Course studied: Thesis research
More about Joshua
Thesis Title: Motor-cognitive Interference: Insights from Electrophysiology, Transcranial Stimulation and Motion Analysis
Josh's research interests lie within the field of Cognitive Neuroscience which seeks to understand cognitive functions in terms of their neural substrates. He is interested in applying Electrophysiological methods such as Electroencephalography (EEG) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to the study of dual-task interference.
When walking along a path and emphasising a point in an argument, one would tend to stop walking. This temporary pause in walking behaviour seems to have come about by introducing a secondary task (in this case, actively concentrating on speech production). There are many scenarios where performing two tasks simultaneously affects the accuracy or the timing of one or both of the tasks. This is known as dual-task interference.
Josh's research aims to explore motor-cognitive interference. That is, interference due to the concurrent processing of motor and cognitive tasks. It has been theorised that such interference is due to the recruitment of a limited attentional resource that can be tapped into by concurrent tasks. When the demands of one of the tasks increase, less attentional resource remain available for the other task, resulting in task costs such as lower accuracy and slower reaction time. Only recently has EEG been applied to motor-cognitive interference studies.
Time-series EEG and it's derived measures offer a plethora of information regarding information processing in the brain. Modern high density EEG and powerful computers allow for an impressive spatial resolution. That is, we are able to model the electrical sources of the EEG and locate them within the brain. Josh's PhD will attempt to model attentional mechanisms associated with motor-cognitive interference and how such interference is modulated by single task and dual-task practice.
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