In this research line we aim to investigate the role of fronto-cortical brain areas in cognitive control and self-regulation, and how functions supported by this part of the brain relate to human decision making and social behavior. Tasks involving inhibition are often used as a tool to study cognitive control, and we use such tasks in combination with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to find a link between response inhibition, and impulsivity and/or aggressive behavior. We furthermore focus on the neural correlates of deception, and on possible neural processes underlying decision making in a neuroeconomical context.
We also investigate how self-regulation can be enhanced through brain stimulation and mental training such as mindfulness meditation. With regard to mindfulness meditation we are particularly interested in the neural mechanisms of how the experience of pain can be modulated through meditation. We are particularly interested in understanding how the neural mechanisms of self-regulation through meditation overlap with or differ from other self-regulation strategies.
This research line is funded by a grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).