Brief Biography of Niko Steinbeis
Niko obtained his PhD in 2008 on the neuroscience of music. He then did a postdoc in developmental social neuroscience at the University of Zurich. After becoming senior researcher and then group leader at the Max-Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Niko embarked on research fellowships at Weill Cornell Medical School and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. In 2015 he joined the Department of Developmental Psychology of Leiden University as an Assistant Professor and in 2017 became an Associate Professor at UCL’s Division of Psychology and Language Sciences. Niko holds numerous honours and grants, including a Jacobs Fellowship and a Starting Grant from the European Research Council. He has a broad interest in cognitive, social and affective development and his work adopts a multimethod approach to address the operation of sensitive periods in childhood.
New perspectives on the development of cognitive control
Cognitive control refers to flexible and goal-directed action and it is a hallmark of human cognition. Cognitive control development has been predominantly described in terms of quantitative changes. An emerging perspective argues however that children deploy control in qualitatively different ways compared to adults. In this talk I will explore mechanisms of cognitive control development focusing on variability, plasticity and the relationship to decision-making. I will leverage different methodologies (i.e. neuroimaging and computational modelling) to understand mechanisms of change and discuss how we can capitalize this to devise interventions at critical points of impact.