How do people use their knowledge about the world to achieve goals and solve problems? Research in the Chrysikou Lab focuses on the intersection of three areas within cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience, namely language, memory, and action/perception. We are investigating the flexibility in cognitive control of semantic knowledge retrieval for goal-oriented behavior, with an emphasis on human problem solving and everyday tool use. The aims of the lab’s research program are threefold:
(1) to identify how we dynamically activate semantic knowledge for artifacts and their properties in everyday action and to characterize our unique ability to re-conceptualize a tool by extending its typical function or by creating a new artifact with which to achieve a goal or solve a problem;
(2) to reveal how the brain allows for flexibility during goal-directed object use; and
(3) to explore how this knowledge of the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying goal-oriented behavior can have real world clinical and educational implications.
To address these questions, we are collecting behavioral, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), and transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) data from healthy adults and neuropsychiatric populations.