Neurocognitive Mechanisms of Contextual Adjustments in Cognitive Control

  • Tue 1 Dec 20

    16:00 - 17:00

  • Online


  • Event speaker

    Professor Tobias Egner

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Psychology, Department of

  • Contact details

    Dr Matteo Lisi

How does the brain regulate automatic behavioural responses according to internal goals and external context? Find out more from Professor Tobias Egner.

When routine behaviour runs into trouble, “cognitive control” processes are recruited to bring information processing in line with current demands. For instance, encountering an almost-accident on our commute will reinforce our attentional focus on the traffic and away from the radio. How does the brain accomplish this?

In this talk, Professor Tobias Egner will present behavioural, neuroimaging, and neuro-stimulation data that delineate the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying our ability to adapt to changing task demands.

Specifically, Professor Egner will present a “control learning” perspective that views cognitive control as being guided by learning and memory mechanisms, exploiting statistical regularities in our environment to anticipate the need for control. Control learning not only adapts attentional sets to changing demands over time, but it can also directly associate appropriate top-down attentional sets with specific bottom-up cues.

This type of learning holds the promise of combining the speed of automatic processing with the flexibility of controlled processing, and could form the basis of novel interventions in clinical conditions that involve impaired cognitive control.


Professor Tobias Egner is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University.

How to attend

This seminar will be held on Zoom. To receive a Zoom link please email Dr Giulia Poerio (g.poerio@essex.ac.uk) or Dr Matteo Lisi (m.lisi@essex.ac.uk) with the date and title of the seminar you wish to attention.

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