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Learning to oscillate: Computational and EEG investigations of human flexibility

In the current project, we aim to expand our knowledge of how human cognition is implemented in the brain. For this purpose, we will integrate two currently separated fields of research. In a first field, researchers try to explain how cognition and behaviour are learned by making slow changes in the anatomical connections within and between brain areas (connectionist dynamics). In a second field, the development of cognitive processes is studied on a much faster timescale (even milliseconds). Over the years, these studies have linked a wide range of functions to the oscillatory (wave-like) fluctuations that are observed when we measure brain activation at this fast time scale (oscillatory dynamics). In sum, studies of human cognition at different time scales have reported two important brain dynamics to underlie adaptive human cognition and behaviour.
Importantly, studies of oscillatory and connectionist dynamics have been mostly executed in parallel with limited interaction. Therefore, the current project aims to integrate both approaches. First, we aim to explore how the human brain benefits from using both dynamics. Additionally, we want to gain insight into how these dynamics interact. Second, we will further test our ideas by adapting analytical methods from studies about connectionist dynamics to study oscillatory dynamics.
In sum, we aim to demonstrate how more insight into cognitive processes can be gained by having an interplay between these research domains.

Date:1 Oct 2018 →  Today
Disciplines:Neurosciences, Biological and physiological psychology, Cognitive science and intelligent systems, Developmental psychology and ageing