Beckman Researchers Edit Journal Special Issue on the ‘Dynamics of Cognitive Control’

Two Beckman Institute researchers and a 2016 Senior Beckman Fellow are the guest editors of a special issue of Psychophysiology, an online journal of the Society for Psychophysiological Research. The issue focuses on the dynamics of cognitive control, using a variety of neuroimaging methods and experimental paradigms.  

 Grabiele Gratton and Monica Fabiani, both professors of psychology at Illinois and members of the Mechanisms of Cognitive Control Group, were guest editors of a special issue of Psychophysiology, an online journal.
Gabriele Gratton and Monica Fabiani, both professors of psychology at Illinois and members of the Mechanisms of Cognitive Control Group, were guest editors of a special issue of Psychophysiology, an online journal.

The issue, "Dynamics of Cognitive Control: A View Across Methodologies" (March 2018, Vol. 55, Issue 3),  was conceived and edited by Monica Fabiani and Gabriele Gratton, professors of psychology at Illinois, and Frini Karayanidis, a professor of psychology at the University of Newcastle in Australia. Fabiani and Gratton are members of Beckman’s Mechanisms of Cognitive Control Group; Karayanidis was a Senior Beckman Fellow in 2016, working with Fabiani and Gratton on looking at how cognitive control varies with aging.

“I think the topic of cognitive control is central to cognitive neuroscience,” Fabiani said. “The special issue takes a broad, multimethod and modeling perspective on it.”  

In the issue’s editorial, the editors explained their goal of contributing to the study of cognitive control processes and other executive functions by “collating a set of studies that use integrative methodologies for understanding the dynamics of cognitive control processes and by complementing them with targeted reviews of the extant literature on this complex topic and new theoretical models that may advance our understanding by better explaining past research and by inspiring new research.”

Each article addresses a problem related to the dynamics of cognitive control using any combination of two or more methodologies (such as modeling, hemodynamic neuroimaging, electrophysiology) and/or two approaches to analyzing the same data (for example, time frequency and event-related analyses of electroencephalogrophy (EEG) and event-related potentials (ERPs), with the aim of addressing how such integrative approaches enhance understanding of cognitive processes.

 Frini Karayanidis, a professor of psychology at the University of Newcastle in Australia and a Senior Beckman Fellow in 2016, also was guest editor of the special issue.
Frini Karayanidis, a professor of psychology at the University of Newcastle in Australia and a Senior Beckman Fellow in 2016, also was guest editor of the special issue.

The guest editors also are authors of a few of the featured articles, but most notably in the first review paper, “Dynamics of Cognitive Control: Theoretical Bases, Paradigms, and a View for the Future,” which was written specifically for the issue.

The three met in 2001 during a workshop on optical imaging at the University of Newcastle in Australia. At a 2014 conference in Brisbane, they decided to collaborate on the special issue.

“We all share an interest in cognitive control processes and their neural substrates, how they change across the lifespan, how they vary across individuals and their impact on adaptive and maladaptive behaviors at different stages of the life cycle,” Karayanidis said. 

All three also have a connection to the journal. Fabiani became editor–in-chief of the journal in 2015, and she invited Karayanidis to become one of 18 associate editor the same year. In 2017, Fabiani initiated a program to tap the expertise of a group of consulting editors, and Gratton was invited to serve in that capacity for a three-year term. The journal receives more than 400 submissions each year.

The journal does one to two special issues each year on topics of high visibility and impact, according to Fabiani.

After their work on the issue and making visits to each other’s labs, they have formed the foundation for a new collaboration.

“We plan to study the relationship between cerebral vasculature, brain structure, and cognitive functioning in healthy aging and cerebrovascular diseases,” Karayanidis said.

To read the issue, go to http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/psyp.2018.55.issue-3/issuetoc.