Congratulations to Kate (renewal of her PhD grant) and Anna (post-doc grant) for obtaining grants from the FWO-Vlaanderen. On with the science!
Congrats to Esther Deloof et al. for their new publication in Psychophysiology titled ‘Preparing for hard times: scalp and intracranial physiological signatures of proactive cognitive control’. In this study, it is shown that a cue conveying difficulty information triggers proactive control in absence of motor preparation, and elucidates its neurophysiological signatures. Scalp and iEEG signatures are discussed. Once the paper is out, we’ll put a link here!
As of May 6th, Jacki Janowich will be joining the Vergutslab as a post-doc. She will be working on the MEMODYN project. Very welcome Jacki!
Congrats to Kobe et al. for getting their work accepted in The Journal of Neuroscience.
In their paper, they examine whether neural markers of confidence are predictive of information seeking. To study this, they devised a paradigm in which participants had to make a choice about the average color of eight elements. Before making their final choice, however, participants could decide whether or not they wanted to pay a small cost to see the stimulus again in an easier version.
Using multivariate decoding, the authors then trained a decoder at each point in time to predict based on EEG data whether a trial was judged with high or low confidence. Critically, it was then tested whether this decoder was able to classify whether participants wanted to sample more information or not. This was indeed possible in a time window following the initial speeded response. This time window corresponded to that of a previously established neural marker of confidence (Boldt & Yeung, 2015).
In sum, this study shows that neural indices of confidence are functionally involved in information-seeking decisions. You can find the paper here!
Congrats to Bart et al. for getting their work accepted at NeuroImage. In their paper, they address the context-dependent allocation of two prominent cognitive control modes: reactive and proactive control. They demonstrate that task-relevant areas such as intraparietal sulcus and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex are more active on task trials in reactive than in proactive mode. Importantly, the same areas were more active between task trials (i.e., during the intertrial intervals) in proactive than in reactive mode. This implicates that reactive control involves a transient reactivation of task-relevant brain areas exactly when needed, and that proactive control is characterized by sustained activation of similar areas when control is required on a longer time scale.
You can find the full paper here – or get into touch with Bart Aben!
The Vergutslab has two open PhD positions, on “The role of confidence and urgency in deciding to stop sampling information” and “A model-based approach to study transfer in decision making and cognitive control“. All details can be found here.