Our lives are replete with distractions. Some are external, like the boisterous laughter of children at play, the flicker of a television screen, or the enticing aroma of a freshly prepared meal. Others arise from within, such as daydreaming about a beach getaway or the compulsion to scroll through just one more TikTok video. Think about the effort it demands when attempting to draft a critical document amidst this barrage of diversions. How do we harness the power of focus to achieve our goals?
Focus requires cognitive control, a crucial suite of important cognitive functions. Our lab investigates the neural bases of cognitive control. A long-term goal is to understand how cognitive control arises from neural processing at the psychological and physiological levels. This understanding will elucidate the mechanisms that drive flexible and generalizable goal-directed behaviors, informing how we learn things and make decisions. We will leverage this knowledge to improve brain-computer interfaces and our ability to focus through neuromodulation. Our methodologies include mathematical modeling, concurrent EEG/MEG recording, and intracranial electrophysiology in humans to gain insights into the geometry of neural coding.
The geometry of domain-general performance monitoring in the human medial frontal cortex.
Z. Fu, D. Beam, J. M. Chung, C. M. Reed, A. N. Mamelak, R. Adolphs, U. Rutishauser, Science. 376, eabm9922 (2022), doi:10.1126/science.abm9922
Neurophysiological mechanisms of performance monitoring in human and nonhuman primates.
Z. Fu, A. Sajad, S. P. Errington, J. D. Schall, U. Rutishauser. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. (2023), doi:10.1038/s41583-022-00670-w
Single-neuron correlates of error monitoring and post-error adjustments in human medial frontal cortex.
Z. Fu, D. A. J. Wu, I. Ross, J. M. Chung, A. N. Mamelak, R. Adolphs, U. Rutishauser, Neuron. 101, 165-177.e5 (2019), doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2018.11.016