'A core brain system in assembly of cognitive episodes'

Law building LT3
Life and Environmental Sciences, Research
Wednesday 27th January 2016 (13:00-14:00)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)

Part of the School Seminar Series

Speaker: Professor John Duncan, University of Cambridge

Host: Professor Kim Shapiro

Abstract: All human cognition is controlled in a series of attentional episodes, breaking complex problems into simpler, more solvable sub-problems. In human fMRI studies, a common or multiple-demand (MD) pattern of frontal and parietal activity is associated with diverse cognitive demands, and with standard tests of fluid intelligence. Based on behavioural, neuropsychological, fMRI and single unit data, I suggest that the core function of MD cortex is to control complex cognition in a structured sequence of attentional episodes. Using multivoxel pattern analysis of human fMRI data, I show widespread coding of attended information across MD regions. Using single unit data from the behaving monkey, I examine dynamics of task representation as a complex sequence of attentional episodes is constructed and executed.