On-line (Sign-up required): 50th CiNet Monthly Seminar: Amitai Shenhav “Decomposing the motivation to exert mental effort”

CiNet Monthly Seminar

March 18, 2021
JST (GMT + 9:00)

Apply for participation from here.
You will be notified of participation details by e-mail on March 17.

“Decomposing the motivation to exert mental effort”

Amitai Shenhav
Assistant Professor
Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences, Brown University

Host : Masahiko Haruno

Most tasks demand cognitive control, but exerting this control is effortful. How do we balance these two considerations to decide how to invest our cognitive effort? In this talk, I will discuss work in our lab that has sought to address this question, by modeling the cost-benefit analysis that determines how much and what kinds of control a person is willing to exert in a given situation. I will describe how these models have helped guide recent behavioral and neuroimaging research into the component processes that determine one’s motivation to exert mental effort.
I will also describe how this model-based approach has allowed us to formalize specific hypotheses regarding why mental effort allocation varies across contexts, individuals, and clinical populations, and how it has allowed us to disentangle different sources of such variability (e.g., differences in one’s ability vs. desire to engage control processes).
Collectively, this work has laid the foundation for further cross-disciplinary research into the neural circuits and computations that drive effortful thoughts and actions, and towards a better understanding of when and why they fail to do so.