CNS 2018: Towards New Models For Cognitive Flexibility

Track 5  Wednesday, July 18th

Brief Description: 

Cognitive flexibility is defined as the ability to make different inferences from the same stimulus depending on behavioral demands. This essential computation allows us to act intelligently in our dynamically changing environments. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) has traditionally been the focus of many computational theories of cognitive flexibility. However, several recent have identified many subcortical areas, such as the mediodorsal thalamus, as key players in controlling how the cortex flexibly switches between task sets. These new results suggest that the computations responsible for cognitive flexibility are more distributed and dynamic than previously thought.

In this workshop, we bring together theorists and researchers interested in flexibility at several levels. Our goal is to develop a unified view of the fundamental neural motifs – both cortical and subcortical– that underlie cognitive flexibility. We anticipate that this workshop will be of interest to anyone interested in cognitive flexibility and neural computation.


  • Michele Basso (UCLA)
    • The role of the Basal Ganglia and Superior Colliculus in Decision Making 

  • Tim Hanks (UC Davis)
    • TBA
  • Camilo Libedinsky (National University of Singapore)
    • Heterogeneity in the prevalence of mixed-selectivity among different sub-regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex
  • Athena Akrami (Princeton, Sainsbury-Wellcome Center London)
    • Role of posterior parietal cortex in mixing past with present information
  • Seth Egger (MIT)
    • Internal Models of sensorimotor integration regulate cortical dynamics
  • Nicolas Masse (The University of Chicago)
    • TBA
  • Rajeev Rikhye (MIT)
    • Fronto-thalamic substrates of cognitive flexibility

Organized by Rajeev Rikhye