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Cognition, Action, and sensorimotor plasticity


ANR (Projet Blanc), 2014-2017
Title: Movement control and prediction in Earth’s gravitoinertial field
Acronym: Motion
Coordinator: Prof. Charalambos Papaxanthis (UMR INSERM 1093, Cognition, Action et Plasticité Sensorimotrice, CAPS)


  • Jean Blouin DR CNRS, (UMR CNRS 7291, Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, LCN).
  • Prof. Dora Angelaki (Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA).


We evolve in Earth’s gravitational field. While moving, several forces (e.g. gravity, centrifugal) act on our body and the brain has to take into account their action to produce coordinated movements, as those that we accomplish daily without effort and that we admire in several sports and dance. Surprisingly, the question of how the brain deals with these forces during the preparation and execution of movements has been overlooked. We have built a consortium (2 French Partners, 1 U.S. Partner) to decipher the basic mechanisms implemented by the brain to specifically cope with these external forces to control motor actions. Using complementary techniques (e.g., transcranial magnetic stimulation, peripheral neural stimulation, EEG and EMG recordings, and motor imagery) with normal or vestibular-defective humans and monkeys, we will test the general hypothesis that internal models allow the brain to predict the effects of these forces on movements and to tune the motor commands accordingly.

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Université de Bourgogne