David Thura


Ph.D. Neuroscience

Inserm researcher

Lyon Neuroscience Research Center

Contact information

Lyon Neuroscience Research Center - ImpAct Team
Inserm U1028 - CNRS UMR 5292

Bâtiment Inserm

16 avenue Doyen Lépine
69676 Bron Cedex


Phone: +33 (0)4 72 91 34 14
E-mail : david.thura@inserm.fr 


We were looking for voluntary, healthy human subjects to be part of a behavioral study on the effect of motor costs on decision-making.


- Stay safe, D. -  

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Research interests

Urgent decision-making between actions
NEWS (last update: Sep 20, 2020)

July 2020

Congratulations Clara Saleri for being awarded with a doctoral scholarship from the French Ministry of Research ! Very happy to welcome you onboard and I look forward to studying the neural bases of decision-making together !

July 2020

Very happy to see the second paper of the lab accepted in one of my favorite journal, Journal of Neurophysiology ! Congratulations Amelie Reynaud and Clara Saleri on this important step toward a better understanding of the relationship between decision-making and motor control  !

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June 2020

Congratulations Dr. Thomas Michelet for a tremendous (4-hour) HDR defense ! Very happy to be part of your jury !

June 2020

Congratulations Clara for completing your M2 internship in difficult conditions ! 

Now we cross fingers for the PhD scholarship applications !!!

May 2020

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PD symptoms are usually assumed to be low-level motor dysfunctions. However, when John Roche sees a soccer ball, see what happens... #basalganglia #implicitmotivation #energycost #reward

April 2020

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April 2020

The latest paper of the lab is online on bioRxiv ! The study shows an interesting phenomenon: human subjects tend to sacrifice their decisions when the movement they have to produce to report these choices are demanding in terms of accuracy. Data also suggest that there is no one single invigoration signal coordinating decision and action durations, but instead independent, yet interacting, urgency and vigor signals. Please check it out:

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April 2020

Another great collaborative work with Gerard Derosiere, Julie Duque and Paul Cisek now online on bioRxiv ! The study shows that human subjects dynamically adjust their speed-accuracy trade-off by changing their urgency level within the time course of a single decision. Please check it out:

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February 2020

Please check out the latest paper published in the Journal of Neurophysiology describing an ICMS experiment performed in Montreal with Paul Cisek. We show that stimulation of monkey PMd and, to  lesser extend, M1 delays the commitment to an action choice:


January 2020

My paper describing the effects of decision urgency on movement kimematics in humans has been discussed during the journal club of Paul Cisek's group at University of Montreal. Such a satisfactory feeling...

January 2020

The first paper of the lab is out ! The study shows that decision urgency strongly influences movement speed and duration in humans, irrespective of practice load.  Please check it out:

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December 2019

New material available: slides from two courses given at University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Check it out !

October 2019

If you are in Chicago for SfN 2019 and you are interested in decision-making, motor control, cortico-basal ganglia network, neurophysiology and modeling? Come see Paul Cisek presenting our poster on Tuesday afternoon (606.13 - BB19)

September 2019

Very nice of Inserm to promote my background and research this week.

August 2019

Our latest paper is a collaborative work with Gerard Derosiere and Julie Duque suggesting that human M1 cortex is weakly involved in deciding between action choices. Please check it out:

June 2019

Please check out this interesting study, hot off the press, in which we show that a primary reinforcer, thirst, modulates human subjects kinematics during reaching and grasping a glass.  

Thirst for Intention? Grasping a Glass Is a Thirst-Controlled Action

Patrice Revol, Sarah Collette, Zoe Boulot, Alexandre Foncelle, Chiharu Niki, David Thura, Akila Imai, Sophie Jacquin-Courtois, Michel Cabanac, François Osiurak and Yves Rossetti

May 2019

Very happy to promote our latest article in The Neuroscientist, a review paper in which we (with Matt Carland and Paul Cisek) argue that an urgency-based mechanism provides a potential link between personality traits (e.g. impulsivity) and some clinical disorders (e.g. Parkinson’s disease).

April 2019

Upcoming talk:

Very pleased to contribute to the upcoming workshop on Cognitive Control and Performance Monitoring - In memory of Laurence Questienne








I will be giving a talk entitled:

Neural correlates of action decisions in a cortico-basal ganglia network

June 14, 2019 - 17.50 pm

Oostduinkerke, Belgium

Please check the full program

April 2019

Upcoming talk:

Selection and invigoration of behavior: a role for the cortico-basal ganglia network

Friday, April 05, 2019, 12pm

Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives et Computationnelles

Inserm - Ecole Normale Supérieure

29, rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris

My Ph.D. research focused on the FEF, a major component of the cerebral network that is thought to contribute to decision making, as well as to visual and oculomotor processes. We used single-neuron recordings in monkeys to test the hypothesis that FEF neurons integrate signals from the hand to ensure adapted ocular exploration of peripersonal space. 


My post-doctoral position in Paul Cisek’s lab provided me with the opportunity to pursue the exploration of complex integrative functions, i.e. decision making, in brain regions such as PMd, M1 and PFC. We investigated the neural correlates of dynamic decision-making in monkeys trained to perform a reach decision task. We showed that premotor and primary motor cortex activity reflects the competition between potential options and signals the commitment to a choice before movement initiation.  


As a research associate in Paul Cisek's lab at University of Montreal, we explored the behavior and the neural bases of speed-accuracy trade-off adjustments during dynamic decisions and movement execution. We investigate this question under the affordance competition and the urgency-gating frameworks. 

Please check out a more detailed overview of my career and accomplishments

In this section I share articles that caught my eye and I make some material available, mostly slides from various courses or talks. Feel free to check it out

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