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Patrick Haggard

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London

Patrick Haggard is a neuroscientist and current Deputy Director of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, where he is a professor in the department of Psychology.

Haggard earned his BA in Natural Sciences (Psychology) from the University of Cambridge, where he also earned his PhD. His research interests include voluntary action, motor cognition, touch, somatosensation, and self-representation. Haggard’s current projects are investigations into the neurophysiology of ‘free will’–cortical activity associated with initiation of voluntary movement, how saccadic eye movements influence conscious visual perception, and the role of cognitive body image in tactile sensation. His research group works on the relation between brain activity and conscious experience in sensorimotor systems. Work on voluntary actions investigates the neural basis of conscious intention, and the brain processes that allow the motor system to link actions to external effects (‘sense of agency’).

Other projects focus on the neural substrate of our experience of our own bodies (touch, and proprioception). The overall aim is to link high-level cognitive processes to conscious experience on the one hand, and to specific circuits and processes in the cortex on the other. Good psychophysical measurement is a central pillar of most experiments, and is combined with a range of methods for studying brain function, including TMS, EEG, ERP and fMRI.

Topic Series


Hand and Brain: The Neurophysiology and Psychology of Hand Movements

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Mental Processes in the Human Brain

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