CCN meeting | Henk van Steenbergen (Leiden University, The Netherlands)

16-11-2017 from 13:00 to 14:00
Henri Dunantlaan 2, room 4.2 (4B)
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The Affective Nature of Cognitive Control

Cognitive control enables humans to keep focused on relevant information and to reduce the influence of distracting information. In this talk I will present an overview of studies we have conducted to demonstrate how affective states influence cognitive control, and vice versa. The first part of my talk will focus on a series of behavioral studies, using paradigms such as the Stroop task, that have shown how hedonic states reduce trial-by-trial adaptations in cognitive control. In addition, evidence is presented from EEG, fMRI and pharmacological studies that have started to reveal neural and neurochemical mechanisms that underlie this hedonic modulation. In the second part of my talk, I will discuss recent evidence for the idea that conflict and errors trigger aversive emotions. This work shows how conflict and task difficulty induce several effort- and emotion-related physiological changes in pupil dilation, facial EMG, and the cardiovascular system, providing important clues to understand the affective nature of cognitive control.