-ordering of serial elements of the upcoming sequence, rather than a preparation of a serial trajectory of activation states. Additionally, we observed that the human neocortex automatically reorganizes the order and timing of well-trained movement sequences retrieved from memory into lower and higher-level representations on a trial-by-trial basis. This echoes behavioural transfer across task contexts and flexibility in the final hundreds of milliseconds before movement execution. These findings strongly support a hierarchical and dynamic model of skilled sequence control across the peri-movement phase, which may have implications for clinical interventions.
Short CV: Dr Katja Kornysheva is an Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Centre for Human Brain (CHBH) at the University of Birmingham, UK. Dr Kornysheva studies the physiological and informational processes underlying action planning and execution, sequencing and timing, as well as disorders of the latter using a combination of non-invasive brain, muscular and behavioural recordings (fMRI, MEG/EEG, EMG, dynamics, kinematics, motor timing). After a PhD in Psychology (2011; Dr. rer. nat., summa cum laude) undertaken at the Max Planck Institutes in Leipzig and Cologne, Katja commenced her Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in London. She was subsequently awarded the prestigious Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2012 to study motor learning and timing in humans at UCL and rodent models in collaboration with the Neuroscience Department at the Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam. In July 2017, Katja joined the School of Psychology and Neuroimaging Unit at Bangor University as a Lecturer and subsequently transferred to the CHBH and the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham in December 2021. Katja received the Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard Award in 2021 to study the neural basis of sequence planning in individuals with developmental coordination disorder (DCD)/dyspraxia and started her Co-Directorship of the CHBH in 2022.