Prefrontal cortex and the hierarchical control of behavior
This talk will describe an on-going line of research in our lab investigating the cognitive and neural systems that support hierarchical cognitive control, or our ability to simultaneously control immediate actions while also holding more abstract, temporally remote goals in mind. Psychologists have long proposed that we have a capacity for hierarchical control, citing its potential contributions to sequential behavior, as well as higher-order planning, reasoning, and abstraction. Despite its importance for cognition, the cognitive and neural mechanisms that support hierarchical control remain unknown. Here I will provide a line of evidence suggesting that this type of complex control partly depends on gating of working memory by cortico-striatal circuits. I will also discuss on-going efforts to characterize the format of neural representations that support complex task control.
Dr. David Badre is an Associate Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences at Brown University.
The seminar is free and open to the public.