Neuroscience and Behaviour

Neuroscience and Behaviour

The research line in Neuroscience and Behaviour investigates fundamental questions about how humans and other animals cope with a changing world through perception and action.

We are particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms that brains have evolved for the detection and the motor reaction to sudden and unexpected environmental stimuli, from simple perception to joint action. 

This research is relevant for the study of rapid defensive and non-defensive behaviours, pain, joint action, and peripersonal space.

Specifically, we investigate how the nervous system:

  • Identifies and reacts to surprising environmental events
  • Generates painful percepts in response to noxious stimuli
  • Selects appropriate actions as a function of the positions of objects in the world
  • Allows human-human sensorimotor interactions



We combine behavioural readouts with neurophysiology during the presentation of transient, tonic and naturalistic stimuli of multiple sensory modalities. We perform experiments in simple laboratory settings as well as in ecological virtual reality environments (VR).

Behavioural measures range from simple psychophysics and reaction times to detailed analysis of force and movement kinematics. Neurophysiological measures include reflexes, electromyography (EMG) and cortical activity (EEG, fMRI, ECoG and LFP).

We analyse these measures with computational and statistical techniques, such as geometric modelling, machine learning, agent-based modelling, and information theory. 

We conduct experiments on humans, and also collaborate with groups working on other species.


  • Professor Patrick Haggard (University College London, UCL)
  • Professor André Mouraux (Université Catholique de Louvain)
  • Professor Li Hu (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing)
  • Professor Meng Liang (Tianjin University)

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