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
The effect of apathy and compulsivity on planning and stopping in sequential decision-making.
Scholl J. et al, (2022), PLoS Biol, 20
Interactions between ventrolateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex during learning and behavioural change.
Monosov IE. and Rushworth MFS., (2021), Neuropsychopharmacology
Polarity of uncertainty representation during exploration and exploitation in ventromedial prefrontal cortex.
Trudel N. et al, (2020), Nat Hum Behav
Accelerating the Evolution of Nonhuman Primate Neuroimaging.
PRIMatE Data Exchange (PRIME-DE) Global Collaboration Workshop and Consortium. Electronic address: email@example.com None. and PRIMatE Data Exchange (PRIME-DE) Global Collaboration Workshop and Consortium None., (2020), Neuron, 105, 600 - 603
The macaque anterior cingulate cortex translates counterfactual choice value into actual behavioral change.
Fouragnan EF. et al, (2019), Nat Neurosci, 22, 797 - 808