BA, MSc, DPhil
Junior Research Fellow
The primary aim of my research is the understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying reward-guided decision making, learning and exploration. I focus particularly on the role of the frontal lobes of humans in generating choices based on rewards and other features of the environment.
My interest goes beyond uncovering the neural mechanisms underlying only one particular form of decision making. I am also investigating how forms of evaluation in the frontal lobes and the rest of the brain interact and compete, and how such network dynamics are responsible for allowing more dynamic and ecological behaviour. I am also pursuing how such a view might inform a better understanding of individual differences as well as disorders of reward, learning and choice.
I have also recently shown how humans track an evolving context of risk, to inform their choices of whether to take contextually justified risks. Such context sensitive risk taking is not just ecologically very meaningful, but might also further our understanding of how evolving contextual constraints can dynamically change the way we make decisions as well as showing how the competition between different neural systems involved in choice changes.
Furthermore, I collaborated in a project about the neural substrate of causal learning in humans and have also been strongly involved in other reward learning and tracking experiments, one related to learning about reward environments and their trajectories, and others related to learning about ecologically important negative and positive value concurrently.
Neural mechanisms of foraging.
Kolling N. et al, (2012), Science, 336, 95 - 98
Valuation and decision-making in frontal cortex: one or many serial or parallel systems?
Rushworth MF. et al, (2012), Curr Opin Neurobiol, 22, 946 - 955
Multiple neural mechanisms of decision making and their competition under changing risk pressure.
Kolling N. et al, (2014), Neuron, 81, 1190 - 1202
Multiple signals in anterior cingulate cortex.
Kolling N. et al, (2016), Curr Opin Neurobiol, 37, 36 - 43
Neural Mechanisms of Credit Assignment in a Multicue Environment.
Akaishi R. et al, (2016), J Neurosci, 36, 1096 - 1112
The Good, the Bad, and the Irrelevant: Neural Mechanisms of Learning Real and Hypothetical Rewards and Effort.
Scholl J. et al, (2015), J Neurosci, 35, 11233 - 11251
What's Worth the Risk? A Neural Circuit for Trade-Offs.
Kolling N. and Rushworth MF., (2015), Cell, 161, 1243 - 1244
Divide and conquer: strategic decision areas.
Kolling N. and Hunt LT., (2015), Nat Neurosci, 18, 616 - 618