BEACON Seminar: Getting a grip on cognitive flexibility
Senne Braem (Ghent)
BEACON Seminar Series
Tuesday, 30 March 2021, 1pm to 2pm
Hosted by Paul Muhle-Karbe
This talk will be presented by Senne Braem from Ghent University.
Seminars this term will be held remotely on Zoom. Links for joining will be sent out before each seminar.
Please contact the host if you would like to set up a remote meeting with a speaker. If you have suggestions for future speakers, please contact Lauren Burgen (DPAG) , Nima Khalighinejad (EP), or Nick Myers (EP).
Much of human behaviour is characterised by the extraordinary ability to quickly reconfigure our mind, and switch between different tasks, often referred to as cognitive flexibility. While most psychologists agree on the kind of behaviours that fall under the term cognitive flexibility, we have only a poor understanding on what drives cognitive flexibility. When defining cognitive flexibility, its putative underlying processes are often distinguished from other functions of the brain by opposing them to low-level learning. Here, I will start from the idea that cognitive flexibility is sensitive to the same rules that low-level learned behaviour is subject to. Specifically, using task switching, instruction implementation, and reinforcement learning paradigms, I will present results suggesting that the processes behind cognitive flexibility can be selectively reinforced by reward and controlled by contextual features in our environment.