Igor Kagan

Decision and Awareness Group, Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory
German Primate Center


Research Interests


  • Neurophysiology and functional imaging of decision-making
  • Cognitive and visuomotor functions in primates
  • Interhemispheric interactions and bihemispheric network processing for action planning in the context of goal-directed behaviors
  • Human-monkey cross-species comparison using functional imaging, pharmacological inactivation, and behavioral approaches
  • Neuronal basis of fMRI signals
  • Neurophysiology of active vision in primary visual cortex



Education and Employment

2011 -Group Leader, Decision and Awareness Group, Cognitive Neurosciences Laboratory, German Primate Center, Göttingen, Germany
2009 - 2010Senior Research Fellow, Andersen Lab, Caltech, Pasadena, CA, USA
2003 - 2008Postdoctoral Scholar, Andersen Lab, Caltech, Pasadena, CA, USA
2003Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, and Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
1996 B.Sc. in Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Israel
1989 - 1991Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Physics and Mechanics, St. Petersburg State Technical University, Russia



Selected honours and awards



2016Invited Speaker, 6th Motivational and Cognitive Control Symposium, St. Andrews, United Kingdom
2014Invited Speaker, Brain Circuits for Positive Emotions Conference, Switzerland
2008Invited speaker, Minerva-Weizmann Active Sensing Workshop, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel




Selected publications


Domínguez-Vargas AU, Schneider L, Wilke M*, Kagan I* (2017). Electrical mi-crostimulation of the pulvinar biases saccade choices and reaction times in a time-dependent manner. Journal of Neuroscience 37(8): 2234-57

Christopoulos NV, Bonaiuto J, Kagan I, Andersen RA (2015). Inactivation of parietal reach region affects reaching but not saccade choices in internally guided decisions. Journal of Neuroscience 35(33): 11719-28

Kagan I, Hafed ZM (2013). Active vision: microsaccades direct the eye to where it matters most. Current Biology 23(17): R712-R714

Wilke M, Kagan I, Andersen RA (2013). Effects of pulvinar inactivation on spatial decisionmaking between equal and asymmetric reward options. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 25(8): 1270-83

Wilke M*, Kagan I*, Andersen RA (2012). Functional imaging reveals rapid reorganization of cortical activity after parietal inactivation in monkeys. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109(21): 8274-9

Kagan I (2012). Active vision: fixational eye movements help seeing space in time. Current Biology 22(6): R186-R188

Iyer A, Lindner A, Kagan I, Andersen RA (2010). Motor preparatory activity in poste-rior parietal cortex is modulated by subjective absolute value. PLoS Biology 8(8): e1000444

Lindner A, Iyer A, Kagan I, Andersen RA (2010). Human posterior parietal cortex plans where to reach and what to avoid. Journal of Neuroscience 30(35): 11715-25

Kagan I, Iyer A, Lindner A, Andersen RA (2010). Space representation for eye movements is more contralateral in monkeys than in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107(17): 7933-8

Kagan I, Gur M, Snodderly DM (2008). Saccades and drifts differentially modulate neuronal activity in V1: Effects of retinal image motion, position, and extraretinal influ-ences. Journal of Vision 8(14): 19, 1-25

*shared authorship