Research


Reward Incentives and Cognitive Control

Cognitive control refers to the intentional guidance of action based on the flexible use of task rules, and it is often enhanced by the opportunity to earn rewards. My research has sought to characterize the relationship between reward incentives and the engagement of cognitive control, and the role of the lateral PFC in this process.


Large-Scale Brain Networks Underlying Attention  

How do we effectively focus on important events in the external environment  or an internal train of thought? I am interested in delineating the brain network dynamics that govern attention, with an emphasis on the default mode network, dorsal attention network, and frontoparietal control network.  My research employs graph theoretical analyses in conjunction with resting-state and task-based functional connectivity data.


Mindfulness and Meta-Cognitive Awareness

Meditation practice involves cultivating a present-moment focus grounded on awareness and acceptance of thoughts and feelings (viscero-somatic sensations) and disengagement from conceptual analysis and judgement. I am interested in how meditation and other mental-training practices may enhance meta-cognitive awareness and potentially alter the structure and function of brain regions including the anterior PFC.


Emotion and the Prefrontal Cortex

The PFC plays a central role in allowing emotional responses to be flexible and guided by context and goals. I am interested in the way in which different subregions of the PFC contribute to these high-level emotional processes.


 




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