BSc MSc Dr rer nat
I investigate the influence of the internal representation of a task – how we think about what we're doing - on action and perception. Tasks, the equivalent to actions in psychological research, are typically understood to consist of least two elements: a stimulus and a response. But outside the lab, it is usually anticipated outcomes which guide our actions: we do something to achieve a specific goal. My research looks at how knowledge about outcomes influences the representation of the task - and how representations of tasks in turn influence behaviour. I'm particularly interested in how we adapt when our actions do not yield the desired outcomes - depending on what we know about the environment we presently act in. Do we learn faster if we can associate a seemingly arbitrary response with a particular outcome? Does our knowledge on the trustworthiness of outcomes determine how much we rely on them? Questions such as these are addressed in our behavioural studies. Employing imaging techniques, such as EEG and fMRI, we investigate the neural correlates of task-representations and how they change when tasks, outcomes, or the task-environment differs.
The role of prediction and outcomes in adaptive cognitive control.
Schiffer AM. et al, (2015), J Physiol Paris, 109, 38 - 52
Reward activates stimulus-specific and task-dependent representations in visual association cortices.
Schiffer AM. et al, (2014), J Neurosci, 34, 15610 - 15620