am Lehrstuhl für Allgemeine Psychologie

Bild mit Wörtern zu den Forschungsschwerpunkten des Lehrstuhls

Our research activities are centered around two main topics: Performance monitoring and cognitive control. Performance monitoring refers to the ability to monitor and detect conflicts and errors in internal brain states and overt behavior. Cognitive control comprises processes that serve to attain goals by means of reconfiguration of mental sets, selective enhancement of goal-relevant information and inhibition of goal-irrelevant information. Performance monitoring and cognitive control are not only strongly interrelated (e.g., the output of monitoring processes are assumed to guide the allocation of control). Both are also connected to a multitude of basic brain functions, such as attention, memory, and learning. Exemplary questions that we are currently addressing are:

  • Which cognitive and neural mechanisms are involved in the conscious and unconscious detection of self-committed errors?

  • How does the brain initiate adjustments of cognitive control based on an evaluation of the source and type of errors?

  • Is learning from errors and feedback influenced by explicit expectancies and knowledge?

  • What are causes and consequences of errors in multitasking and task switching?

  • Which control processes are involved in multitasking and task switching?

Our research is based on three methodological approaches:

  • Behavioral experiments (response times, error rates, distributional data, eye tracking)

  • EEG experiments (event-related potentials, single-trial analysis using multivariate pattern classification and independent component analysis)

  • Computational modeling (neural networks, drift diffusion models, formal models of reinforcement)

To this end, we are running an EEG lab equipped with a 64-channel BIOSEMI ActiveTwo system and a SMI RED250mobile eyetracker, and a behavioral lab that allows for simultaneous testing of multiple subjects.