Roee Gilron, Ph.D.

Former student at Prof. Roy Mukamel's laboratory

Research title
Action Consequences and Perception


Research project

We read and write every day. Neuroscience has a firm understanding of the processes that govern reading, from edge detection – used to identify letters to specialized networks of brain regions associated with comprehension. However, the complex processes associated with writing – requiring fine motor control – are still poorly understood. The aim of my research is to offer a comprehensive picture of fine motor control, one that could have implications for motor learning, rehabilitation and brain machine interfaces. Since previous research has suggested that mirror neurons play a pivotal role in motor skill learning by simulating observed actions in the motor cortex of the observer our research will focus on this special class of neurons. These neurons are present in a network of distributed areas associated with motor function, including the primary and pre-motor cortices and the supplementary motor area (SMA). To tease out a clearer picture of the role of this network in learning a fine motor task, we plan to employ an integrated methodology that incorporates a variety of state-of-the art neuroscience techniques (functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and single unit recordings in addition to electrocorticography (ECoG) in patients with intractable epilepsy) with novel technologies including virtual reality (VR) devices, touch and pressure sensitive digitizing tablets. Using these methods, which combine whole brain coverage (fMRI) and excellent temporal sensitivity (ECoG and single unit) together with cutting edge machine learning methods we wish to address the following open questions: Can we uncover the neural hierarchy separating intended goals from their underlying motor parts? Do motor regions track low-level movement features while observing actions? Will mirror neurons respond differentially to novel compared to familiar actions? What is the nature of sensorimotor coupling? Clarifying the functional characteristics of mirror neurons can contribute to diverse fields. For example, this could lead to developing better rehabilitation regiments for stroke patients, has the potential to inform research in the field of brain-computer interfaces, and may aid in designing better routines for motor skill learning.


Meetings

  • Gilron R., R. Mukamel. Poster, OHBM, Geneva, Switzerland – June 2016

  • Gilron R., R. Mukamel. Poster, Society For Neuroscience, Chicago – October 2015

  • Gilron R., R. Mukamel. Poster, Society For Neuroscience, San Diego – November 2013

  • Gilron R., R. Mukamel. Poster, OHBM conference, Beijing, China – June 2012

  • Gilron R., R. Mukamel. Poster, ISFN conference, Eilat, Israel – December 2011

  • Gilron R., A. Gutchess. Poster, APS conference, Boston, USA – May 2010


Publications

  • Gilron, R., Simon, S., Mukamel, R.. (2015). Neural Correlates of Intentions. The Sense of Agency. P. Haggard and B. Eitam, Oxford University Press.

  • Krasovsky, A., Gilron R*., Yeshurun H., & Mukamel, R. (2014). "Differentiating Intended Sensory Outcome from Underlying Motor Actions in the Human Brain." Journal of Neuroscience 34(46): 15446-15454.

  • Gilron, R., & Gutchess, A. H. (2012). Remembering first impressions: Effects of intentionality and diagnosticity on subsequent memory. Cognitive Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, 12(1), 85-98. doi: 10.3758/s13415-011-0074-6


Awards

  • Computational Motor Control Workshop, Best Poster Award – 2014

  • Adams Super Center for Brain Science Fellowship – 2011

    Reis and Sowel Family Prize in Neuroscience (given to the top neuroscience research project) – 2009


Contact
roeegilron@gmail.com


Research Categories: Cognitive neuroscience