The research interests of our members encompass a broad spectrum of research questions about the nature of cognitive control in humans and the mechanisms which underlie it. To briefly summarize the specific focus of each of our labs:

·       The Hazeltine Lab studies many aspects of response selection, the set of processes that transform sensory inputs into goal-directed actions.  Their investigations lead them to examine many phenomena, including cognitive control, dual-task interference, and implicit learning, and to use diverse methods, including traditional behavioral studies, patient studies, functional neuroimaging, and computational modeling.  They are also working to apply what they learn to practical issues, such as helping children learn to read and assisting individuals with neurological damage recover function.

·       The Hwang Lab conducts research to discover the neural, cognitive, and developmental dynamics of cognitive control. Specifically, we are interested in the neural architecture and dynamic processes that allow brain networks to select, inhibit, transfer, and integrate information for goal-directed behaviors. Together, these mechanisms support many important mental functions , such as attention, working memory, response selection and inhibition. Currently, our studies focus on two broad themes: the thalamocortical system and neural oscillations. We address our research questions with a comprehensive human neuroscience approach, combining multimodal research methodologies, including fMRI, EEG, TMS, lesion studies, eye tracking and behavioral testing.

·       The Jiang Lab for Adaptive Behavior focuses on the fundamental questions about how task-set –– the collection of cognitive control demands required to perform a task –– is learned, stored, retrieved and generalized to new tasks, contexts and experiences in both young and aging populations. The methods they use include lab- and web-based behavioral testing, functional neuroimaging, computational modeling and virtual reality technology.

·       The (Wessel) Cognitive Neurology Lab examines the neural mechanisms that underlie flexible behavior and cognition. Specifically, the Wessel Lab is interested in how humans carry out and maintain goal-directed behaviors and how the brain reacts to sudden events that put their goals in peril. They study these functions by investigating the dynamic interplay between brain networks that subserve: 1) the monitoring of the external and internal environment, 2) the evaluation of action outcomes, and 3) the adaptation of ongoing behavior and cognition in the short and long term. They also study how pathological processes, brain lesions, and (ab)normal aging affect these networks.

Though each lab and researcher in the Cognitive Control Collaborative have their own interests within the domain of cognitive control, there is great overlap in interests across our labs. In general, we hold the philosophy that “two [or more] heads are better than one”, and many projects in our individual labs are highly collaborative, involving the PI or members of another lab. In addition, we meet biweekly to discuss recent findings in the field of cognitive control and to seek feedback from the group on ongoing projects.

Collectively, we use many methods in the domain of human neuroscience to study these aspects of control, including (but not limited to):

·       Scalp-recorded Electroencephalography (EEG).

·       Invasive recordings of brain activity (ECoG and DBS-LFP recordings).

·       Lesion method.

·       Pharmaceutical intervention.

·       Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

·       Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI).

·       Computational modeling.

·       Pupil tracking.

Our work is funded by the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH NINDS), the National Institute for Mental Health (NIH NIMH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Iowa Neuroscience Institute (INI), the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, and the Aging Mind and Brain Initiative.