Abstract: Although a multifaceted concept, many forms of impulsivity may originate from interactions between prefrontally‐mediated cognitive control mechanisms and limbic, reward or incentive salience approach processes. We describe a novel task that combines reward and control processes to probe this putative interaction. The task involves elements of the monetary incentive delay task (Knutson et al., : Neuroimage 12:20–27) and the Go/No‐Go task (Garavan et al., : Neuroimage 17:1820–1829) and requires human subjects to make fast responses to targets for financial reward but to occasionally inhibit responding when a NoGo signal rather than a target is presented. In elucidating the dynamic between reward anticipation and control we observed that successful inhibitions on monetary trials, relative to unsuccessful inhibitions, were associated, during the anticipation phase, with increased activation in the right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG), decreased activity in the ventral striatum (VS), and altered functional connectivity between the two. Notably, this rIFG area had a small overlap but was largely distinct from an adjacent rIFG region that was active for the subsequent motor response inhibitions. Combined, the results suggest a role for adjacent regions of the rIFG in impulsive choice and in impulsive responding and identify a functional coupling between the rIFG and the VS. Hum Brain Mapp, 36:187–198, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).