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BBSRC Future Leader Fellow

BBSRC Future Leader Fellow

Nils Kolling

BA, MSc, DPhil


Research Fellow

The primary aim of my research is the understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying reward-guided decision making, learning and exploration. I focus particularly on the role of the frontal lobes of humans in generating choices based on rewards and other features of the environment.

My interest goes beyond uncovering the neural mechanisms underlying only one particular form of decision making. I am also investigating how forms of evaluation in the frontal lobes and the rest of the brain interact and compete, and how such network dynamics are responsible for allowing more dynamic and ecological behaviour. I am also pursuing how such a view might inform a better understanding of individual differences as well as disorders of reward, learning and choice.

I have recently shown how humans track an evolving context of risk, to inform their choices of whether to take contextually justified risks. Such context sensitive risk taking is not just ecologically very meaningful, but might also further our understanding of how evolving contextual constraints can dynamically change the way we make decisions as well as showing how the competition between different neural systems involved in choice changes.

Additionally, I have described the neural mechanisms underlying sequential decision making, prospection and insight. In particular, I have been able to relate prospective value with interactions between dorsal anterior cingulate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

During my current position at OHBA I am using non-invasive electrophysiological recording technique in humans (M/EEG) and electrode recordings in macaque to look at the moment-to-moment dynamics of reward tracking and decision making within and between changing reward environments.

Key publications

Recent publications

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