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Tutored Seminar

Online tutored seminar: Flavie Torrecillos

Modulation of transient sub-thalamic oscillatory activities in human motor performance.

On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, NeuroSchool’s PhD program has invited Flavie Torrecillos (Oxford University) for a seminar on the modulation of transient sub-thalamic oscillatory activities in human motor performance.


Considerable evidence suggests a role of beta-band oscillations in voluntary movements and recently, emphasis has been placed on the transient nature of beta activity. Short-episodes of increased beta power, so-called beta bursts, suggest that beta activity is actually highly dynamic on a trial-by-trial basis. However, it remains unclear whether beta bursts act to modify motor performance, and if so how?

In two complementary studies, we recorded local field potentials from the sub-thalamic nucleus (STN) of Parkinsonian patients while they performed ballistic movements. In the first study, motor behaviour were normalized as far as possible through treatment with levodopa and we found that depending on when beta bursts appear in the contralateral STN they can reduce the speed of forthcoming movements. In the second study, patients OFF medication performed a new version of the task, in which the visual cues were triggered in real time by bursts of STN beta activity. The results showed that both the presence of multiple bursts and their overlap between the two STN were additional factors slowing movement, suggesting a cumulative effect of beta bursts.

Together, these results suggest that the modulation of the timing and amplitude of beta bursts, both locally and across basal ganglia networks, might serve to dynamically modify motor performance.

July 8, 2020 - online on BigBlueButton

1:00 pm – Discussion among students on BigBlueButton
2:00 pm – Seminar open to all on BigBlueButton
3:00 pm – Discussion between F. Torrecillos and PhD students on BigBlueButton

A special "alumni" seminar

Flavie was a very active part of the first students of the PhD Program. She defended her thesis in 2016 and started her post-doctoral training at the University of Oxford in the UK. She has accepted to launch the first of a new category of tutored seminars: the “alumni” seminars!
On July 8, you will also have the opportunity to discuss her postdoc experience with her.

Join us for this exciting new format!

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