Research in our lab focuses on how the brain produces intelligent, rational, behavior. At the center of intelligent behavior is executive control – our ability to internally guide our actions towards a goal. Our research aims to understand how the brain accomplishes such control. Here are just a few of the projects in our lab:

Research Projects

Neural Mechanisms of Cognitive Flexibility

Intelligent behavior requires adapting our behavior for different situations. 'Rules' -- which define our behavior given the context -- lie at the core of such cognitive flexibility. This project aims to understand the neural mechanisms of rules: How are they represented in neural activity? How are they learned? How do they act to bias the computations that lead to behavior?

Neural Basis of Limited Working Memory Capacity

Working memory is our ability to hold things 'in mind'. This active maintenance of information provides the workspace for complex, cognitive, behaviors -- allowing one to manipulate information towards a goal. Despite being fundamental to cognitive processes, working memory has a surprisingly limited capacity -- you can only hold ~4 items in mind at a time. Each person's capacity is different and is related to their ‘general intelligence’. At a basic level this makes sense – if you c...

Control of Visual Attention

Attention is the process of selecting an object in the world for greater representation in the brain. In addition, this ability allows for distracting information in the world to be filtered. While much is known about the effects of attention on the representation of objects in the brain, comparatively little is known about the neural mechanisms of how attention is controlled. The aim of this project is to understand how the brain controls attention.