Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 11:00am

Céline Amiez is delighted to welcome Philippe Domenech from ENS Paris to come and give a talk:
An intracranial EEG study of Flexibility in Human Decision-making
Behavioral flexibility in the face of uncertain and changing environments is a hallmark of Human cognition. In this context, decision-making involves exploring possible courses of action and learning about their consequences, to establish -and then exploit- mappings associating stimuli and actions to outcomes. Because natural environments are ever changing, uncertain and open-ended, behavioral fitness further requires being able to drop the mapping in use whenever it no longer predicts action outcomes reliably, and to trigger new exploration phases. Human fMRI studies suggest that the fronto-polar cortex is pivotal in learning new mappings (or task sets, TS), departing from them and, more generally, branching between them. FPC expanded dramatically during Human evolution and is almost exclusively anatomically interconnected with other prefrontal cortical regions. Paradoxically, it is still one of the least well-known parts of the Human brain. To date, the sole electrophysiological study of monkey’s fronto-polar cortex characterized neurons monitoring action outcomes. However, its significance for Human fronto-polar function is unclear because inter-species homologies between rostral prefrontal cortical regions are still by poorly established and because of the putative link between fronto-polar cortex and Human specific cognitive abilities. In my talk, I will discuss new results from an intracranial EEG study assessing the specific contribution of Human fronto-polar cortex to TS management. In this study, we recorded local field potentials in the fronto-polar cortex, the orbito-frontal cortex and the medial prefrontal cortex of 6 drug-resistant epileptic patients performing a variant of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test.
SBRI - conference room - 11am on Tuesday 20th January