Departmental seminar: Attentional episodes and cognitive control
Professor John Duncan (MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge)
Departmental Seminar Series
Thursday, 16 November 2017, 12pm to 1pm
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. At the same time, I consider the complementary control functions of MD and “default mode” networks.