Monday, 11 September 2017

School seminar by Matthew Finkbeinr, Thur Sept 14, 12-1pm

The Cognitive Research Group is proud to host its cross-group seminar for Semester 2 2017, with a talk by Associate Professor Matthew Finkbeiner from Macquarie University

WHEN: Thursday 14 September, 12-1pm.

WHERE: Keats reading room, AVLG17. VC link to Ourimbah will be available.

TITLE: Using reaching movements to investigate the dynamics of cognitive control in choice-conflict tasks

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ABSTRACT: A striking feature of human behaviour is our ability to configure our cognitive system to optimize performance in a wide range of contexts through adjustments in, for example, perceptual selection and/or response biases.  This remarkable ability is referred to as cognitive control and a central goal of cognitive science is to develop an account of how cognitive control is achieved.  In an effort to remove the homunculus from earlier theories of cognitive control, Cohen and colleagues have proposed the “Conflict Monitoring Hypothesis” (CMH).  This hypothesis has been used to explain patterns of performance in several conflict-inducing tasks (e.g. Stroop, Simon & Flanker tasks) and has received strong support across fields, including both Neuroscience and Psychology.  A core assumption of the CMH is that conflict arises as a function of the magnitude, not the timing, of the activation of competing (conflicting) representations at the response level.  In the present study, we used the reach-to-touch paradigm in a fine-grained investigation of these time- and magnitude-difference accounts of the Simon, Stroop and Flanker tasks.  Our results support the time-difference account of the Simon effect and the magnitude-difference account of the Flanker effect.  The results of the Stroop task did not strongly support either account.

CONTACT: For further information or to arrange a meeting with Matthew, please contact

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday!