Monday, 27 October 2014

The School of Psychology’s Sensory, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Group is pleased to present the following PhD completion seminar. All Welcome!

Theta oscillatory networks influence individual differences in cognitive control ability.
Patrick S. Cooper, PhD Candidate
School of Psychology
Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory
University of Newcastle, Callaghan. NSW 2308 AUSTRALIA

Wednesday 29th October 12-1pm in the Keats Reading Room, Psychology Building Callaghan Campus (video conferenced to Science Offices meeting room Ourimbah).

Abstract: Cognitive control processes enable flexible adjustment of intentions and actions in order to guide goal-directed behaviour. Low frequency neural oscillations promote widespread integration across cortical regions, with theta (~4-7Hz) oscillations playing a key role in integrative processes associated with cognitive control. My research has focused on understanding the extent of individual variability that exists in theta oscillations and their influence on cognitive control ability. To do so, I have applied functional connectivity techniques to the oscillatory EEG data that is typically averaged over during event-related analysis. In this talk, I will present evidence that theta oscillations vary both between individuals and within individuals and that these variations have specific effects on cognitive control efficiency and trial-by-trial performance. Interestingly, these relationships appear to have real-world implications too, with control-related theta signatures linked to differences in subjective reports of anxiety and quality of life. I will argue that individual differences in low frequency oscillatory activity can provide unique insight into brain-behaviour relationships.