In order for organisms to engage in goal directed thoughts and actions, appropriate cognitive representations must be activated while others are suppressed. Inhibitory Control allows us to suppress unwanted or irrelevant thoughts and actions, which is essential for maintaining attention, ignoring distractions, and coordinating changes in movements. Indeed, deficits in Inhibitory Control can be in observed in various neuropsychiatric disorders, including Parkinson's, ADHD, Tourette's Syndrome, and OCD.
In addition to Inhibitory Control, I also study the rapid retrieval of past memory traces (Episodic Retrieval), and how this process influences our decisions in real time. By utilizing Multivariate Pattern Analysis (MVPA) on neural data, it is possible to measure the strength and temporal span of cognitive or episodic representations, and directly relate them to behavior.