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My connections

Stephen Fleming

BA (Hons) PhD

Visiting Fellow in the Social Psychology & Social Neuroscience Research Group

  • Visiting Fellow, New York University

Research Summary

My research is concerned with unraveling the neural and computational basis of metacognition. Metacognition is a collection of abilities that allow us to monitor and control other brain processes such as memory, perception and decision-making. Metacognition is particularly well-developed in humans and often goes awry in psychiatric disorders.

A major focus is on decomposing metacognition into its constituent parts such as confidence, error monitoring and control, and understanding how these components emerge from the coordinated activity of multiple, functionally specialised brain regions. To do this I often employ carefully controlled visual psychophysics experiments in tandem with computational models and neuroimaging. I am particularly interested in the contribution of the anterior prefrontal cortex to metacognition, as this region is particularly well-developed in humans compared to other primates. My ongoing work is focused on understanding the role of the anterior prefrontal cortex and its interconnectivity with other brain systems in supporting metacognition.

In a typical experiment, we ask people to make simple decisions accompanied by additional judgments about their performance on the task. We then build computational models to understand the construction of higher-order beliefs. Combining an appropriate computational model with brain imaging and brain stimulation then allows us to investigate how metacognitive functions are implemented in neural circuits. 

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Key Publications


Recent Publications

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