Thoughts, actions, goals, context. We study the how's and why's
Our research group conducts research on one of the most distinguishing characteristics of human behavior - the capacity of cognitive control. Cognitive control orchestrates thoughts and actions in accordance with goals and contexts. It is a fundamental building block of complex, adaptive, flexible and intelligent human behavior. Our research group is devoted to the understanding of:
- mechanisms of control,
- the computational principles, neural architecture, and temporal dynamics of control processes,
- its developmental and aging processes, and
- its intersection with other cognitive phenomena, such as learning and memory, decision making, attention, and working memory.
The Cognitive Control Research Group is composed of four main laboratories within the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, led by professors Eliot Hazeltine, Jan Wessel, Jiefeng Jiang, and Kai Hwang.
Our group has a proven track record, with significant grant funding and high-impact publications in major journals. Our respective laboratories share a common thematic interest, which together creates a highly collaborative research and training environment. Group members are strongly encouraged to develop projects that span laboratories and advisors. In addition to the labs in Psychological and Brain Sciences and Neurology, there is a rich network of collaboration with other research units across the University of Iowa campus, including Psychiatry, Neurosurgery, and the Iowa Neuroscience Institute.
Research group members have full access to research-dedicated 3T and 7T MRI systems, multiple TMS and EEG laboratories, high-performance computing clusters, neurosurgical and neurological patients, and a large lesion patient registry. This unique confluence of resources and intellectual expertise makes our group one of the premier places to perform cutting-edge research on cognitive control in the world.
A group by and for researchers
We welcome graduate students, postdocs, and research assistants to join our group! We encourage interested candidates to contact one or more of the primary faculty to discuss research interests and opportunities. Graduate students formally apply to one of the two broad graduate training areas (Cognitive or Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience), or through our Individualized Graduate Training Track.
Our graduate training is student-centered, with the program of study designed for each student to meet their objectives and to prepare them for the next career stage. Students conduct research from the beginning of their graduate careers and are encouraged to develop independent lines of work as soon as possible. Postdoctoral fellows are supported by faculty research grants, and should directly contact faculty members. Potential full-time research assistants and undergraduate assistants are also encouraged to contact faculty members directly.