Laboratory conducts research studies from a wide area of cognitive neuroscience with a special focus on working memory and other cognitive processes and abilities commonly refered to as executive processes or cognitive control.
The research in the lab often focuses on cognitive dysfunctions as consequences of brain injury, brain and psychiatric diseases. Namely, understanding of cognitive disfunctions provides important insights into the structure and processes of healthy brain and cognition. Additionaly, detailed understanding of the brain and cognition in health and disease enables development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools and procedures supporting clinical practice.
The lab is also active in development of methods and tools for research and practice in the field of cognitive neuroscience with specific emphasis on the development of neuroimaging analitical tools and neuroinformatics.
Cognitive neuroscience of working memory
The ability to maintain information for efficient support of ongoing activity is one of the fundations of the ability to plan and execute goal directed behavior. A comprehensive understanding of working memory is only possible by integration of multiple levels of observation and research paradigms. The laboratory is involved in a range of studies with the aim to integrate phenomenology, behavioral studies, EEG and fMRI measurments to gain detailed understanding of the mechanisms supporting encoding and maintenance of information in working memory.
Executive functions and cognitive control
Cognitive control is key in supporting goal directed behavior, our ability to cope with everyday challenges and lead independent life, and cruicaly affects the overall quality of life. Cognitive control enables successful behavior in complex and ill-structured situation, efficient learning, emotional regulations and other cognitive abilities. The lab engages in research of cognitive control from multiple perspectives, from development of naturalistic tests of executive function and tasks for exploration of the ability for flexible formation and switching between task sets, to neuroimaging studies of cognitive control networks and the mechanisms that suppport the formation of dynamic brain states.
Lexical properties of slovene language
Words are one of the most frequent stimuli used in research and diagnostic tools in cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience and clinical psychology. We often not aware of important differences between words, that can lead to invalid research conclusions when words used as stimuli are not appropriately counterbalanced across research groups and conditions. It is therefore key to take lexical properties of words into account when designing experiments and research instruments. In the lab we are engaged in the study of lexical properties of slovene words with the aim to support future design of valid cognitive tasks and instruments.
Advanced analyses of functional connectivity
The development of advanced analytical methods that enable insights into integration brain function is an important focus of the lab. Specific emphasis is paid to methods of resting state and task related functional connectivity. In the lab we are developing and validating existing and novel approaches to the analysis of functional connectivity and applying them to the study of mechanisms and properties of integrated brain function as well as its dyfunction in disease. In support of research questions addressed by the lab we are integrating also modern tools of data classification and computational modelling.
Development of computational tools for analysis of neuroimaging data
Analysis of neuroimaging data involves a number of complex and computationally demanding steps that ofter require the use of different software tools. In collaboration with colleagues from Yale University, we are developing QuNex a Quantitative Neuroimaging Environment & Toolbox, with the aim to support efficient and reproducible high-throughput complex analyses of large neuroimaging datasets.
Research programs and projects in the lab
More detailed information on specific ongoing and past research programs and projects are available in the individual posts below.