Research

Research Overview
Our research investigates the neural mechanisms of attention and cognitive control. The broad question addressed by this research is how coherent thought and action emerge from processing in the brain. While much is now known about specific aspects of brain function—how we perceive the world, attend to particular details, remember facts and events, make decisions, etc.—much less is known about how these different functions become organised so that, at any given time, we can focus our attention on a particular task (or tasks) based on our current goals and intentions. Our research investigates the mechanisms responsible for imposing this organisation on our thoughts and actions.

A key component of our research is the development of computational models of attention and control processes. We use these models to inform the design and interpretation of our empirical work that combines behavioural, functional neuroimaging (fMRI), and scalp electrophysiological (EEG) methods. Below are some examples of recent research in the lab.

Task organisation

 

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Eriksen model

Monitoring performance
How do we know when we need to pay attention to avoid making mistakes? How do we know when we’ve actually made an error? Our research has used neural network models and brain imaging techniques to identify the types of information that our brains use to signal when things are going wrong and when increased attention and control are required.
See papers on this topic…

 

 

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ERPs and scalp topography

Learning from feedback

 

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EEG brain activation topographies

Neuroimaging methods
Our lab also has interests in analysis methods for brain imaging data. We have developed tools for simulating EEG data, and we have used these tools to evaluate the effectiveness of various techniques for analysing EEG data. We have been particularly interested in time- versus frequency-domain approaches to EEG data analysis.
See papers on this topic…