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Reinforcement, learning, and cognitive control

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Abstract: Cognitive control is the ability to inhibit automatic responses in favor of more appropriate ones. It is an important cognitive function, and impaired in many clinical profiles, but remains poorly understood. Over the last few years, building on earlier seminal work (e.g., Holroyd & Coles, 2002, Psychological Review), we have developed a theoretical framework to understand cognitive control from the perspective of learning, in particular connecting cognitive control to Hebbian learning (Verguts & Notebaert, 2008, Psychological Review) and to reinforcement learning (Silvetti et al., 2011, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience). In this talk, I will discuss this framework. Further, I will discuss recent empirical studies resulting from it, including behavioral, EEG , and fMRI work.

Biography: · Silvetti, S., Suerinck, R., & Verguts, T. (2011). Value and prediction error in medial frontal cortex: integrating the single-unit and systems levels of analysis. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 5, 75. · Roggeman, C., Santens, S., Fias, W., & Verguts, T. (2011). Stages of non-symbolic number processing in occipito-parietal cortex disentangled by fMRI-adaptation. Journal of Neuroscience, 31, 7168-7173. · Santens, S., Roggeman, C., Fias, W., & Verguts, T. Number processing pathways in human parietal cortex. Cerebral Cortex, 20, 77-88. · Verguts, T., & Notebaert, W. (2009). Adaptation by binding: a learning account of cognitive control. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13, 252-257. · Verguts, T., & Notebaert, W. (2008). Hebbian learning of cognitive control: Dealing with specific and nonspecific adaptation. Psychological Review, 115, 518-525.

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