Research Research Projects

Brain mechanisms for rapid, flexible decision-making

To date, the neural mechanisms underlying changes of mind in decision-making process have only been described in non-human primates. These studies focus exclusively on the role of perceptual evidence accumulation to explain such changes of mind; however, they ignore how widely distributed perceptual and cognitive networks are interconnected with the sensorimotor network to deliver rapid and flexible adjustments to decisions and modify actions through simultaneous evaluation of alternative activities. Using a multi-faceted approach that combines continuous reach tracking with electroencephalography (EEG), we aim to determine the temporal cognitive dynamics underlying changes of mind in decision-making in humans. In addition to this innovative methodological approach, our work is novel for three other primary reasons: (1) it is the first study examining the neural underpinnings of changes of mind in humans and considers not only the role of evidence accumulation, but also the contributions of (2) cognitive control and (3) selective attention.

Research Leads 


Neural correlates of change-of-mind. A) Participants indicate the overall direction of motion for a set of dots moving in different directions. B) Participants can move directly to the button they choose (green) or they can change their mind from one button to the other (red). C) We compare centro-parietal EEG activity for direct reaches (green) and changes of mind (red) locked to stimulus onset (left) and reach initiation (right). and D) Map activity differences between changes of mind and direct reaches.