PhD Students

Ellen_fotoEllen Voorrips (KU Leuven) – Great minds think alike: The contagious nature of cognitive control.
(with Eva Van den Bussche and Gethin Hughes)

The presence of other people can have a big impact on your task performance. Easy tasks that require little cognitive effort are generally facilitated, whereas difficult tasks are hindered. In addition, watching someone else perform on a task facilitates our performance on that same task. Using behavioral and physiological techniques I investigate the role of social interaction on cognitive control.
The current project is specifically focused on whether the degree of cognitive effort exerted by another person can influence your own level of cognitive effort – in other words: is cognitive control contagious?


esinEsin Türkakin (Ghent University) – Should I sample or should I go? Combining confidence and urgency to decide when you are ready to choose.
(with Tom Verguts and Elise Lesage)

Daily life is full of situations that require integrating noisy information to pick the better alternative between two choices, such as picking which flat to rent. Existing models (e.g. sequential sampling models) of these types of decision provide little information on how participants integrate various factors such as reward structure, confidence and urgency to optimize their decisions. We propose a novel model that addresses some of the weaknesses of existing models, with a particular focus on how one decides on the optimal point to stop sampling more information towards the decision. We also propose an accompanying task that captures how a decision unfolds over time, in contrast to more commonly used tasks that provide only the endpoints of a decision (namely the response time and accuracy) for the models to work with.