Cognition & Action Lab

Randy Flanagan ~ Queen's University

Movement is the only way we have of interacting with the world, whether manipulating objects, navigating through our environment, playing musical instruments, or communicating with others. Thus, understanding how actions are planned and controlled, how actions are perceived by observers, and how skilled actions are learned, is an important enterprise.

The goal of research in the Cognition & Action Lab is to understand the cognitive, computational and neural foundations of each of these abilities. In addition to studies with healthy adults, we also carry out research on action impairments in neurological conditions.

Studies carried out in the lab involve the measurement of eye and hand movements as well as forces applied to manipulated objects. To study action control and learning, we use virtual environments in which we can manipulate visual feedback and, using robots, the forces experienced by participants as they move. In addition to psychophysical studies and modelling, we use functional magnetic imaging and other tools to investigate the neural bases of action. The lab is based in the Department of Psychology, Queen's University, and is part of the Centre for Neuroscience Studies.

Research in the laboratory is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Innovation Trust, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Recent Lab News

  • Nov, 2022 New Paper Accepted Moskowitz JB, Berger SA, Fooken J, Castelhano MS, Gallivan JP, Flanagan JR (accepted) The influence of movement-related costs when searching to act and acting to search. Journal of Neurophysiology

  • Nov, 2022 New Paper Accepted Areshenkoff CN, Standage DP, Nashed JY, Markello RD, Flanagan JR, Smallwood J, Gallivan JP (accepted) Distinct patterns of cortical manifold expansion and contraction underlie human sensorimotor adaptation. PNAS

  • Oct, 2022 New Paper Accepted Zhang Z, Cesanek E,Ingram JN, Flanagan JR, Wolpert DM (accepted) Object weight can be rapidly predicted, with low cognitive load, by exploiting learned associations between the weights and locations of objects. Journal of Neurophysiology

  • Oct, 2022 New Paper Accepted Standage DI, Areshenkoff CN, Gale DJ, Nashed JY, Flanagan RF, Gallivan JP (accepted) Whole-brain dynamics of human sensorimotor adaptation. Cerebral Cortex

  • May , 2022 New Paper Accepted Ikegami T, Flanagan JR, Wolpert DM (accepted) Reach adaption to a visuomotor gain with terminal error feedback involves reinforcement learning. PLoS One

  • Mar, 2022 New Paper Accepted Areshenkoff CN, Gale DJ, Nashed JY, Standage D, Flanagan JR, Gallivan JP (accepted) Neural Excursions from Low-Dimensional Manifold Structure Explain Intersubject Variation in Human Motor Learning. eLife

  • Nov , 2021 New Paper Accepted Cesanek E, Zhang Z, Ingram JN, Wolpert DM, Flanagan JR (accepted) Motor memories of object dynamics are categorically organized. eLife

  • Nov, 2021 New Paper Accepted de Brouwer AJ, Rashid MR, Flanagan JR, Poppenk J, Gallivan JP (accepted) Variation in error-based and reward-based human motor learning is related and associated with entorhinal volume. Cerebral Cortex

  • Jun, 2021 New Paper Accepted Gale DJ, Flanagan JR, Gallivan JP (accepted) Human Sensorimotor cortex is modulated during motor planning. Journal of Neuroscience

  • Jan, 2021 Congratulations to Dr. Josh Moskowitz for successfully defending his doctoral dissertation