Neural bases of inter-individual motor and attentional interactions

Proponente Alessandra Battaglia Mayer - Professore Ordinario
Sottosettore ERC del proponente del progetto
Componenti gruppo di ricerca
Componente Categoria
Aldo Genovesio Componenti strutturati del gruppo di ricerca
Fabrizio Doricchi Componenti strutturati del gruppo di ricerca

In the attempt of understanding what makes humans a different kind of animal, from an anthropological perspective, there is no doubt that the hallmark of the successful evolution of our specie can not be reduced to the idea of having developed a smarter brain, but it rather seems to reside in the ability to optimize a collective behaviour which allows the achievement of goals that a single individual could never achieve if acting alone. One aspect that distinguishes human beings from other species undoubtedly resides on the long-lasting effects of the complexity of social relations among individuals, often achieved through social interactions and cooperation. Despite the importance of such cognitive-motor interrelations between individuals, influencing our daily behaviour, investigations on cognitive and motor functions have been mainly studied in single-brain in action, particularly when these were conducted from a neurophysiological perspective. Here, we will abandon this solipsistic approach and extend, for the first time, the study of motor and cognitive functions, so far investigated on subjects acting individually, to a wider social context with agents performing together with another conspecific. On human subjects the behaviour and EEG responses will be analysed during the joint performance of an attentional task. On non-human primates, instead we will record the neural activity simultaneously from two brains of interacting monkeys, with the aim 1) of analyzing the representation of motor intention wnen performing a given action in different social contexts (individually or together with a partner) and 2) of examining the decision-making processes subtending the choice between cooperating or not, to obtain a desired reward.

LS5_6, LS5_5, SH4_5

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