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Petra Fischer


Postdoctoral Scientist


Petra joined Peter Brown’s group as a D.Phil. student in 2014, and defended her thesis in November 2017, when she began work as a Postdoctoral Neuroscientist at the NDCN and the MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit. Petra is especially interested in information processing for flexible motor control within cortico-basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical loop circuits. Her work is motivated by the motor control impairments that can be observed in Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease as a result of basal ganglia dysfunction. Some clinical symptoms, such as rigidity, freezing of gait or dyskinesia, seem to result from a failure of volitional commands to selectively activate and inhibit appropriate motor assemblies. Petra aims to understand the mechanisms behind these failures, and the principles of information flow in these circuits, by analysing electrophysiological data from tasks probing cognitive aspects of motor control.