Matthew Rushworth FRS
Watts Chair and Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Head of Department
- Head of Department
- Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator
- Associate Head for Research
Neural mechanisms of decision making and action selection
I am interested in how the brain makes decisions. Every day we make multiple choices about the best course of action to take in a variety of situations. My research is aimed at understanding the brain processes that allow us to work out how good the outcome of a choice might be and which allow us to make decisions between multiple choices.
I have a particular focus on the role played by areas of prefrontal and cingulate cortex. We have found that activity in these brain regions changes as a function of our expectations about how good a choice will be and when a decision is made.
When cognitive processes, such as those involved in decision-making, unfold they involve a number of different brain events. I am also interested in looking at the connexions between brain regions and the interactions they mediate during decision-making and attentional selection.
The lab's focus is on understanding how decision-making mechanisms work in the healthy brain. It is important to understand them because decision-making is such a fundamental aspect of our mental life. In addition, however, we think that some of these processes go awry when people suffer from psychological illnesses.
Social network size affects neural circuits in macaques.
Sallet J. et al, (2011), Science, 334, 697 - 700
Neural mechanisms of foraging.
Kolling N. et al, (2012), Science, 336, 95 - 98
Valuation and decision-making in frontal cortex: one or many serial or parallel systems?
Rushworth MFS. et al, (2012), Curr Opin Neurobiol, 22, 946 - 955
Effects of decision variables and intraparietal stimulation on sensorimotor oscillatory activity in the human brain.
Gould IC. et al, (2012), J Neurosci, 32, 13805 - 13818
Relationship between nuclei-specific amygdala connectivity and mental health dimensions in humans.
Klein-Flügge MC. et al, (2022), Nat Hum Behav
A macroscopic link between interhemispheric tract myelination and cortico-cortical interactions during action reprogramming.
Lazari A. et al, (2022), Nat Commun, 13
The effect of apathy and compulsivity on planning and stopping in sequential decision-making.
Scholl J. et al, (2022), PLoS Biol, 20
Hebbian activity-dependent plasticity in white matter
Lazari A. et al, (2022)
A macroscopic link between interhemispheric tract myelination and cortico-cortical interactions during action reprogramming
Lazari A. et al, (2021)